bwhite829
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mizuna and arugula

First off, let me first apologize about the onslaught of new threads by me. I just find this website more trustworthy than wikipedia or other websites that I might stumble across in research. Besides that, I have just become fascinated by gardening and have really started liking how relaxing it is to me. With that said, I've come across arugula and mizuna a few weeks ago in my search for what to grow for my 1st garden. It seems like these are good salad plants? Who has grown them and varieties of them? What do they taste like and how hardy are they? thanks for the info!

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digitS'
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I have grown both. You are on a wonderful path with this interest in leafy greens and especially those from Asia. There's another world out there!

I had mizuna in the garden again this spring and have grown it a number of times. It is quick and easy. The flea beetles bother it only a little. Along with mizuna Green Streak and Red Streak, these mustards are useful in salads.

Arugula is not a flavor favorite but DW likes it so I usually have it. Arugula is kind of a radish that doesn't make much of a root. Still, it doesn't quite have a radish flavor. I planted quite a bit of it with the last lettuce transplants. It must be hardier than lettuce and has taken repeated frosts with no sign of damage. I suspect this may be true of mizuna also but I don't remember having ever grown it late in the season. Both can go in with absolutely your earliest sowings in the spring.

Steve

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applestar
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Yep. Mizuna, I think, basically has mild spicy mustard flavor, but with the serrated/friséed leaves, looks very interesting in a salad. You can also use it alone or in mixed cooked greens -- I like them blanched, sauteed (not too cooked) or in soup.

Arugula seems to a an acquired taste. Some people love them (I do). Others, like my DH don't. For me, even the bruised leaves smell delicious. I wouldn't make an arugula-only salad, but mixed into green salad, finding a mouthful or a taste of arugula here and there make the whole salad experience much more exciting and enjoyable. :D

bwhite829
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I find I'm one of the few who don't prefer lettuce salads. I'd much rather have a nice, fresh cabbage, kale, or spinach salad than lettuce. Partly because the nutritional value is superior, although I just prefer the flavor of them.

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microcollie
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Just had to chime in...arugula is one of my favorites. The trick is to pick it when it's young, when it has a spicy, radish-like flavor, but not the strong bitter tones of the older leaves. It's similar to watercress when young. A squeeze of citrus and a drizzle of olive oil, and you have a salad.

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Partly because the nutritional value is superior, although I just prefer the flavor of them.
I think you should not give up on lettuce. Iceberg types yes, nasty stuff. You should try some of the many Romaines and Butterheads. Butterhead, like Buttercrunch, is one of my favorites.

I also grow Mizuna, Tah Tsai, and Arugula.

Eric

bwhite829
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would broccoli rabe or raab be similar to the same type of green?

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microcollie
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Broccoli raab tends to be heavy on the bitter tones and, being a brassica, tastes like one. Arugula is less bitter, has more tang and is spicier. Mizuna is also less bitter than broccoli raab and has a taste more like mustard greens. Both can be eaten raw, while broccoli raab is usually not. All three are good, fairly fast-growing cool weather crops. But really it comes to a matter of personal preference. Go to the market and get a little of each and let your own tastes guide you.

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digitS'
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DW doesn't like broccoli raab -- see, there's that "personal preference" again. It is rather strongly flavored.

There is a very similar Asian green, often called Chinese broccoli. It is Gai Lon and there are various spellings of that.

However . . . I've had trouble growing Gai Lon. And, there's that "how well does it do in your garden" issue :wink: . I have had much better luck with the flowering stalks of Yu Choy and Senposai. In fact, baby bok choy that bolts is really, really good!

Steve :)

Edited to add: "Sum" . . . Yu Choy or Yu Choy Sum is sometimes known as Choy Sum . . . there's quite a few variation of names with Asian greens.

DoubleDogFarm
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We like to use this seed company for Asian greens.

https://www.kitazawaseed.com/index.html


Eric

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farmerlon
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Re: mizuna and arugula

bwhite829 wrote:... I have just become fascinated by gardening and have really started liking how relaxing it is to me. ...
Garden on my friend! :D

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jal_ut
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It's similar to watercress when young.
Yes, watercress. I like watercress and used to gather it in the wild, until I heard that it often has liver flukes on it. So, no more naturaly grown cress here. It was great to discover that arugula had the same taste. I like it on a sandwich or in a salad. Best when rather young.

Arugula will go to seed and you can easily harvest seed so you don't have to buy any next year. I would not let it go to seed and drop in your garden though as then its like weeds, coming up everywhere.

It can be grown as a spring or fall crop.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

bwhite829
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when you say "it goes to seed." I don't know what that means :(

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[quote]when you say "it goes to seed." I don't know what that means /quote]

Bolting.

Putting on flowers and then a seed head. The last cycle of plant life.


Eric

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applestar
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Yep. Most vegetables that are harvested for leaves grow low to the ground in a rosette of leaves -- like lettuce and spinach -- as well as arugula, and mizuna, for that matter. Cilantro is another good example. When the plants reach a certain level of maturity -- or growing conditions get too hot for them -- the central stem begin to elongate to form flower stalk. This is called "bolting". Flowers and seeds follow.

Most of the time, the shape, texture, and most importantly, flavor of the leaves change after the plants bolt and they are usually considered done as far as harvestability for consumption. The thing to do is to harvest them whole when they *begin* to bolt. Sometimes, it can be forestalled/delayed by cutting the plant, forcing it to form side shoots, but it's pretty much inevitable at that point.

bwhite829
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I was wondering how greens and other veggies reproduce. I've never seen them flower or anything, but now I know. If i wanted to get them to continue to do that, how would I do that and how would I then harvest the seed for the next crop?

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digitS'
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You have had "bolted" broccoli and cauliflower, BWhite. The flower buds are what we think of as the vegetable part of the plant. It would be perfectly fine for you to harvest and use the leaves as broccoli and cauliflower are growing if you want to. Once the plant begins to bolt, those leaves probably become too coarse for kitchen use.

Those plants along with mizuna, arugula and watercress are members of the Brassica family. Some members, like cabbage and kale, may take 2 seasons to flower and go to seed. I really don't know how things grow in Florida gardens. I've only been a visitor there :) .

I am surprised how long it takes radish to mature seed and I usually grow some for that purpose every year. (Also, for the purpose of eating those tasty seed pods, harvested at just the right moment of tenderness. :wink:) By comparison, arugula seems to set seed at a couple months of age! Maybe that's why it is also known as "rocket."

With radish, mustard, bok choi -- I just drive a few stakes near plants that I want to save for seed. Then, I can tie the stalks to the stakes - otherwise, they tend to flop over. Overall, your garden can look a little like it has "gone to seed" if you do too much of this sort of thing :roll: .

As I say, it takes nearly a full 5 months to get radish and such to harvest. I then cut the stalks and put them somewhere under a roof but open to the air to finish drying. The stalks then go on a tarp and I walk on them, to thresh out the seed.

You can separate out most of the coarse stuff quite easily. If there's more debris that you want out of the seed - I find that standing on a ladder and dumping the seed back down on a tarp, while there's a bit of a breeze works good . . . of course, you may make a mess out of your lawn if you've got very much to do :wink: .

Steve
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bwhite829
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I was at my grandparents today. I noticed a few okras still on the tree. they explained that he is just letting them dry out and he was collecting the seeds. Is this a similar concept? Thanks for the info :)

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digitS'
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I suspect so.

What I know about okra is next to nothing . . .

S' :roll:
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