Kangkung is a perennial vine that belongs to the same group as morning glory so it is also known as water morning glory and same genus as sweet potato. As it is a semi-aquatic tropical plant, it thrives in very damp area like swamp or water-ways. In Malaysia, it is a very popular stir-fried with garlic, shallot, chilies and shrimp paste (belacan).
My memories of kangkung in my childhood was looking at my father favourite tortoise pet feeding on it. How nice to be young, I actually got time to gaze at how that tortoise eating it and how long does it take to finish it out of boredom. Hmm…in my teens, I always wonder why my mama keep the bottom stem root part and not throw it in the bin. Then saw her sticking the root in the soil. A few days later, some leaves appeared. She was growing kangkung this way. But I don’t spent too much in the garden, except reluctantly watering the plants like a shinkansen (bullet train). I wish that I-pod were invented that time so I don’t need to listen that the pots were not moist enough like my sisters. In college, I was surprised to find that kangkung were sold in Niigata (Japan) but only during summer. Niigata prefecture has the most ski resort places in Japan so several months of deep snow here. I was so excited about it I told my Japanese friend, they were shocked a young person like me like this veggie as not many Japanese people like it. No wonder it was cheap 100Japanese Yen a bunch. Lucky me, because I came to love this vegetables in my college years. Funny, when I tend to become home-sick, I appreciate this vegetable more. Maybe because of those memories.
Different stages of kangkung seedlings growth.
Kangkung leaves ready to be harvested. No need to harvest the whole leaves. But just cut some leaves that need to be used in the kitchen. Can you see some kangkung hollow stem that have been cut.
Kangkung grows well sharing container with leeks and chives.
When harvesting kangkung leaves make sure there are some leaves left at the bottom. It takes about 2~3 weeks for kangkung to grow and be ready for the next harvest (this will also depend on the environmental factor such as temperature at your place). I presume in tropical areas it will grow much faster. This is growing in Mediterranean climate.
Today harvest, after I have cleared up two containers that were growing kangkung and some leeks too from one of the container.