On August 7th my dear friend Heather and I direct-seeded 14 different types of Asian Brassicas into a bed from which a crop of garlic had recently been harvested. The fastest of the 14 types of vegetables, this beautiful bok choi, was included in last Sunday’s vegetable boxes. The other 13 will be harvested throughout the remaining 8 weeks of this year’s vegetable box program. Over the years we’ve been continually amazed by how fast growing and delicious many of the Asian Brassicas are when sown between early and mid-August, and this year has been no exception.
I hoed this bed with a very sharp collinear hoe about two weeks after seeding, then thinned each type of vegetable according to past experiences with it and/or semi-educated guesses. I’m very pleased to see how well most of these brassicas are doing in this ultra-dense planting. The majority of the 14 seem to be competing very well with the bed’s weeds. Physalis pruinosa, the sassy, tangy groundcherry, is the main weed in this bed, as we grew a bunch in the same spot last summer and they are very effective at moving around gardens as they please by seed. It would be interesting to see what this planting date and spacing would have produced had the field not received reasonably regular rainfall since mid-August. I expect such a crowded rhizosphere would have made for some thirsty plants had it not rained.