Fast-growing Asian greens are rich in calcium, vitamins A, C, and K, and may be utilized in a variety of ways in the kitchen. Edible chrysanthemum and Chinese cabbage are exhibited from left to right.
Asian greens like Chinese cabbage and bok choy provide variety to your autumn feast. A little garden plot may provide a bounty of lush greens, crisp stems, and even tasty blossoms. Planting Asian greens, which prefer shorter, colder days, is a simple method to prolong your food output far into October.
Consider: The Following Asian Greens
Asian leafy greens mizuna, mustard spinach, and tatsoi. Red-leafed mustards and garland chrysanthemums have unique taste and texture.
Chinese cabbage and bok choy leaf ribs or crisp stems provide crunch to stir-fries and salads. Both work well in little gardens.
A subgroup of brassicas formed from broccoli or mustard produces delicate blossom buds.
When Should I Plant Asian Greens?
Sow seeds inside in late summer (six to twelve weeks before your first autumn frost) or outside in hot, dry weather. Four-week-old seedlings: transplant. Some Asian greens may be planted in the spring, but pick bolt-resistant cultivars that will last 10 days longer than other types.
Growing Asian Greens
Asian greens need a pH of 6.0 to 6.5, wet, rich soil. Choose a sunny spot, loosen the soil to a depth of 12 inches, and thoroughly apply mature compost. Sow seeds 2 inches apart and 1/4 inch deep, then water well. After germination, thin the seeds to the proper spacing (typically in less than five days). Plant large Chinese cabbage, Chinese broccoli, and blooming mustard 14 inches apart, but little bok choy plants as close as 6 inches apart.
Asian Greens Harvest and Storage
Consume young seedlings collected during agricultural thinning. If you’re harvesting leafy plants, leave the middle crowns unharvested. Plucked leaves will immediately regenerate. Before the first heavy frost, whole Chinese cabbage or bok choy plants should be plucked and harvested. Most Asian greens can live for weeks beneath a row cover or plastic tunnel in early winter. Trimmed, washed, and chilled whole heads may survive a month. Cut 4- to 6-inch stems from developing brassicas when the green flower buds turn yellow. Blanch and freeze any Asian vegetable.
Asian Green Seed Preservation
Plants that survive the winter in Zones 7 and above bloom early in the spring. Save seed by planting little amounts early in the spring. Plant two or three similar plants together and let them blossom. Collect the biggest elongated seedpods in a paper bag once they become tan. Dry them until the seeds fall from the pods when smashed by your palm. Pick the seeds that appear to last the longest. Most Asian greens seeds may be kept cold and dry for five years.
In many regions, you may establish a self-sown autumn harvest by distributing ripe seedpods from your spring crop on prepared beds. Plant several varieties of the same species at opposing ends of the garden, or cultivate just one kind each season for seed storage.
Securing Asiatic green pest control
Flea pests usually damage leaves, although the damage is slight and fades when cooked. Aphids feed in bunches on crinkled Chinese cabbage leaves, but two weekly applications of insecticidal soap readily control them. Slugs consume leaves and stems, leaving a sticky trail behind. Larger ones should be selected by hand, and any mulch that may harbor slugs and snails should be removed. A last option is iron phosphate bait.
Tips for Growing Asian Greens
Colorful Ornaments Reddish Asian greens (like ‘Osaka Purple’ mustard) are edible ornamentals. Consider marigolds or chrysanthemums.
Simple Chicken Feed Mizuna and mustard spinach are quick to recuperate and are wonderful additions to chicken feed.
Using Asian Greens in Recipes
Except for Chinese cabbage and bok choy, most Asian greens (at any stage of growth) should be cooked until wilted (at least two to three minutes). Cooking greens diminishes their pungent flavor when eaten raw. Instead of spinach, use sesame oil or toasted sesame seeds to add flavor to most dishes. Asian greens are high in calcium and vitamins A, C, and K.
On other healthy vegetables and how to grow them in your backyard check out Healthy Vegetables here.