This summer has been a wet and mild one, so it might be worthwhile jumping the queue for autumn planting by just a few weeks and popping in some Asian leafy greens. Think Mizuna, Mibuna, Mustard Greens (and the purple variety) and Kailaan, Wombok, Bok choy and tatsoi, to name just a few! They tend to be more tolerant of warmer climates, and have a wonderful tolerance to humidity. However it’s the flavour you grow these for, with the peppery edge to many of them adding some pep to your salads and some zing to your stir fries!
These can all be grown from seed or seedling, and to be honest, using both can be a great way ensuring a staggered harvest period over the next 4-5 months, with seedlings ready to eat in about 6 weeks, and seeds taking 8-12 weeks before harvest if cropping at full size. Seeds also allow you to over plant, and then thin out using the excess as microgreens.
To prepare the soil, loosen it with a spade and then rake to a fine tilth using a steel rake, breaking up in larger clods. Add some lime and some manure to your soil, then wait a week for all to settle in. Next, sow or plant your selection in the garden, watering them well as they start their journey to the kitchen. Make sure you position them in a sunny spot, mulch your plants to keep the soil moist (sugar cane mulch is perfect as it has heaps of nitrogen in it) and feed them every few weeks with a liquid plant food so they grow quickly and stay tender. Watch for cabbage moths and remove any caterpillars as soon as you see them. You can also inoculate the crop with Nature’s Bioinsecticide, known as Dipel or Bacillus thuringiensis, which is safe for bees and ladybirds.
It next to no time you’ll be savouring your own stir-fry and having a harvest high!
Read more about Asian Herbs and Spices https://edengardens.com.au/blogs/plants-101/asian-herbs-and-spices
By: Meredith Kirton