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helenjp

Growing Japanese food plants & herbs

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just now lookin back at your pictures, the whole tree doesn't look double leafed, is it just the part near the fruit?

I went and looked at my tree and couldn't find any double leaves but the branch where the fruit was seems to have been torn from the tree.... :blink:

and the actual yuzu fruit that my son pulled off yesterday has scuff marks all over it from where my son and his friend were rolling it on the ground and throwing it around before I realized that my son doesn't have any little yellow balls...


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I have several Japanese varieties up in Southern Canada growing during the summer - Kabocha,Mibuna,Mizuna,Shiso (green and red),Komatsuna,Nira,Daikon,Ichrii Eggplant et al-

This year I added Mitsuba (Parsley) to the line-up.....it seemed to prefer shade and cooler temperatures...bolted quicker than shiso in fact...any hints on Mitsuba's "natural" way of growing in Japan....and also what it is used in for cooking....no one in this part of the world had a clue.....one visitor said it is used in a custard they thought.....

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In Japan, we have this well-known phrase:

Momo kuri 3 nen, kaki 8 yen

Translation: Peach and chestnut 3 years, perssimon 8 years.

Today, I realized that this phrase is followed by

yuzu no oobaka 18 nen

Translation: Great fool, yuzu, 18 years

This means that a yuzu seedling takes 18 years to bear fruit.

from here

http://www.technosj.co.jp/Column/Back_number/back0048.htm

(Japanese only)

So, my question is: How long does it take for a yuzu seedling to bear fruit?

Edit to add:

Helen already stated in post #15, as follows:

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.

But, exactly how long??


Edited by Hiroyuki (log)

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This means that a yuzu seedling takes 18 years to bear fruit.

from here

http://www.technosj.co.jp/Column/Back_number/back0048.htm

(Japanese only)

So, my question is:  How long does it take for a yuzu seedling to bear fruit?

Hmmm....Food Zealot's "Yuzu" tree doesn't look 18 years old......sighh.......

I....can....be....patient........ :sad:

For those of you who don't know, I love yuzu juice, but don't want to pay the exhorbitant price...and bought some seeds to grow my own......

From the Yuzu thread:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=54836

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I called my father tonight, who grows yuzu and other citrus fruits, and asked him about yuzu. He told me that it took his yuzu tree three years to bear fruit. He says that the seedlings sold at shops are grafted ones and so they won't take 18 years to bear fruit.

Am I right, Helen?


Edited by Hiroyuki (log)

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I have black thumb, and no plant has survived more than a month in my care except orchids, which seem to thrive on neglect.

But after moving to Finland, I'm getting desperate. There are few fresh Japanese vegetables and herbs here, not even green onions. I live in an apartment with a tiny balcony and lots of windows, but it is cold and there's only a few hours of weak daylight.

What can I grow? I'd love shiso, mitsuba, kinome, etc., but I don't even know where I can get seeds since I don't read Finnish. Is there some kind of indoor greenhouse or mini hydroponic system I can get?

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I have black thumb, and no plant has survived more than a month in my care except orchids, which seem to thrive on neglect.

But after moving to Finland, I'm getting desperate. There are few fresh Japanese vegetables and herbs here, not even green onions. I live in an apartment with a tiny balcony and lots of windows, but it is cold and there's only a few hours of weak daylight.

What can I grow? I'd love shiso, mitsuba, kinome, etc., but I don't even know where I can get seeds since I don't read Finnish. Is there some kind of indoor greenhouse or mini hydroponic system I can get?

here is a UK based nursery that ships all over Europe:

http://www.nickys-nursery.co.uk/seeds/pages/altsal.htm

this link will take you to their oriental seed pages, I didn't browse all 3 pages but they do have shiso (both green and red).

The yuzu,that you mentioned looking for in another thread, could be harder to find..)

And welcome to eGullet and the Japan forum!


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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A while ago, I bought and planted some Camellia sinesis seeds: these are the Camellia that are the actual green tea plant, I am told.

The first time I planted these seeds was about a year ago, in LA (grown on a windowsill in my office - on the same side of the buidling that the flowering Camellia outside were thriving). My seeds germinated and got to about 4-6 inches tall, very nice looking. Then I left (came back to Hawaii) and left them in the care of my friend (who is supposed to have a green thumb). Well, by the time I visited again a few months later, they were all dead- dried up and brown.

Wel, this is my second try. My new Camellia have finally germinated and are about 1 inch tall right now.

Does anyone ave any experience with growing Camellia from seeds (the tea or the ornamental plant)? I don't want them to dry up and die like last time!

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Oooh, can't believe how behind I am with these replies...

Susan, about your garlic...

Garlic likes soil that holds moisture but which also drains well. This means that the soil should include some organic material such as compost or humus. Garlic is a greedy plant, so the organic material provides both moisture and nutrients. The container should not be TOO shallow, or the greedy garlic will suck up the water too fast. If you already have plants in the container where you planted the garlic, try mulching the soil lightly to improve it.

Garlic likes very slightly alkaline soil, so it will grow nicely with parsely and chives. However, it may not be happy in the slightly acid soil which pansies prefer.

As you know, garlic likes a long growing season. If you live in a cold area, Spetember or Ocrober is a good time to plant garlic, but in a warm area, you can plant garlic until winter (probably even now). Garlic needs to experience low temperatures in order to create new bulblets -- otherwise the original bulb will simply get fatter, without making a new "bulb" of garlic. If you grow garlic indoors, it may not get cold enough for the bulblets to form.

Garlic only needs slightly moist soil over winter and spring, but will appreciate more moisture as it grows - at this stage it will grow well with other leafy herbs. However, when the mature bulb begins to ripen, the moist surroundings created by the leafier herbs may cause the bulb to get moldy. Of course, if you just want to trim the shoots, that won't be a problem. If you intend to harvest the bulb, wait till the lower leaves are brown, and let the harvested bulb dry for a few weeks before you use it.

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Mitsuba and shiso... from my students

Mitsuba is one variety of Japanese parsely, and there is only the one variety. However, from the point of view of cultivation, we can cultivate it as root Mitsuba, blue Mitsuba, and cutting Mitsuba (the most common variety).

When cultivating it at home you should raise it in light shade, because if you raise it in full sun, the leaves will grow too stiff.

Shiso

It is best to manage the temperature at about twenty degrees (celsius - 68deg.F) in order to grow perilla well. If the minimum and maximum temperature vary widely, seed pods will develop and the leaves will not continue to grow. Since perilla is susceptible to wet soil, well drained soil is best. A mixture of crumbly clay loam (akadama-tsuchi) and leaf mold (fuyoudo) is good. Once the seedlings have two mature leaves, make sure they get sun and warmth. Harvest leaves from the bottom up, as new leaves will grow from the top. From the end of August or so, flowers will bloom. If you grow perilla as mentioned above, it will grow perfectly!

One thing to note is that grassy, leafy annual herbs hate to be transplanted. They will either die, or promptly set seed -- so make a seed bed right where you plan to grow them, and thin the seedlings if necessary. If you do happen to find seedlings, you should probably avoid them and buy seeds instead.

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Gobo/burdock

Sorry, can't comment on differences between Japanese and Nth American varieties.

From my students...

Gobo varieties are takinogawa, hagi, oura, echizen, shironohagi, watanabe, and yamada shiroguki etc.

Takinogawa, yamada, and watanabe etc. have slender long roots and red petioles. These long-rooted gobo are difficult to cultivate. Oura, hagi and echizen shiroguki have thicker and shorter roots. The Hagi group includes Hagi and Hyakunichishaku. They are easier to cultivate than long-rooted gobo.

You can get a catalog from Kitazawa seedsKitazawa seeds. The catalog isn't flashy and the seeds are a bit expensive.

Gobo will need about 4-5 months to harvest (depending on when you sowed the seed - up to 6 months if you sowed seed in autumn for early summer harvest). Early-maturing varieties have one disadvantage - they quickly become tough and webby inside.

Gobo is a determined feeder, and will do best in a clay soil, but that can make harvest even more difficult, so it is often grown in quite sandy soil. It can be grown in plastic bags, which need only be cut open to harvest the roots.

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Wasabi

From my students

Wasabi is a very sensitive crop which is especially susceptible to the heat of summer. Therefore wasabi is suitable for a comparatively cool place, but not too cold. A good annual mean temperature is about 12-15C (55-60F). Moreover, wasabi is affected by the water quality. You should pay a lot of attention to the cultivation of wasabi.

Because it is difficult to raise swamp or hydroponic wasabi, I recommend growing soil-raised wasabi. Soil-raised wasabi is planted in soil with good drainage at intervals of 25cm. You must provide about 60% shade in summer. You sould apply oil cake and compound fertilizer in winter. If you live in a cold area, you must apply a mulch of straw in winter. Pests are controlled with DEP emulsion and dimethoate granules. Wasabi can be harvested around 18-24 months after planting.

In Japan, the Wasabi Federation in Shizuoka consigns wasabi seedling production to Hokkaido , where they are grown in greenhouses. This is because summers in Hokkaido are very cool. Greenhouse seedlings are started from test-tube cultures. This way, they can produce healthy seedlings which share the same genetic information, so they are uniform in shape and size. The advantage of greenhouse cultivation is that we can run nutrient-laden water regularly under the containers automatically, and shade the greenhouses with shadecloth. When the seedlings have grown sufficiently, they are returned to Shizuoka and raised in fields.

I think that wasabi cultivation is very difficult. I am praying for success in your cultivation of wasabi. The management of temperature and water is the most important thing. You will grow delicious wasabi if you do your best!

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Yuzu...this is a bit of a head-scratcher.

Yuzu is remarkably cold-hardy, and I imagine that this would make it a slow-maturing tree. (I think I wouldn't plant a yuzu outside if winter temperatures drop below zeroC (32F), however...).

Counteracting this, though, is the tendency of trees to mature faster when planted in containers. So my GUESS is that you might get lucky and have fruit from a non-grafted seedling around 5 years, but you might have to wait 10... and of course, that's going to depend on how happy it is in its container, location, and climate.

Some containers (such as concrete) will make the soil rather alkaline, but no citrus that I know of likes alkaline soil, so don't use a pre-limed potting mix, and don't use an ordinary old fertilizer - buy an acid-loving plants formula.

I come from a warm-winter climate, and I regularly kill plants by underestimating the dryness of Japanese winters...so I can't offer any guidance for raising a tender plant like a citrus in Japan or a North American climate!

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ff.

Shiso

It is best to manage the temperature at about twenty degrees (celsius - 68deg.F) in order to grow perilla well. If the minimum and maximum temperature vary widely, seed pods will develop and the leaves will not continue to grow. Since perilla is susceptible to wet soil, well drained soil is best. A mixture of crumbly clay loam (akadama-tsuchi) and leaf mold (fuyoudo) is good. Once the seedlings have two mature leaves, make sure they get sun and warmth. Harvest leaves from the bottom up, as new leaves will grow from the top. From the end of August or so, flowers will bloom. If you grow perilla as mentioned above, it will grow perfectly!

One thing to note is that grassy, leafy annual herbs hate to be transplanted. They will either die, or promptly set seed -- so make a seed bed right where you plan to grow them, and thin the seedlings if necessary. If you do happen to find seedlings, you should probably avoid them and buy seeds instead.

This helps me a lot!

I also bought shiso as seedlings and they quickly died no matter what I did, I am going to do them from seeds this year! :biggrin:


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I forgot to mention the bugs...too many factors to pinpoint, but 1) If plants are in poor health, bugs home in on them. With shiso, the most likely problem would be that they are too dry (especially if in containers). Also, hazarding a guess from my experience, shiso seems to like more sunshine than you might expect from their soft leaves...I grew some in light shade under an ume tree, and it wasn't happy at all.

2) Lack of ventilation - if plants are overcrowded or they are over-protected from wind, bugs seem to feel particularly at home!! However, shiso won't tolerate a LOT of wind.

3)Some other plant growing nearby is a bug haven, and the bugs just take a stroll over to the shiso from time to time...

Shiso seed is notoriously picky about germination conditions, and will not germinate well unless fresh (but packaged seed these days is vacuum packed, so that helps). If you get some growing, encourage it to self-seed every year.

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I forgot to mention the bugs...too many factors to pinpoint, but 1) If plants are in poor health, bugs home in on them. With shiso, the most likely problem would be that they are too dry (especially if in containers). Also, hazarding a guess from my experience, shiso seems to like more sunshine than you might expect from their soft leaves...I grew some in light shade under an ume tree, and it wasn't happy at all.

2) Lack of ventilation - if plants are overcrowded or they are over-protected from wind, bugs seem to feel particularly at home!! However, shiso won't tolerate a LOT of wind.

3)Some other plant growing nearby is a bug haven, and the bugs just take a stroll over to the shiso from time to time...

Shiso seed is notoriously picky about germination conditions, and will not germinate well unless fresh (but packaged seed these days is vacuum packed, so that helps). If you get some growing, encourage it to self-seed every year.

this was even more helpful!

I was planning a space next to a wall that has sort of limited sunlight, back to the drawing board for my garden plans....


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Natural Agriculture Question!

Does anyone reading this thread have any knowledge of which plants (crops or weeds!) may help the germination, growth and cropping of Japanese vegetables? Add 'prevent disease and pest attacks' to that list!

I am planning initially to grow Shiso, Daikon, Mizuna, Gobo, winter-dormant Nira, Shungiku. Mitsuba, Mioga, Naga-imo, Udo and Sansho. There is a lot of general advice about companion planting, green manures, cover crops etc but I have found nothing specific to Japanese or Chinese vegetables. Surely these practices have been trialed and perhaps are used, in Japan and China? I have been trying to find a contact in Natural Agriculture in Japan.....

Currently considering: buckwheat and Phacelia tanacetifolia, but suspect species native to Japan and China must exist and perform a better role.

Thanks for any advice you may have, otherwise I guess I'm the one who'll be doing the research :rolleyes:

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Interesting site, Torakris!

Robinjw13, I have never seen much about companion planting in Japanese (except for information which obviously came from western sources). I meant to ask my older students in class but forgot, sorry.

Here's a very interesting book about a midwestern agriculture academic's visit to Japan and China close to a century ago:

Farmers of Forty Centuries by F H King

online version of the same book

King has a lot to say about the use of green manure and returning non-harvested portions of crops to the soil as compost or ash, and also the use of river sludge and nightsoil, but I don't recall much about pest control.

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Robinjw13, I did a little googling of the Japanese terms most commonly used for companion planting, but found nothing of interest to you.

Apart from re-runs of English material on companion plants old roses, there doesn't seem to be a good understanding of what we know as companion planting.

One Japanese term used is so close to the word "symbiosis" that readers think of it as just another word for environmentally friendly agriculture which doesn't damage natural earth structure or disturb local insects etc.

Alternatively, the other word used is "mixed cropping", which only refers to planting crops with different growth heights/sunlight needs/growth periods.

I googled the various terms for each of your proposed crops, with terms for germination etc., and found no mention of plants which actively protect or promote the growth of other nearby plants.

As far as germination goes, I think the interest in natural agricultural circles here in Japan is focused more on microbe activity than on the effect of nearby plants.


Edited by helenjp (log)

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Thanks for that Helenjp, I too have been googling these terms for the last couple of weeks & there is certainly a wealth of material out there (e.g the SAN 210-page book on cover crops!) but nothing specific to Japan or Japanese vegetables.

I can surmise to an extent, using the families, plus I have a few non-farming Japanese friends who may know someone who knows..... Farmer Dave (earlier this thread) looks like he could be an expert. ??

It'll be fun finding out..... :biggrin:

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