Here's why we are leaning toward growing more of the latter:
1. Rapa varieties are less susceptible to that destructive little green caterpillar (aka white butterfly probably fluttering around my garden now!).
2. Rapa varieties take less than 60 days to reach full maturity, rather than oleracea which can ake up to 90 days.
3. Rapa is as equally tolerant if not more tolerant of frost/cold than oleracea.
4. Both varieties freeze well, so there is nothing lost in winter storage
All told rapa is, at least in our minds, the superior choice to oleracea, because it provides a spring crop of vegetables sooner, it frees up garden space for earlier mid-season planting, and not least of all we don't have to spend our all our spring morning and evening hours squashing green caterpillars between our fingers! Yuck! That said, we'll definitely save a row for the traditional oleracae varieties. They are too good to abandon completely!
Here's a picture that show the radically different growth rates of the brassica species that we're experiencing in our garden this season. Keep in mind we planted all the seeds of every variety on the same day.
|Q. James catching some springtime sunshine!|
A beautiful row of baby boc choi heads ready to be harvested!
|baby boc choi row|