Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Heat-tolerant Asian Leaf vegetables (reviewing)

I always make sure that we have some supply of Asian leaf vegetables growing every month on our veggie patch. They are life-savers if other plants are not doing well due to the weather or desease at least we have something to harvest. Advantages of growing asian leaf vegetables are can be harvest at any stages, quick to grow, use a small space, grow well in partial shade, can be grown in shallow container even 10cm of soil depth and the very reliable cut and come again harvest. However, one main point to remember when growing Asian leaf vegetables is that it likes mild weather and our mid-summer will be a bit tricky to grow them as extreme weather can cause them to bolt easily. For example, choy sum that were grown in December all flowered and producing seed pods. So, I reckon choy sum sowing break will be from December until February during warm weather well that is the whole summer. So this is a review of Asian Leaf vegetable trial result growing in warm weather here in Adelaide (or Allenby Gardens) for this summer. From this observation, I can update a new sowing schedule at the bottom of my blog and don't waste seeds next season.

Although I often harvest leaf amaranth (bayam) to prevent them from flowering too quickly, it still bolted this month. Is this due to hot extreme weather or cold nights that we have sometime when the temperature really fluctuated during day and night, I am not sure which is the cause. Kangkung has been doing very well this summer. The rain that we had recently has made kangkung (water spinach) happy and growing very fast. Some of the kangkung has been growing for 3 or 4 months and has been cut many times. I wonder how long will spinach be able to grow here in Adelaide as this is our first season growing KangKung in Adelaide. I was a bit worried growing them at first as we usually have very dry summer here and KangKung is very fond of moisture. I am glad it thrive in Allenby Gardens without any special care. Kangkung grow well from seeds here but not from cuttings. Moreover, I finish sowed all of our kangkung seeds this month and the germination rate was good.
We sowed some Chinese Broccoli (Kailan) seeds this month but germination was not good. I think it is still not the right time to start sowing this vegetable perhaps next month. I remember that last year in autumn we had so many Chinese Broccoli harvest. So this vegetable does not like hot weather very much, either it bolt or have very slow growth. Inter-planting kailan with jicama (sengkuang) more than 3 months ago but very slow growth until now I have not finish harvesting as waiting for it to grow bigger.
Mei Qing Choi F1 has been very reliable providing us with lot of leaf vegetable harvest this summer. I made a post about growing Mei Qing Choi F1 last month.

Sowed many seeds of Mei Qing Choi F1 in January and this month. The germination rate was almost 100%. Only direct sowing method was used this summer.

I found one of the Mei Qing Choi F1 plant bolted and the flower look really strange not the common features of brassica flowers. The flower is not symmetrical like pak choi flower, instead it have many petal with strange order. I guess this is expected coming from a hybrid or mutant flower.
 Which leaf vegetable grows well during warm weather in your garden?


Mark Willis said...

I'm going to try growing several different varieties of oriental veg this year, so I hope we have a hot Summer! The biggest problem I have with these is that the slugs just LOVE them - much more so than our European-style veg, for some reason.

rainfield61 said...

You garden must look very great with the sea of these yellow flowers.

Veggie Gnome said...

I don't grow many leaf vegetables in summer here. The heat scorches the leaves and makes them crispy.

Kale does very well in the heat, though. We eat a lot of that.
I also grow some silverbeet and spinach, but mainly to feed to the chooks. The leaves tend to be a bit tough, due to the heat. But the chooks love some greenery.

Winter is the time when we have an abundance of leaf vegetables. I grow as many as possible during that time.

Thanks for your review - great information! :)

Bangchik and Kakdah said...

Your plants seem to be doing well..... kangkung and all... my kangkung still at daun bercabang early stage... :)

Mr. H. said...

It sure does take a lot of time/years to figure it all out doesn't it, I still struggle to get Asian greens to do well in our garden...but it is worth effort because I enjoy them so. I think perhaps our best hot and cold weather plant is parsley...nothing seems to bother it.

That is a rather strange looking flower.

Makarimi Abdullah said...

Your veggies looks so happy at your garden. So lucky you ;)

~TastyTravels~ said...

I love your Asian green variety! Last year my gai lan didn't do well. I'm going to try again this spring. Baby bok choy did fantastic last year. I couldn't get enough. I really wish you could get seeds shipped to you. University of Hawaii's seeds are especially bred for warm weather.

miruku said...

I threw more Komatsuna seeds to the raised bed and they all germinated and growing well and fast! This is a new type of veggie to my garden and i'm a little confused. Is Komatsuna =小松菜? But it looks more like 春菊?

Kat said...

I've only had kale and silverbeet growing over summer, not much else does well, I grew beetroot for the leaves though and it did ok in the hot weather. Where do you get kangkung seeds from?

Anonymous said...

Last year I tried growing some Asian greens, but slugs love them, like Mark said. It is impossible to get any harvest because damage is so big. Now I'm thinking to grow it as a bait for slugs, so they leave my lettuce alone.
Kale and chard are my all-year veggies that are growing great both in summer and in winter.

littlekarstar said...

I love kangkung! I can never get Asian vegies to grow without attack by caterpillars and snails! Yours look so healthy!!

Hughbert said...

Holly: You can ship seeds to Australia, they just have to be on the AQIS permitted seeds list (very long list) - and cleanly presented and clearly labelled. Enter a scientific name in this site to find out: http://www.aqis.gov.au/icon32/asp/ex_querycontent.asp

My favourite easy greens:
Wild rocket (goes crazy on no water, you just have to contain it)
Sea beet (a perennial clumping spinach/silverbeet - sold as 'perpetual spinach'), also doesn't need much water to be prolific, but doesn't spread far

On the weekend I saw a seedling for sale at the nursery named 'Baby Spinach' listed as a perennial... not sure what that is, since I thought baby spinach was just young leaves of regular spinach.

One I would love to get hold of is perennial kale. It is available in Europe, but since it is usually propagated by division or cutting, seeds aren't available online that I can find.

Asian veggies are great but I find seed saving is difficult as they can hybridise so easily. Makes it less practical for letting plants self seed. As you can probably tell I am one of those lazy gardeners!

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Unknown said...

I don't know any Asian green variety, but it look very nice.

CathJ said...

Looks very fresh.. I tried to plant my own 'mei qing choi' few months ago but sad the vege turn hard.. don't know what is wrong..

meemsnyc said...

I love asian greens! I have to grow more this year!

Autumn Belle said...

You are really good at growing veges. I purchased some sawi seeds at Floria 2010 but didn't know that seeds has expiry dates too. When I got home, I found that it was dated 2008 and 2009! Those seeds never germinated, so I still don't know what sawi seedlings look like, :(

Sue Garrett said...

Quite a few things I don't recognise here but must admit we haven't grown much in the way of Asian leaves as they have either been nibbled ny flea beetle or bolted - I'm hoping the seed that you sent me will convince me to try more

James David said...

so many nice green vegetables.
Truly they are nice and quick fix for salads and healthy dish.
I often have kangkung for nasi lemak. They are delicious.

Malar said...

kangkung is really easy growing plant i guess! I have harvested them many times but they keep growing!
Your asian green vegetables look lush! Happy harvesting them soon!

Stephanie said...

With temperature fluctuating... I am sure those kangkung won't do well. Some of my plants are suffering from the inconsistent weather. Some of my plants just become 'dull' looking when the rain prolongs. When the sun is back consistently... their leaves turn greener and even glows hehe...

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mark~ Yes, slug really likes them and they can finished it of in just one night. I have this problem only during autumn and winter with snail and slug. I used orange peel sometime in container to collect them in the morning.

Rainfield61~ Bees seem happy with this yellow flower.

Veggie gnome~ The heat can be a bit of problem scorching the leaves but we make sure that it receive only the morning sun during summer.

Bangchik~ Kangkung once establish in tanahair it will swamp the growing area very quick;-).

Mr. H~ I hope this year will be a good Asian Leaf vegetable harvest for you. The leafy one for us is a bit tricky in the cooler season have to sow many of them as half will be sacrifice for pest.

Orchid de dangau~ They are starting to look very happy after the weather cools down for them to bounce back.

Holly~ I will certainly know where to get some warm weather seeds now when I live outside OZ. Thank you for the introduction. Many interesting variety of seeds I would like to try someday.

Milka ~ I am starting to get a bit worried about those batch of komatsuna seeds now.

Kat~ I have not try growing beetroot yet but it is one of the seeds I want to buy this autumn. I bought kangkung seeds from Eden seeds.

Ana~ I heard some gardener used Asian green as bait. That sounds like a good plan to try this coming growing season.

Mrs. Bok~We were lucky that the pest did not seem interested with the kangkung anymore. When we grow them in mid-spring they were attack a bit. But it stopped.

Hughbert~ Thanks a heap for the informations. It helps a lot. Yes, it is a bit tricky to save brassica seeds. But this summer the brassica seed pods were empty not doing well.

Masayuki~Thank you for visiting and I will visit your blog.

Ellada~ It is very fast growing and you can harvest even when they are very small.

CathJ~I am not sure what when wrong. Was it really hot that time when you were growing Mei Qing Choi?

Meemsnyc~ They don't take much space so it is easy to plant more of them. As they can be planted inter-cropping with other plant.

Autumn Belle~ Oh my. They should not sell something that has expired. I used expired seeds before and it did germinate. Some gardener store their seeds in the fridge to prolong the seeds viability to sprout.

Sue~ Maybe you can interplant them with onion to keep the pest away.

James~ I have never tried kangkung with nasi lemak but it does sound delicious. I should try.

Malar~How long does it takes to grow kangkung to wait for the flower?

Stephanie~Every gardener headache with inconsistent weather.