Japanese spring garden (and a bit of venting)

April 25, 2011 | By | Comments (3)

Here’s the thing about the One-block feasts — at the end of the day, it’s really hard to be given a list of crops and be told that they all need to ripen at the same time. It just doesn’t work like that.

I love the One-block project. Love. Don’t get me wrong. But it definitely drives me batty at times. This is one of those time.

I’m growing out a list of crops for a Japanese spring garden. They are not all going to be ready at once. Some are ready now. Some will be ready soon. Some didn’t work.

For example:

Japanese turnips are bulbing up nicely and looking darling. They probably have a few more weeks to go:


Meanwhile, the daikon right next door are bolting. Something (weather? Not enough water?) triggered them to stop bulking up and start going to seed. I’m putting them in the category of crop failure:


Those round green things in the center are the start of flower buds.

Scallions I sowed? Not ready:


But these volunteer onions could be used as spring onions in replacement.


The greens are a whole different story. Some are stunted, some are bolting, some are growing.

The saving grace is that I have this UNREAL purple pok choi that I’ve been growing out because it’s a new seed from The Cook’s Garden. So we can definitely use that.

poc choi

What’s my point? The phrase is garden-to-table and not the other way around. Cooking and eating the bounty from the garden, even that means 25 pounds of zucchini and zero tomatoes, is the way it goes. Planning a menu in advance of planting the menu puts the cart before the horse.

The test garden is not a farm. Believe me, sometimes I wish it was! But I don’t have the space to sow multiple successions of the same crops to ensure we always have a bounty ready. And things don’t all ripen at once.

Enough venting. Isn’t that poc choi killer??


  1. Kristi

    Greetings! Verry useful advice in this paricular post!
    It is the little changes that willl make the biggest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

    October 16, 2014 at 5:18 pm
  2. Rootaki

    No worries, Johanna. It’s totally fair to vent, I know just how you feel. In fact, I had the same reaction putting my One Block Feast “application” together- how can I plan a menu? I have to see what’s ready to harvest first!

    But like you said- that pak choi is gorgeous and the turnips are adorable. You’ll pull off a great spring feast somehow!

    April 25, 2011 at 9:23 pm
  3. Rena Takahashi

    Yes, that purple pak choi -is- killer. Didja manage to plant any shingiku – the edible chrysanthemum?

    Daikon is best grow in fall. We’re down in Cupertino, just south of you. I planted mine in late October and it grew out most of the fall. They started bolting in February so I’m not surprised yours did. Although your kabu turnips look fantastic – I’ll take those any day over daikon!

    April 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm

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