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Tropical Garden Rotation Plan with selected varieties

Below we share our working ʻĀina Exotics Garden Rotation Plan. This information shares with you the seed varities that have proven to work well for us in Hāmākua, at about 500 feet elevation. We hope this provides some insight into how to organize your tropical garden planting. We will update this as new varities and vegetables are introduced into our regular rotation. Your comments, experiences and advice is welcome.


(j) Johhny’s Selected Seeds

(O) Osborne Seeds

(out) Outside pride seeds

(DTMS) days to maturity from seedling

D2MT days to maturity from transplant


We propose to have by the end of the year and in rotation…

7 beds, 80 feet x 4 feet

2 short-term direct sow crop beds in constant rotation

2 medium term crop beds

2 long-term beds

1 perennial bed



List of Seeds for direct sowing in short term bed

Radish – Cherriette (O) 26 DTM

Spring mix – 28 DTMS – Allstar gourmet (j)

Mustard – Florida Broad leaf 45 DTMS, Red Giant (J) 21-47(D)

Turnip – Scarlet Queen (O), 43 DTMS

Kai choy- 45-50 DTMS can be eaten before maturity – thinned this way

Pak Choi – Joi Choi F1 (J), 45-50 DTMS can be eaten before maturity – thinned this way

Daikon – Chinese, Minowase (O) and Alpine (J), 50 DTMS

Young beet – 55 DTMs – red atlas (O), Merlin (J), 48 DTMS

Bush green beans (provider (J) 50 DTMS – harvest for 3 weeks)

Lettuce – Coastal star (J) 57 DTMS (subtract 10-14 days if transplanting.)

Carrot – Bolero (J), 75 DTMS; gold finger f1 (O) 90 DTMS

Method for short-term direct sow crop beds – every 3-4 weeks

  1. plant radish (25 days), turnip (43 days) mustard (45 days), kai choy and pak choi (50 days), bush bean (50 days) daikon (50-60 days), beets (55 days), carrots (75 days)
  2. Harvest radish – replace with bush beans
  3. Harvest mustards/choys replace with lettuce starts
  4. Harvest daikon – replace with spring mix
  5. Harvest carrots/beets – replace with radish and spring mix (if applicable)

=> Once day hundred comes around we have bush bean, spring mix, radishes,

Do this type of bed 3-4 a year by rotating parts of the bed


1st planting of bed [radish, turnip, mustard][choys, daikon, bush bean][carrots][beets]

2nd planting of bed [beets][carrots][radish, turnip, mustard][choys, daikon, bush bean]


Transplant/sow new bed every 6 weeks

List of seeds for direct sow in summer

Bean long – Gita (J) 78 days to maturity

Corn – UH Sweet, lowlands 76-81 days to maturity

Soy beans – 75 DTM for early, 104 DTM for late)

Cowpea 60-90 DTM for fresh peas, 110 for dried

Okra, 70-80 DTM

List of seeds for direct sow (all year)

Cucumber – General Lee, (J), 55-90 DTMS – but we tend to start these in 4″ pots and plant out at 2 week. 

Medium term seeds starts

Chinese Cabbage, Rubicon F1 (J), 52 D2MFT

Head Cabbage, Ruby Perfection (J), 85 D2MFT, Green Presto (O), 62 D2MFT

Celery – Conquistador (J), 80 D2MFT

Broccoli – 80 to 100 D2MFT

Cauliflower – 80 to 100 D2MFT

Chard, Fordhook Giant (J), 25-50 D2MFT

Long lettuce




Method and Steps:

  1. In part of the bed sow seeds on list directly above
  2. Transplant items on list above all at the same time if possible
  3. Harvest napa/chinese cabbage, replace with lettuce starts and bush beans, chard
  4. Harvest head cabbage replace with spring mix

Do this type of bed every 2 months

Rotate brassica/cucumbers/lettuce/bush beans

Use beneficials up the middle of the bed and along the sides


LONG-TERM BEDS 70-120+day

Sow new long-term every 3 months/12 weeks

Seed Starts:

Eggplant, Galine F1 (J), 65 D2MFT

Parsley, Giant of Italy (J), 75 D2MFT

Peppers, use local

Tomato, use local cherry tomatoes

Kale – Aina Ola ,65 D2MS

Tomatillo, De Milpa (J), 75 D2MFT


Direct sow

Basil, 78 DTMS; Amethyst Improved (j), 60 DTMS

Green bunching onion, White spear (J), 65 DTMS

Shallots, need to find heat tolerant variety



Direct Sow Perennial

Chives- Nira (J), 90 DTMS

Long Bean


Transplant Perennial


New Zealand Spinach, (Out) 55-65 D2MFT

River Pepper, Laupahoehoe Heirloom

Pachyrhizus (jicama relative)


Sunny Edges:

Pintoi peanut (perennial peanut)




Pigeon pea


Shaded Edges:


New guinea impatiens



Seed starts:

Every 6 weeks

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce head

Every 8-12 weeks

  • Tomato
  • Eggplant
  • Chard
  • Peppers
  • Kale
  • Basil