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newbie with growing asian veggies; loads of questions

Posted by kawaiineko_gardener 4, MI (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 11, 10 at 15:00

I'm familiar with asian vegetables, primarily vegetables that
are commonly used in Japanese cuisine. However I don't have experience cooking with them, nor have I have ever grown
any variety of asian vegetable.

As a result, I do have questions about a few varieties of
asian vegetables.

I've heard of long beans and wing beans; I know both are staples in thai cuisine. My question is that unless you get a hybrid, most beans are pole beans, meaning they need some sort of support to climb up as they grow. Now is this the case for yard long beans and winged beans? If so, are there any compact bush varieties of yard long beans and
and winged beans?

I also have questions about bitter gourd and winter melon.
Winter melon is traditionally used in Chinese cuisine to make some type of soup or it's stuffed with pork. Bitter gourd I know is commonly used in Japan. I know that in regards to growing patterns with western melons that unless you get a bush type (which are few and far between for watermelons and cantaloupe and I have yet to find a bush type for crenshaw and honeydew) they have lots of vines and need tons of space to grow. Now I know that a western melon and winter melons are different. However I don't have anything else to really go by. Are winter melon plants similar in their growth patterns? Do they take up a bunch of space and vine a bunch? If so are there any bush type varieties of winter melons?

I also have a question about burdock root. To my knowledge it's a root vegetable. In regards to growing it, could you use the same guidelines and soil type that you would for growing carrots?

Is there any asian vegetable site that offers the seed packets at a reasonable price and that has a low flat shipping rate?

I also have a question about growing kabocha squash from seed. It says on the kitazawa seed site (a site that specializes in Asian veggie and herb seeds) that kabocha takes 45-50 days to mature after flowering. Now is this the full maturing cycle from start to finish, or does it take more time than that until it flowers?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: newbie with growing asian veggies; loads of questions

i'm from the UK and am also new to growing chinese veg. i am currently growing for the first time MIZUNA, PAK CHOI, KAI LAN & PERILLA. The latter is a japanese herb, sometimes called japanese basil and is used in salads and pickles (i hope that is right). All these seeds germinated very easily and i've not had any probs growing these (they were sown indoors first and then put out in my greenhouse and now they're in my raised bed). the former are cropping very nicely and as MIZUNA leaves are cut n' come again, i've harvested 2 big bunches already from each plant..

i can only answer one of your questions and that is winter melon. this is a trailing plant that my mother used to grow in very big pots and they had v long stems that trailed all over her garden. she watered and fed them very regularly and she was pleasingly rewarded with the most ginormous fruits. i think they're called winter melon, as they were fairly hairy to touch, but inside was like spaghetti in the
middle and zillions of seeds.

there is an excellent book by an English writer, Joy Larkhom who wrote 'Oriental vegetables'. there's a US version of it available i believe.

good luck!

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