Sunday, January 23, 2011

Komatsuna Life Cycle (Seed Week & Seeds Give-away)

Thank you for joining in, sharing your thoughts and experiences for “Seed Week”.
What is “Seed Week”? 
Sharing our own experiences and gain knowledge about collecting, propagating, growing seeds, bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, or cuttings and can be about how to keep them in top shape. The wonderful thing about collecting seeds from plants that thrive in your place is that each year and the next year, the seeds will become more and more adapt to your garden environment. Please join us for this seed week. I will randomly choose 5 participants for home saved-seeds give-away. I like to share my home saved-seeds to you:).  There is a linky to link your post at the bottom of this post. It can be a new post or and old one, also not limited to one post only.
Here are interesting and inspiring post link that is very helpful. 




Komatsuna @ Japanese Mustard Spinach (Brassica Rapa) Life Cycle ~ 小松菜ののライフ サイクル

My first taste of Komatsuna was when I was studying for my bachelor degree on Environmental Science in Niigata, Japan. That will be about 10 years ago, no need to count my age now. LOL.Thinking of komatsuna bring back fond student memories when I was there. Komatsuna is one of the cheapest vegetables you can buy in Japan all year round. So as a student, this is one of the vegetables that I always buy when I have a very tight budget. It will be one of the main ingredient in my fried rice or noodles. Since I left Japan, I have not eaten komatsuna for years and I was happy that last year I found komatsuna seeds available in one of the seed catalogs that I have received. Komatsuna is very easy and fast to grow, good for beginners to try. Komatsuna seeds can germinate within one week in their very favourable environment. Komatsuna seedlings looks similar with other pak choi’s at this stage, so don’t foget to label them if you are sowing other Asian Leaf vegetables as well.


If you have small space to grow things, treat komatsuna as quick crop and interplant komatsuna with other plants that grow slowly. I planted them near tomatoes and eggplants and they grow really fast.DSC09192 After one week to compare with previous photo for komatsuna growth. They are taller now don’t they.

DSC09300  Quick crop of komatsuna ready to be harvest. Inter-planting komatsuna reduce pest attack. I did not look after the komatsuna when I was growing them this time and since it is in between other plant, komatsuna smell must have been masked with other plants.


Komatsuna flower are yellow and have the same shape as other brassica like Pak Choi. When komatsuna is bolting the shapes of leaves also changed. DSC09576 The bolting plant grows really tall, at least 70cm tall. Komatsuna is very hardy in cold temperatures and I did a post of growing komatsuna in Adelaide winter. If you have a small space and worried that it will take some space away to wait for the komatsuna seeds. Don’t worry one plant will give you many seeds and it does not take much space. The komatsuna bolted plant was so tall that it flop towards the ground and I have the plant to lean against the geranium.

Komatsuna seed pods

I waited for komatsuna seed pods to turn brownish but surprisingly they did not. I even let the seeds kept in its seed pod in my kitchen shelves for 2 months and the seeds still look good when I harvest them out from the seed pods.


Do you know that komatsuna is actually a new vegetable species, it has been around like 200~100years compared with other vegetables.


Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Fresh seeds are the best, to guarantee success in gardening. I dont have many in stock, a few roselle left, papaya seeds, ulam raja, okra... that's about all. Clitoria ternatea, and kailan are just flowering... great post!

Alison said...

Hi! I added a link to an old post that has info about three ways to start seeds.

~TastyTravels~ said...

Thanks for sharing on the komatsuna. I've never grown them before but they look pretty. I love the information on saving the seeds!

miruku said...

I sowed the Komatsuna seeds that you sent me and put them at the flowers section. I thought they were flowers until i read from your previous posts. Now only one is surviving and i have already transplanted it to the ground. Not growing well, still very short and tiny @ 1 month old. Maybe of the hot weather here.

kitchen flavours said...

Thank you so much for this lovely post! Never tried or knew about Komatsuna. Looks like our local choy sam. So it can be used just like choy sam? Stir-fry, soups, noodles? Great! Looking forward to grow these after CNY! Your posts are like a wonderful educational site on homegrown veggies! Thanks again!

fer said...

Great post, very inspiring! I have not yet reach to the stage of flower and seeds with my komatsunas, but now I know what to expect.
I want to join seed week. Do you think my seed box would fit seed week?

rainfield61 said...

You are writing a professorial post about gardening.

This can go for a master degree if you continue.

(No lol)

takaeko said...

Today I seeded komatunas, pak-choi and spinaches though it is in the mid winter now. I've set up vinyl tunnels for them to keep the air inside.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Bangchik ~ Living in tropics you can grow all year round and use fresh seeds to grow. I remember your Clitoria ternatea flower when you were in Putrajaya so pretty.

Alison~ Thank you for sharing. It was a really good idea for sowing seeds.

Holly~ They don't take much space to grow. I like how the seed pods look in one stalk remind me of rice stalk.

Milka~ Opps...sorry I should have told you that it is sayur. Try again when the raining season is not that far away. Did all the seeds germinate or you only had trouble with the growth? They don't need full sun to grow but partial shade will do well and it is much cooler.

Kitchen flavours~ Yes it can be used like choy sum.Just sharing my pengalaman and learning from others :).

Fer~ Yes your seed box will be very inspiring. I still remember how detail you describe it. Please do link it:).

Rainfield61~ Aiya...I wish I can write my school report like this. But is seem not yet need more practice.

Lrong Lim said...

Would like to take up your offer and post something relevant, but still am not sure what it is...
Your komatsunas look very healthy...

Mr. H. said...

What a great post and you have inspired me to give Komatsuna another try in our gardens. The slugs love it so much that we struggle to keep any of the Asian type greens alive for very long. That said, I hope to try growing this type of green in a different location next year...after seeing all of your wonderful greens I have decided to work harder at growing them. I think that your seed week is a great success so far and am very glad that you have come up with the idea. Hopefully many new people will be inspired to save seeds because of these posts.

miruku said...

Oh oh. I transplanted it to the ground under full sun. I sowed 3 seedlings (very kedekut bcoz they are from so far haha), all germinated but 2 died eventually and left only one which is retarded. Will try again and sow more this time... and learn how to collect seeds from your Seed Week :)

Malar said...

I never have try Komatsuna before! I came to know about it from your blog. Looks like sawi to me!
I have just started my vegetable gardening again since the monsoon season is gone!

Wendy said...

It will be interesting to learn during seed week! unfortunatly, I don't save seeds - my garden is so tiny, that I buy a pack of seeds and they last a lifetime. However, I will enjoy learning from everyone else.

Tootsie said...

this is a great post...I have learned something new today! Komatsuna is brand new to me!

Anonymous said...

I have found your lovely blog via Mr H and his post on seed saving. I like it very much.
I have linked one of my old posts on saving some seeds last year.
Komatsuna grows seed in similar way as arugula (it is in my linked post). Arugula flowers grow also very tall, I think they were taller than 1m.

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Diana,
I've linked my post on some Dill seeds that I've saved. Thanks for hosting this event!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Takaeko~ Looks like you have a good start ready for spring. I will be most interested to know how the blueish leaves of Pak Choi looks like when they are growing.

Lrong~ I hope you link some posts for us and share your experience growing in Japan.

Mr. H ~ I hope you try again at growing Asian leaves vegetables as some of them are said to be very adapted at cold weather and using them as micro-green. Its very exciting, many new gardeners are also starting to collect seeds.

Milka~ I am glad you enjoying it as well. Try direct sowing 30cm apart should be find ( I planted them about 20cm apart kedekut space) to avoid transplant shock.

Malar~ So many new babies will be in your garden soon to nurture.

Wendy~ I also buy seeds since I still don't have many seeds that I would like to grow. But I have so many accidental things I left growing in the garden due to my excuse busy with other stuff that plants has started to produce seeds and I just need to wait just a bit more to collect them.

Tootsie~ A new taste of Asian leaf vegetables for a change:).

vrtlarica ana~ Hi Thank you so much for joining in and how nice to meet you. I never heard about arugula before but I will look it up. Thanks a new plant to know about.

Kitchen flavours~ Thank you for joining in. Wah so many dill seeds. I am glad that you waited for it to seed.