Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kai lan @ Chinese Broccoli – Life Cycle

Kai lan is one of my favourite leaf vegetables. Because I like kai lan masak ikan masin (kailan fried with dried salted fish) dish. Last autumn we had abundant crop with kai lan that comes a time I think I need to take a break with kai lan. But now I am missing them again.

Kai lan seedlings in recycled plastic container. When I sowed Kai lan seeds last autumn it was the optimum weather condition for kai lan and germination rate almost 100%.

early autumn 2010 (35)

Interplanting Kai lan with garlic to reduce pest attack and utilise space. Kai lan does not have long roots so it does not bother garlic that much.DSC07506 I thought at first that this is a wild flower because I have not seen kai lan flower before. This kai lan is hiding behind one of the broccoli no wonder it did not end up in the wok. We had some trouble when I interplanted kai lan with broccoli and cauliflower because when the young broccoli and cauliflower are the same size with kai lan they look similar its hard to differentiate them. So when Mik was helping me harvesting kai lan she had actually 2 or 3 times made a mistake harvesting broccoli and cauliflower which she thought it was kai lan. After few days when I had time in the garden that I noticed our cauliflower and broccoli plants are missing and realised that Mik had some confusion. But the interesting part is with kailan, broccoli and cauliflower cooked together they taste the same. We did not know that all was not kai lan.


I always thought that kai lan has yellow flower because the kai lan bud hints yellow colour. I was surprise when it blooms the flower is white. No wonder Kai lan is also known as chinese broccoli because of the shape of the bud clumping together looks like a broccoli about to bolt.kailan (3) Now this kai lan plant is beginnning to produce seed pods. Hopefully we could get many seeds from this plant.


For Adelaide gardeners who does not have a hot house, from my experience it is better to not sow kai lan seeds from June to September because it is cold for Kai lan. I wasted lots of seeds  last year sowing the seeds too early and germination was really bad. Sowing in June cause it to bolt prematurely and stunted growth during the cold period.


Yuzie Amir said...

I love leafy veggie too..
i bet u miss malaysia so much..u can sow plant all through the years..with sunshine every where..plants will grow happily.

Malar said...

I like kai lan too! but...grasshopper love them so much! ....

Stephanie said...

Glad to see kai lan flowers all opened up here. When I buy kai lan from the market, they are all closed up ;-)

rainfield61 said...

The backyard in Malaysia and that found in your last post look very similar.

The little flowers are beautiful.

kitchen flavours said...

You have very nice kai lan plants. I tried growing them before, but did not succeed. I still have the seeds, will try again as soon as I have the space!

Matron said...

Here in England we are just coming to the end of Summer. It is hard to find veggies to grow right the way through the cold Winter here, but usually the Asian leaf vegetables such as Chinese cabbage and Pak Choi are hardy enough to last. You have just reminded me I need to plant some seeds... or I might starve come January!

Autumn Belle said...

The kai lan flowers are dainty and sweet. Sometimes, the kai lan I buy from the market comes with the flowers/buds attached. That's a bonus because I love to eat them. I love to eat kai lan stir fried with ginger and garlic with a dash of red wine added just as you are about to scoop the contents into a plate.