Autumn is here!

Summer’s over and autumn is here. Autumn marks cooler nights, leafy vegetables in gardens, mushrooms, persimmons and peanuts to me in Japan.

The summer vegetables are all gone – here is a snap of the last harvest of green peppers and bell peppers.

Bell peppers and green peppers

With a tinge of sadness, I took off the pepper plants – they were still going strong, but the temptation to plant the autumn veggies was too strong.

I started off first with Chinese cabbage. No chances this time; planted eight of them under a tunnel. Here is a photo I took when I partially removed the net for maintenance :

Chinese cabbage

I expect a good crop of cabbages this time -free from pests.


In the adjacent spot, I prepared the soil for Shungiku the Japanese name for edible chrysanthemum.  I grew them in pots first and transferred them to the patch in two rows at a distance of about 5 cm between plants and about 30 cm between rows.


They are quite small now, but should grow to about 20 cms in two weeks if everything goes well. The leaves can be plucked off when partially so that new leaves grow to take their place. Books say that these are hardy plants and are not attacked by insects; since this is my first time to grow Shungiku, let’s see how it goes.

I prepared the soil with limestone to reduce acidity a week before planting these.  On the day of transfer from pots to the ground, I mixed the soil thoroughly with compost and also an adequate amount of fertilizer, leveled the ground and then planted them.



Next to the Shungiku, I made room for planting radish seeds. It appears that radish can be grown within 30 days and this was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss! I planted two rows of seeds with the same spacing as the Shungiku. I have room for one more row in the patch and am contemplating whether to grow cabbage, broccoli or some other vegetable!

Next to the wall, I have planted lettuce in two rows and a row of mini cauliflowers with black protective sheet.

Lettuce  Mini cauliflower














I intend to cover these two types of plants with the protective net to keep out pests. I’m not very sure whether the cauliflower does require the black protective sheet or not, but since it would keep out the weeds, I thought there would be no harm in using it.

Between the lettuce and cauliflower, I have sowed two rows of spinach – I hope to see the shoots of young plants in three to four days.

I was delighted to find “Hototogisu” (probably “toad lily) starting to bloom in my garden. This is a delightful looking flower and I enjoy looking at it. Here you are:

Toad lily


The Japanese anemone (shuumeigiku) are also in full bloom, the pink flowers lighting up the environment.


And that’s it from my garden in Kisarazu City, Japan this week. Have a great day!


5 Responses to “Autumn is here!”

  1. October 11, 2008 at 12:05 am

    I visited your beautiful website and I would like to ask a question.
    Is there somebody that can sell me a few tubers of Ipomoea batatas with blue-purple fleshed tubers? I know in Okinawa, Japan, there are cultivars of Ipomoea batatas wich are coloured inside the tubers.

    I do not know if there is only one cultivar wich such characteristic or if there are many but I would like to receive at least one tuber (or a few ones of different cultivars) of this type to cultivate them in my garden.
    (I also would like to try Ube, or Satsuma potato, or Chinese potato: Dioscorea alata; it too is purple inside in some cultivars)
    I hope somebody will be able to help me. I can pay with money or with seeds of unusual vegetables, as you prefer.
    Best wishes,
    Gianluca Corazza

  2. October 11, 2008 at 5:13 am

    Regarding Ipomoea batatas, please see this site:http://www.rakuten.co.jp/gardensk/430279/437930/490219/
    You can enter this URL in Google translate and get it to translate from Japanese to Italian. Is this what you are looking for? Seems to be sold as potted plant only.

  3. October 11, 2008 at 5:49 am

    The plants in the website you suggest are interesting but I can find them here too, even if not all.
    The japanese name of what I’m looking for is Ayamurasaki (Ipomoea batatas cv. “Ayamurasaki”). In english it is known as “Okinawan”. (However different clones are more or less coloured with pink-purple-blue colours.)
    It has green leaves and white-skinned tubers. But the tubers are purple inside, even after cooking. It is very beautiful. How can I send you two small photos?.

  4. October 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    OK. I just checked some websites. The Ayumurasaki seems to be a new variety developed in the western part of Japan (Okinawa and Kyushu). I suppose what you need would be a tuber – it may be difficult to send one through customs both in Japan and Italy and would be subject to quarantine, I suppose. Your best bet would be to have someone you know bring it from Japan to Italy. I’ll check in the local nursery, but I doubt I’ll find that variety here (I’m near Tokyo) nearly a thousand km away from Okinawa.

  5. October 11, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Thank you, Ayamurasaki is a new variety but derives from a development of very similar old ones growed in Okinawa and in the Pacific Islands from centuries. Ayamurasaki or an old very similar variety would be great for me.
    I do not know if you can find it so far north from Okinawa…
    However the problem in shipping is usually for the person that receives and not very much for the person sending. If you send it as “food sample” and not as “live plant” it would be easily passed from customs and nobody said a lie because sweet potatoes are food. I already received some from USA as food. However if sent as normal airmail letter (not parcel, not registered mail) it is usually unchecked and travels freely and fast with letters and postcards with no stops.
    However do not worry if you can’t find it.

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