by John Martin
As a general rule we read “Chinese, Japanese, or Asian” on greens to mean, “grow in the fall in Colorado.” Direct seed shallowly into warm soil, keep beds moist and watch for emergence in 4-5 days. We seed them all in the third week of July but up to a month later would be fine too. Every year I try them in the spring and every year they do poorly. The bok choi sometimes makes but the others regularly fail. If you try in the spring, cover with remay against flea beetles.
Bok Choi/Joy Choi: seed thick, thin to one plant per inch, then harvest in three or four successions taking every other plant each time until the last ones are enormous. They will stand through a mild frost.
Tatsoi: the favorite green of many of our members. Seed thick, thin to one per two inches (these thinnings are very good in salads), again pick every other one until you get to the nice big rosettes. When they are large they’ll stand quite a while and can take a fairly hard freeze.
Senposai: Grow this with the same thought in mind as collards. Huge production of leaves as large as tennis racquets. Lots of food, but not much flavor.
Napa Cabbage: We had poor germination on these last year but those that came were beautiful. We will be much more careful with them this year to give as a fall cabbage. Some of the heads went 5 pounds.
Fun Jen: Very mild, very dependable crenellated green with pale loose leaves, sort of half way between lettuce and cabbage. Too bland for our member”s tastes.