Subtropical Climate Farming
 
 
 
 
Tanegashima Island

To say that farming on Tanegashima, Japan is a challenge would be a gross understatement. The island is subject to the following: torrential monsoon rains at the beginning of Summer, very strong tropical storm force northerly winds from November through March, and the possibility of typhoons from May through October. The climate has, and continues to be, the most challenging factor. That said, this subtropical climate also provides warm moderate temperatures during the Spring and Summer for growing almost anything and fast. The cooler months are perfect for leafy veggies as temperatures are moderate and seldom reach frost levels.

The following is a list of everything I tried to grow to date, either successfully or not. Although I try to follow conventional wisdom, I often stray and experiment quite a bit in my farms, occasionally coming up with something new.

Picture - The upper farm after receiving over 12 inches of rain in 24 hours.
Vegetables

Tanegashima certainly has a fantastic climate for growing pretty much anything.

Picture - A delicious type of Chinese white radish.
Warm Season Veggies   Cool Season Veggies  
Beans - Green
Beans - Runner
Bitter Melon
Burdock
Cantaloupe
Carrot
Corn - Popcorn
Corn - Sweet
Cucumber
Eggplant
Gourd
Okra
Peppers - Bell Green
Peppers - Bell Colored
Peppers - Chili
Peppers - Jalapeno
Pumpkin
Radish - Red
Soybean
Squash - Kabocha
Tomato Small
Tomato Medium
Tomato Large
Watermelon
Zucchini
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Cabbage
Cabbage Chinese
Cauliflower
Lettuce
Mustard - Japanese Mizuna
Mustard - Japanese Komatsuna
Komatsuna
Onion
Peas
Radish White Daikon
Radish White Leaf
Radish White Sakurajima
Scallion
Spinach
Turnip
Herbs

Gosh these are fun to grow, harvest and especially EAT. As usual, a couple of typhoons wreaked havoc on the farms, including the herbs, but some did very well despite this crazy climate.

The shiso, cinnamon basil, and especially the sweet basil were fantastic during the first Spring/Summer (2015) season on the island. In fact, there was so much sweet basil harvested, I was able to make hundreds of "basil ice cubes" for use during the cooler months.

The herbs were pretty easy to grow and the bugs stayed away. Planning to put in much more and a wider variety during the 2016 Spring/Summer season.

Picture - xxxx.
Basil
Chamomile
Lemon balm
Oregano
Parsley
Peppermint
Rocket
Thyme
Flowers

We all know the story of Johnny Appleseed right? Well I am probably going to be known as Howie Marigold seed, at least on this island. Yup I am a total marigold fan. I put marigolds in pretty much every bed of the upper farm....Why?

Marigolds made the farm absolutely beautiful grown as a background to all the green veggie leaves during the Spring/Summer season of 2015. The scent from the flowers also greatly reduced the amount of bugs, especially mosquitoes and many leave eating insects.

I already saved bag loads of seeds for the upcoming 2016 Spring/Summer season.

Picture - xxxx.
Alyssum
Canna
Gypsophila Marigold Sunflower
 
 
 
 
 
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