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helenjp

Growing Japanese food plants & herbs

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Sounds like damping off to me.

Good hints here.

Try a less nutritious seedling mix such as peat moss and sand/perlite, or a commercial seedling mix - texture is more important than nutrition at this point.

Yuzu should be perfectly OK with minimum temperatures where you are.

Good luck - sorry not to be more useful, as I'm very far from an expert.

P.S. What season was it when you put the seedlings outside? It may have been too cold...seedlings are more likely to drop their leaves in a cold wind than mature trees...but "browning" rather than yellowing still makes me think of some kind of microbial rot.

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My Komatsuna has sprouted. Having had shoulder surgery last month, I haven't been able to do as much in my garden as I had hoped. May get a few more things planted but hot weather is coming on fast.

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Lisa,

I wonder if your seedlings are in full sun? If they are, light shade cloth, or better, yet, a place where they only get sun for a few hours in the morning with afternoon shade, might be helpful.

Citrus evolved as understorey trees in semi-tropical, moist sub-montane areas. They then spread to various parts of the world, where certain lemon/orange types etc. may have become selected for hotter, drier climates. Yuzu, from Japan, probably lacks those adaptations.

You can also write to : gwright@ag.arizona.edu

He is the Citrus Specialist at the Arizona Citrus Center.

Dr. Glenn C. Wright,

Associate Research Scientist and Editor

University of Arizona

Yuma Mesa Agriculture Center

2186 W. County 15th Street

Somerton, AZ 85350

Phone: (928) 726-0458

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I'm trying a small scale shiitake growing experiment and am wondering whether there is an ideal time (size) to harvest the mushrooms. I've harvested one a little earlier than I thought ideal and one after spores were shed--a bit later than I guessed. Both had outstanding flavor, so unless someone has more information for me, I'm concluding that it doesn't make a whole lot of difference (as long as you don't wait TOO long...).


Carlo A. Balistrieri

The Gardens at Turtle Point

Tuxedo Park, NY

BotanicalGardening.com and its BG Blog

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Lisa,

I wonder if your seedlings are in full sun? If they are, light shade cloth, or better, yet, a place where they only get sun for a few hours in the morning with afternoon shade, might be helpful.

Citrus evolved as understorey trees in semi-tropical, moist sub-montane areas. They then spread to various parts of the world, where certain lemon/orange types etc. may have become selected for hotter, drier climates. Yuzu, from Japan, probably lacks those adaptations.

You can also write to : gwright@ag.arizona.edu

He is the Citrus Specialist at the Arizona Citrus Center.

Dr. Glenn C. Wright,

Associate Research Scientist and Editor

University of Arizona

Yuma Mesa Agriculture Center

2186 W. County 15th Street

Somerton, AZ 85350

Phone: (928) 726-0458

Thank you so much, we started covering the plants and they are doing much better!

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Glad that you are happy; always very nice when classroom theory actually serves someone with a real problem. Now, the nex step is to keep an eye out for spidermites that thrive in low humidity. Just be aware and wipe them off with a Q-tip and a VERY very dilute Ivory soap solution [to not injure the plant].

The gnats by themsleves are pretty neutral, they just feed & multiply on the peat moss & other organic matter in the planting mix and do nothing to the plant. The thing to be very careful with manure is much of it comes from feedlot steers or dairy cows that are fed enriched diets with added salts. The end product, combine dwith your high pH soil, and mineral rich water, may have too many salts accumulating.

Two things may slowly start to happen. One is a yellowing, especially in the areas between the veins. That is called chlorosis, the inability of the plant to manufacture new photosynthetic pigments like chlorophyll because it cannot pull out the right types & amounts of iron & magnesium molecules from the soil. There are enough of these, just that they remain unavailable to the roots. We use chelates, translated as "claws" a chemical form of vinegar or acetic acid with a cage-like structure carrying iron or magnesium molecules in their center that is placed in that very alkaline soil. The roots suck in those tiny little vinegary cages and break them down, accessing the metals they have been carrying.

Another method is to sprinkle pure SULFUR, which makes the soil acid, or use Azalea/Rhododendron fertilizer, created to acidify soils, i.e. just Ammonium Sulfate will suffice.

You need not worry about these just yet. Just be aware, so that if things ever start showing up, you do not panic.

We have excellent Cooperative Extension Services everywhere! God Bless America!! They have Master Gardener Programs, where a Master Gardener is on hand to advise community members how to take care of their unhappy plants. Experts are present as back-up, all the way to super-specialists such as the one I wrote you about. Nowhere else are scientists of such competence available with a mere phone call to every member of our great country, every single person, citizen or not. Sorry to write all this, but i am so proud of the US ag research community who get so little credit for keeping the global economy [you read that right] humming!!

Please keep a close eye on the seedlings. As Helen-san has cautioned, various fungi can attack stems/leaves: they are the soft-rotters, attacking a specific portion of the cell walls, causing brown lesions we call damping off and other things: Pythium & Phytopthora, but the names do not matter, just being aware that these crop up very fast by the time our eyes can see them. There are effective chemicals by BAYER and others, that are absorbed through the roots. No time to go "organic", because many organic prophylactics are remarkably toxic without proportionate effectiveness, and that whole philosophy, when blindly pursued as IDEALOGY, appalls me.

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I hear what you are saying there about toxicity, and sometimes think that the best thing I can do is to keep adding plenty of mature compost to the soil, to help it "detoxify" as efficiently as possible by itself. Mineral compounds that don't break down easily are a problem though, and it horrifies me that soil takes so long to revive if it once gets past the point of self-maintenance.

Regarding shiitake: we had a shiitake farm nearby (guy retired to concentrate on exotic fowl)...while the shiitake that they sold to wholesalers were the larger ones, they sold the tiny ones at the gate - once the cap is open, I assume it's not going to get much bigger. I liked them, because they were small enough to toss whole into all kinds of dishes.

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Although not from seeds, but I have yuzu tree that is producing finally in my Silicon Valley area backyard full of other fruit trees. I had a heck of a time trying to locate this tree (now I can't even remember where I ordered), but I planted the tree about 2-3 seasons ago. I figured it would do well here because I have Meyers lemon, Bearss/Tahitian lime, mandarin oranges, Eureka lime and calamansi growing really well.

From seeds, I was able to get enough vines from Japanese kyoho (is that the name? now I can't remember :sad:) which produces really well here.

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Yes, Kyoho is the name of a variety, 巨峰 in kanji. Kyoho is said the king of grapes in Japan. My father grows it along with other varieties.

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Cheeko-san,

Just to complete a line of thought begun in the last post to you:

Regarding differing patches of sunlight received in summer vs autumn/winter and how your boxes are situated, a number of vining vegetables can make your gardening experience aesthetically pleasing & rewarding food-wise, while keeping it fairly"Japanesë". In fact, your boxes could share space with more than 1 type of species, two per box, or more if the box is larger, affording you extra delight & insurance against pests/disease. For example:

Sword Bean (Canavalia ensiformis & spp): these resist bugs & pathogens more than most beans: Akanata Mame ; Shironata Mame --> Kitazawa

Winged Bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) #218

Oriental Melon (Cucumis melo) Ginkaku Hybrid

Hyacinth bean (Lablab purpureus) Akahana Fujimame #206 or Shirohana Fujimame #219

Yard Long Bean (Vigna sesquipedalis) Red Noodle #263 is a happy plant, and a single one occupying one corner of the box , the other corner holding the Tomato MEXICO MIDGET or TOMMY TOE is an excellent combination.

Mexico Midget is not small in plant size but dimunitive in fruit ize, yet delicious. It is a type that has naturalized in Flrida, and is perennial, or nearly so, coming back from roots/crown if nipped by frost. [or you could replant a whole fruit somewhere else]. The same can be said about Tommy Toe. Although it has not yet gotten this type of foothold, it is a superb tomato and fuss-free. Sandhill Preservation Center carries these, along with Sara Galapagos, which is a more unruly plant. Hawaiian Cherry is also something to think about. http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/catalog/tomato.html

The Sword bean & Hyacinth bean will grow strongly during the hot, humid summer & set fruit profusely when the peak heat is over. You can train them with streing to whereever you choose, and the flowers are decorative. The hyacinth bean flowers & leaves are edible.

Sandhill Preservation Center also sells heirloom Sweet Potatoes. Just to give you an idea of types:

Korean Purple: (Heirloom Variety) Early. Vining, dark green colored normal leaves, purple skin, white flesh, excellent yields, very sweet

Japanese: Early. Large, semi-bush, green colored ivy leaf, pink-red skin, pale

orange flesh, excellent yields

Okinawan: Very late. Pale lavender skin, purple flesh, dry flesh. These are not recommended for people who do not live in a very hot climate. [ i.e. These are great for Florida]

Purple: Early. Lots of vines, deep purple roots with purple flesh. [you can enjoy these leaves as an easy green vegatable, and the purple anthocyanin is supposd to be good for you like red cabbage]

Violetta: (Heirloom Variety) Early. Vining, bright purple skin, white flesh, superbly sweet, above average yields.

Heartogold: Early. Developed in 1947. Vigorous vines, huge yields of tan skinned, bright orange flesh potatoes.

Hernandez: Mid-season. Vigorous vines, dark orange skin, dark orange flesh. Tends to be very moist when cooked, above average yields.

Indiana Gold: (Heirloom Variety) Sent to us by Mark Jennete. A superb, golden skinned and orange fleshed, vigorous, yet tamed vines that set roots early.

http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/catalo...t_potatoes.html


Edited by v. gautam (log)

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Along with new basil plants, I'm thinking of growing some tomatoes. Do you think September is too late to start a tomato plant if I can still find them when I return?


Edited by prasantrin (log)

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Rona,

Re: Basil, here is my take on it. The issue is NEVER the temperature, 10C is 50-55F, good enough. The problems become LIGHT, fluence levels to be exact, and disease issues, brown rots on stems.

A 2-row ordinary tube light gives around 100 micromoles/sq.meters/second of photosynthetically useful light. This may be ok IF you grow the basil, GENOVESE style, i.e. in a flat, to a height of 6 inches, sown densely, and snipped at that height. That way you are growing in seedling flats pressed 2 inches away from the tubelight. Radiation decreases by the square of the distance away from source. I would also suggest some of the very small leaved basil varieties that are equally flavorful as the broadleaved ones. Less self-shading. I can find out the cultivar names for you, and I have some growing right now.

Never buy Grolux, but higher fluence level tubelights are available that put out 200 micromoles. They cost more to buy & to run. So think about total costs & the value of your basil to you. In America, we joke about the $10 home grown tomato!!

Bottom line: seedling flat, 2-3 inches of potting MIX similar to PROMIX INDOOR, i.e spaghnum peat, NEVER COCONUT FIBER, coarse perlite, coarse vermiculite, etc.

Sow a small flat then when seedlings out, sow another, snip the first when they are 6-8 inches. Best flavor that way too. Seeds are $17-18/lb, will last decades!! Stokes, and ask me more.

OK, now about Tomatoes: When does frost come where you will be living, CAN or Japan? If Canada, where? If Japan, then when is first frost date? Canada is a probable NO outdoors.

In Japan, cherry tomato is a maybe. The indoor cherry tomatoes [dwarfs] are not all that fantastic tasting, but they can be grown easily & fruited under light. The question is, arre they worth the bother? Anyway, Red Robin is one of the better ones, and Pixie Hybrid II from Burpee.

Coming back to the outdoor tomatoes: from germination, depending upon sunlight & adequate degree days [appropriate warmth, remember you are entering a cycle of cooling nights], 60 days will see the first ripe fruit from SUNGOLD, a very good tomato. The problem is, had you been down south in the warmer part of Japan e.g. Okinawa, then you could have enjoyed the long harvest promised by the indeterminate growth habit of this variety.

Otherwise, you may pick a few ripe fruit and then have the plant cut down by frost. Colder weather also spoils the flavor of these excellent tomatoes & ripening is retarded when night temperatures fall below 55F. You may, of course, erect shelters and other cloche-like devices to extend the growing season by a month or even 6 weeks, but the issues are expense, expertise, hassle, etc. If you can get your students to undertake all of these things as a valuable learning project without cost to you, I should be glad to take them step by step through what needs to be done to extend the season outdoors.

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Hi,

I'm very new to Japanese herbs, and started to plan some last year. I live in Germany, south, the winters are usually rather cold.

I had last year great experiences with green shiso(but after I put the seeds for 1 week in refrigerator, otherwise they wouldn't sprout at all) red shiso didn't grow at all. Mizuna was great also mitsuba, I could even overwinter it(I hope this is the right word..., sorry about my English).

My question: I had some yomogi seeds last year, these didn't sprout at all...Any idea why??

Thank you!

I also bought a small myoga seedling, this died in late summer.I have read, herbs like to stay at same place, it this true for all herbs?

I have a small amacha (sweet tea plant) too, now it is yellowing a bit...

Here on my blog are pictures and already translated post about my herbs:http://wagashi-net.de/blog/wagashimaniac/2010/05/japanische-kraeuter/

Thank you!

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I'm interested to hear advice about red shiso as well. I put some seeds into a pot a couple of weeks ago and just have baby sprouts right now. I'd like to keep them happy so I can replicate bun cha and other applications for this herb.

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It has been very rainy and unseasonably cold in California so we are running late. We also have a cooler micro-climate at my house. Ordinarily I would have had this done at least two weeks ago or more but at least the garden is nearly done planting.

Yesterday I planted Komatsuna, mizuna, shungiko, Japanese turnips, gobo, and Japanese leeks. Looking forward to the harvest.

Of course we have the usual American vegetables, too. Tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, sugar snap and snow peas, carrots, beets, radish, many herbs, etc.

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I am visiting LA and will do some shopping in little Tokyo Tuesday. Does anyone know if I can find seeds etc there. If not, where can I find them? I am staying just off Pico and Beverwill. Please enclose an address so my GPS can tell me where to go.

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I neglected to mention yesterday that I'm trying to start a Japanese yam. Only the second time I have found them in my favorite store. I hope they haven't been treated to prevent sprouting. Will keep you all updated as to my success.

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It looks like the potato is starting to sprout. I'm surprised but happy.

The mizuna is popping up like crazy and the turnips have sprouted a few. Happy!

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I planted a sansho tree this year. But I am still confused about the difference between hana zansho, mi zansho, and ha zansho. Are the the same species? Male and female? The one I planted was labeled asagura mi zansho.

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Same plant, different cultivars.

Mi-zanshou = Asakura sanshou and variations such as Budou sanshou. These are thornless, and the berries (fruits) are reputed to be particularly aromatic.Female trees harvested.

Ha-zanshou & Hana-zanshou = not Asakura cultivars. Have thorns. Male trees harvested.

Female (top) and male (bottom) photos.

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Thanks, makes more sense now. I was surprised how expensive harvested hana zansho is. The flower itself has a unique flavor which is quite nice.

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Edward, I've grown tulsi or holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) in my garden in the Bay Area. If you can grow Italian basil, you can grow holy basil. Have you searched online for it under its Latin name "Ocimum tenuiflorum" or "Ocimum sanctum"? Specialty nurseries may sell the plants. You can buy seeds online. The website Dave's Garden lists vendors.

http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/930/

 

Horton Spice Mills is selling culinary Italian basil. Holy basil is a specialty plant and not that readily available.

 

As far as I know, holy basil is usually associated with Southeast Asian cooking, not Japanese cooking. It has a spicy flavor. The plant is considered medicinal in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, but I wouldn't call it a drug in the conventional sense. It is an herb that is supposed to promote health and well-being. It's also popular in Thai stirfries, which is how I use it.

 


Edited by djyee100 (log)
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