Asian Greens

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Asian Greens

Post  Blossom on Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:55 am

I have found in the past that Bok Choi and Pak Choi just don't like my garden - they simply bolt to seed and mainly feed the slugs. In fact I'd venture to say that I have yet to harvest any of them in 5 years in this garden. I've grown Mizuna ( Japanese) which is nice in salad and noticed Peter Cundall was growing rows of it between other salad greens I suspect because it protects them from slugs and snails with the mustardy taste. Mine tended to seed and I find it all over the garden now. So this year I'm again "turning Japanese" and have planted seeds of Komatsuna or Japanese Mustard Spinach which claims to be high in calcium and all the other good stuff and can be eaten at any stage getting more mustardy as it ages. Has anyone grown this? It looks like Pak Choi, quite different to Mizuna and shiny.

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Re: Asian Greens

Post  Mad Gnome on Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:49 am

I absolutely LOVE Komatsuna! I like its taste (very mild) and its versatility. I put it in salads, stir-fries, soups, feta & komatsuna parcels, curries, etc. I have about 5 plants that have gone to seed. They provided us with greenery from autumn through to spring.

I have just planted another lot of Komatsuna. It's hardy, easy, wonderful. You can use the leaves at any stage, even now when it has gone to seed, the leaves are still mild tasting.

Another 'must-have' for me is Chinese Broad Leaf Celery. I don't treat it like a celery but as a source of tasty leaves for everything where you want greenery (same all-purpose use as komatsuna). The stalk is very mild and a bit like kohlrabi. The leaves are slightly peppery. Even though it has gone to seed now, the leaves are still lovely to eat - not too strongly peppery. Needless to say I have planted another batch just a few days ago.

While I'm gushing on about favourites, I have to mention Wild Rocket or Italian Rustic Arugula. It is another wonderful source of greenery. Hardy plant. I have had it in the ground one whole year now - it survived the drought last summer, the frost in winter. And it's thriving. Even though it does start flowering, it won't die back. Wonderful stuff! All-purpose use, too.

End of gushing. Smile

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Re: Asian Greens

Post  Fran on Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:47 am

Where would I start looking for komatsuna? - keen to try it.

Blossom I'm new to growing Asian greens - planted some in the vegie gardens and they went to seed soon as I turned my back. Decided to have another go but this time planted them round the tomatoes I have in pots. They're in the shade, handy to the kitchen door and I'm out there every day picking the leaves. I do the same with spinach and lettuce. I have 6 large pots with 1 tomato to a pot and surround them with greens and a herb. Soon as I run out I plant more seedlings. They grow fast here in the heat so there's never much of a wait.


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Re: Asian Greens

Post  Blossom on Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:16 am

Thanks Veggie Gnome, you've got me quite enthusiastic. I got the seeds from Eden Seeds Fran - they have a section on Asian Greens. http://www.edenseeds.com.au I love different greens for salads and to cook in Indian dishes, so this year am really concentrating on them. Some tend to go bitter as they age so I'm trying to find those that won't. I thought I might plant some in styrofoam boxes near the house so that I can do the same as you and pick regularly.

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