By Vina Medenilla

Home gardens are a good way to boost household food security and nutrition. Growers don’t have to wait for a long time before they can enjoy bountiful harvests because there are plenty of crops that can be produced in just a month.

Take, for example, pechay (Brassica rapa subsp. chinensis). Pechay is a leafy vegetable that local growers can cultivate throughout the year and harvest in as fast as 30 days. 

Here’s a quick guide to follow when growing this veggie at home: 

Before sowing the pechay seeds, soak them in water for 30 minutes. While waiting, prepare a nutrient-rich soil medium. This can be composed of an equal amount of vermicast, carbonized rice hull (CRH), and compost. 

Fill the polybag or any container with the soil media, scatter the seeds atop the seedbed, then slightly cover them with soil. Water the seeds every day. The seeds will start the sprout after a few days. 

Hanging pechay grown in self-watering planters. (Photo from Don Bustamante)

The plants can be repotted in bigger containers after two weeks or 15 days. By this stage, watering can be performed twice to thrice a week. 

Develop strong resistance to pests and diseases by applying fermented plant juice (FPJ) to the pechay plants one to three times a week. Complement this practice by keeping the space clean and using other natural homemade pesticides. 

Fertilize the plants through a side dressing method or applying complete fertilizer on the sides or around the crop. Water the plant after every application. 

Mature pechay plants will be ready for collection after 30 to 40 days from planting. 

By planting easy and quick maturing plants like pechay, an edible garden will never go idle all year round.

Watch AgriTalk: 2 Easy learning video series episodes 42 and 43.

For more information, contact the farmers’ contact center at 09209462474.

A guide from AgriTalk’s 2 Easy Learning Video Series presented by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and Manila Bulletin’s Agriculture Online.