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helenjp

Growing Japanese food plants & herbs

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I posted this on General Food Topics, but here it is again...

Do you have any questions about growing Japanese food plants - herbs, vegetables, fruits in containers or gardens?

I'm doing a project on writing up information about Japanese plants in English with my local university horticulture department, eager to hear which plants people outside Japan are interested in growing.

So ask away! You may see some of them responding directly on this forum, and I'll collate other responses and post them. :smile:

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what can I do to keep the bugs away from my shiso plants?????


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I recently planted garlic cloves into a windowsill container which also had miniature pansies, chives and parlsley...........does the garlic prefer sandier, drier soil than its roommates? Do I ned to replant them to get happy shoots?


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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What advice would you have for someone trying to grow shiso, both outdoors or in a green house, in North America (Ontario, Canada)?


-- Jason

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I posted this on General Food Topics, but here it is again...

Do you have any questions about growing Japanese food plants - herbs, vegetables, fruits in containers or gardens?

I'm doing a project on writing up information about Japanese plants in English with my local university horticulture department, eager to hear which plants people outside Japan are interested in growing.

So ask away! You may see some of them responding directly on this forum, and I'll collate other responses and post them.  :smile:

My Mum, who lives in London (UK), has successfully grown the following Japanese vegetables and herbs in her garden:

shiso (green and red varieties)

sansho

myoga

nilla

gobo (in stacked up old tyres)

She was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society for many years and got her first cutting (illicitly) from the RHS gardens in Wisley, Surrey!

I felt spoilt when I lived in the UK 'cos the cost of fresh shiso leaves in Japanese shops is extraordinary.

Foodie Penguin

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Also for the UK?

Also how to grow Burdock (gobo), and when is the correct time to harvest it? Before flowering or in the winter?

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Two students assigned to each of the Burdock and Shiso topics, will add your queries to their topics. They're fascinated by the level of interest in traditional Japanese food plants!

Susan, I'd like to use your garlic-in-containers query as a demo question for next week's class...do you want to grow garlic just for the mature cloves, or are you more interested in cropping the flower stems and buds?

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Hello all, I hope you don't mind me sharring my experiences of trying to grow things here in the Northwest US (Washington State). For one thing, I was surprised as to how long it took my shiso seeds to germinate. It seemed like months.

At one time I had both red and green shiso but they seemed to have combined into a hybrid which I have become fond of. Currently, my shiso has gone into seeds. Every year it takes over more and more territory. My problem is when I get the bumper crop of shiso, I don't know what to do with it all.

This is my first year of having Nira (garlic chives). Hopefully, it will winter over and I will have it next year.

I have not had much sucess with Japanese eggplants as our growing season is probably not warm enough and too short.

I seem to do well with Japanese cucumbers. Out of 5 plants, I got 1 - 2 cucumbers a week from mid-August though September.

Admitedly, I am not the best gardener. I often lose much of my crop because of inconsistent caretaking. We also have slugs here (something that looks like large snails without shells). Anyway, it is the grand experiment here. Sincerely, White Lotus

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I grew up in Southern California, in the East San Gabriel Valley, and my mom and grandparents both grew shiso. Once we got it planted, it grew like a weed, no special handling.

My grandfather also has fuyu kake and pomegranate trees in his backyard, and grows sato imo and nasubi in his garden.


Edited by MomOfLittleFoodies (log)

Cheryl

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Susan, I'd like to use your garlic-in-containers query as a demo question for next week's class...do you want to grow garlic just for the mature cloves, or are you more interested in cropping the flower stems and buds?

I plan to use the garlic shoots in scrambled eggs, as garnish and in pork dumplings.........I didn't plant enough to last me throughout the winter for mature cloves!! :biggrin:


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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Also for the UK?

Also how to grow Burdock (gobo), and when is the correct time to harvest it? Before flowering or in the winter?

How much of a difference is there between the Japanese cultivated burdock (A. lappa) and the wild North American one (A. minus)?

(Lots of info about Burdock here: http://www.wholehealthmd.com/refshelf/food...523,235,00.html)


-- Jason

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Being able to grow burdock root here in the UK would come in handy. They sell it for (I kid you not) £7-9 (close to 14 dollars!) for two less than 10 inch sticks!

No way, I'm making Kimpira Gobo at that price.

My mother grows shiso in Chicago, Illinois as well as japanese cucumbers and nira in her garden. Both grow like weeds, with very little maintenance. But I have no idea what it was like when she started it up. I'll ask her, although those things have been growing now for over 30 years now!

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Hello all, I'm correcting papers now, so the answers will be posted soon...

Here are replies to some of the later questions though:

White lotus, although there is a type of shiso which has green leaves with red undersides, if you leave red shiso to seed itself, you will get more and more plants with green in the leaves with each generation...unless you care to save seed from particularly intensely colored red-leaved plants.

Sansho...you can get leaves by simply sticking a freshly cut chunk of twig/branch in a flowerpot - bunches of leaves will sprout directly from the trunk. Inelegant, but handy.

Wasabi...there's a related question under Asian Vegetables on the GardenWeb forum. It can be grown in soil.

Citrus - not hard to grow from seed, but you may have a long wait for fruit. If you are in a cool climate, you may get a sturdier plant which fruits faster if you grow your seedling for a year, then cut if off and graft the top to a rootstock such as citrus trifoliata.

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I posted this on General Food Topics, but here it is again...

Do you have any questions about growing Japanese food plants - herbs, vegetables, fruits in containers or gardens?

I'm doing a project on writing up information about Japanese plants in English with my local university horticulture department, eager to hear which plants people outside Japan are interested in growing.

So ask away! You may see some of them responding directly on this forum, and I'll collate other responses and post them.  :smile:

My question does not exactly fit your criteria (I am not outside Japan), so please forgive me. I would like to start an herb garden in containers, and I need some advice on where to buy very young plants here in Tokyo. My neighborhood nursery does not carry shiso, for example. Is there a wholesale market for plants here in Tokyo?

Any direction you can send me will help. Thanks.


If it sounds good, it IS good!- Duke Ellington

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I posted this on General Food Topics, but here it is again...

Do you have any questions about growing Japanese food plants - herbs, vegetables, fruits in containers or gardens?

I'm doing a project on writing up information about Japanese plants in English with my local university horticulture department, eager to hear which plants people outside Japan are interested in growing.

So ask away! You may see some of them responding directly on this forum, and I'll collate other responses and post them.  :smile:

My question does not exactly fit your criteria (I am not outside Japan), so please forgive me. I would like to start an herb garden in containers, and I need some advice on where to buy very young plants here in Tokyo. My neighborhood nursery does not carry shiso, for example. Is there a wholesale market for plants here in Tokyo?

Any direction you can send me will help. Thanks.

I have been looking too! for ten years.....

I would love to know of a place I could buy seedlings all year round.

I have come to the conclusion though that since these are really seasonal products we might just have to wait until their season. I see the herbs start to make an appearance in the nurseries around mid to late April with an early peak around Golden week, for te sturdier ones. The rest (like shiso, basil, etc) seem to peak in June and by August you will have a hard time finding anything again. Some sturdier herbs can be found sporadicly at different times of the year, this morning at a home center near my house I saw curly leaf parsley and I have bought rosemary and mint in the dead of winter.

You might have better luck with seeds, shiso doesn't take too long to grow.

Oh, and welcome to the Japan Forum! :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Im trying to grow Shiso, and am interested in Yomogi.

As for Shiso, i have the following concerns:

My Shiso was doing really well for awhile, but was recently discovered by the bugs and is now a disaster. So like Kristy, any suggestions??

I bought both a red shiso and a green shiso seedling: does anyone know the difference between these two varieties as far as flavor?

I live in a tropical climate (Hawaii) and because of this was told the red shiso may turn green, which it has almost completely. Thus, im concerned about what a tropical climate does to my plant's flavor.

Finally, about yomogi, I just want some to put into my mochi, but so far I havent found any at the grocery stores, thus I am considering just buying some seeds and growing it myself. Any suggestions on growing this plant?

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I have been looking too! for ten years.....

I would love to know of a place I could buy seedlings all year round.

I have come to the conclusion though that since these are really seasonal products we might just have to wait until their season. I see the herbs start to make an appearance in the nurseries around mid to late April with an early peak around Golden week, for te sturdier ones. The rest (like shiso, basil, etc) seem to peak in June and by August you will have a hard time finding anything again. Some sturdier herbs can be found sporadicly at different times of the year, this morning at a home center near my house I saw curly leaf parsley and I have bought rosemary and mint in the dead of winter.

You might have better luck with seeds, shiso doesn't take too long to grow.

Oh, and welcome to the Japan Forum! :biggrin:

Thank you Torakris! I'm pleased to be here.

I'll wait impatiently for springtime, and will look for seeds meantime, and maybe pick up some rosemary and mint, and parsely if I'm lucky, too. I have started some little guys from Kobocha seeds, knowing that squash plants are the very easiest to get going. While the Kobocha are still in season, I'm saving more seeds from the best tasting to plant after winter. I haven't really looked for commercial seeds. Are they easy enough to find in the neighborhood shops?

Another thought: The "Market Guide" brochure I picked up in Tsukiji shows wholesale flower markets at Itabashi, Kita-Adachi, Kasai, Ota, and Setagaya. Have you explored any of these for living (rather than cut) plants? Might be interesting....


If it sounds good, it IS good!- Duke Ellington

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I have been bee to a couple wholesale flower markets in my neck of the woods (Yokohama) and they tend to be just flowers all year round..... :angry: This summer I did find blackberry bushes and a fig tree though but no herbs.

Seeds can be found almost anywhere, any home center should carry them and They are also at most supermarkets and drug stores in my area. The prices are quite high though often in the 300 ~ 400 yen range ($3-$4) for a small bag. I have started having my dad send seeds from the US.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I was able to find a yuzu tree at a Japanese nursery near me.

yuzutree.jpg

yuzucloseup.jpg

helenjp, thank you for your other responses. The nurseryman said that yuzu trees drop their leaves and I can stimulate growth and fruiting in spring by scratching the surface of the soil and adding mulch. I'll probably move it into a slightly larger pot as well. Does this sound right? Any other tips? Thanks.

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FOODZEALOT!!! Have you tried any of the fruit yet? Is it really suitably Yuzu-like? I always wondered if you could grow Yuzu indoors (although in LA you would be able to do it outdoors) and if it would taste the same as the ones in Japan.

very exciting find of yours!

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Akiko, it's close, but not quite as fragrant than I was hoping for - I'm guessing it's because they're beyond ready to come off the tree. The rind of the fruit is a bit spongy. My first project is to make some fresh yuzukosho and compare it to two different brands I found at the market.

I thought only kefir lime had the double leaf, but clearly this does as well. I bit a leaf to see if it had flavor, and it does, but not as pronounced as kefir lime. I might throw a few leaves in soup as an experiment.

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Akiko, it's close, but not quite as fragrant than I was hoping for - I'm guessing it's because they're beyond ready to come off the tree.  The rind of the fruit is a bit spongy.  My first project is to make some fresh yuzukosho and compare it to two different brands I found at the market.

I thought only kefir lime had the double leaf, but clearly this does as well.  I bit a leaf to see if it had flavor, and it does, but not as pronounced as kefir lime.  I might throw a few leaves in soup as an experiment.

Definitely let us know hoe the yuzu-koshou making goes!!

I have a yuzu tree in my backyard (along with a kinkan-kumquat and sudachi) and it only gave me one fruit this year. :angry: my son pulled it off this morning, thankfully it was perfectly ripe. Last year he pulled off all 10 or so I had when they were still green and golf ball sized....

The really odd thing is my leaves aren't the double leaf kind like yours in the picture, I wonder why?


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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