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Chinese Vegetables: Cool-Season Varieties

Posted Apr 12 2010 10:00am

Chinese vegetables, sometimes called Oriental vegetables, favored in Chinese and Asian cooking are easy to grow. They are tasty, vigorous, and highly adaptable. Most are fast growing and suitable for small gardens and containers.


Chinese vegetables can generally be broken into three groups: those easy to grow in temperate regions with cool and cold winters, those that require higher temperatures and long-growing seasons--sub-tropical plants, and, finally, a small group of water vegetables, tubers, and herbs.


Like other vegetable crops, Chinese vegetables can be divided into warm-season and cool-season growing crops. Here are common cool-season Chinese vegetables. For warm-season varieties see the related article: Chinese Vegetables: Warm-Season Varieties


Cool-season Chinese vegetables:


Fava bean (Vicia faba). Also called broad bean. Young pods can be cooked as you would snow peas; young beans can be shelled and cooked; older beans can be shelled and cooked to make a puree or soup; dried beans can be cooked like navy beans. Sow in spring as soon as the soil can be worked; in warm-winter regions sow in fall for a spring crop. Sow 1 inch deep, 4 to 6 inches apart in rows 24 inches apart. For edible pods harvest as soon as pods begin to show outline of bean; for shelled beans allow beans to plump up; for dried beans harvest 65 to 90 days after sowing. Try varieties: Aquadulce, Broad Windsor, Precoce Violetto.


Chinese broccoli (Brassica oleracea Albogloabra Group). Also called white flowering broccoli. Traditional style cut the broccoli into 2-inch pieces and stir-fry for 1 minute. Also stir-fry or steam; leaves can be used in salad. Sow in early spring for late-spring crop. Sow ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart in rows 12 inches apart. Harvest 70 to 80 days after sowing. Try varieties: Thick Stem Winner, Blue Star, Hybrid Blue Wonder.

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