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General information and discussion about cultivating all other edible garden plants.

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Old June 17, 2016   #31
Tropicalgrower
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There are many sweet potato varieties selected for their leaves.
Otherwise known as Kamote (sweet potato) in the Philippines.Kamote Tops (leaves) are eaten all over the country.In fact,they are grown more for the leaves than for the tubers.

zeedman is right.I have Kang Kong growing in my fish pond.During the dry season it dies back,but comes back with a vengeance when the rains come.I have to go into the pond and really hack away at it because it will grow into my fish nets and is quite hard to remove.
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Old June 17, 2016   #32
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zeedman, thanks for all the seeding tips. Sorry I was SO incoherent before. I was trying to say that its easy for me to buy the actual leafy green from the grocery store. I have a better shot of that than trying to buy/start from seeds at this point. I don't know how to root these leafy greens but it seems I can put them in water maybe then go from there?
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Old June 17, 2016   #33
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If you buy shoots, you can have your cake & eat it too.Carefully pinch or cut off the leaves, and cut off the new growth stem & all down to the 3rd or 4th leaf (being careful not to damage the remaining stem)... then cook & eat the leaves. Trim the thickest part of the remaining stem down to about 6", and place the stems in a glass container of water so that 1/2 of the stem is submerged. Put the container in a bright location; watch for & remove any stems which begin to rot. The stems will root quickly, and can be transplanted to their permanent location.

While I start my kang kong from seed each year, I plant the stems from the first harvest to increase the yield later in the season.
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Old June 17, 2016   #34
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As far as I know all sweet potato varieties have edible leaves. The question is their taste. Some taste better than others. Cook them and try ...
Added emphasis mine.

All varieties may be edible, but that does not necessarily mean palatable. I tried using some of the ornamental varieties, in hope that they would prove to be edible landscaping - uggghh! Horrible flavor, I wanted to wash off my tongue after tasting them.

I've grown & enjoyed the Filipino kamote, which given adequate water, is an incredibly productive green in hot weather. Markets which sell kang kong shoots may also sell shoots for kamote; the rooting procedure is the same as for kang kong.
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Old June 18, 2016   #35
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Interesting zeedman, so you wouldn't grow kamote from the tuber/sweet potato? I'm watching a youtube on how to plant kamote stems... they look like they want to crawl on the ground? I guess they keep rooting themselves when they do that? I am limited on horizontal space and try and grow everything vertically, do you think they can be trained to grow vertically?

I'm so sad, my lettuce leaf basil have started to go to seed already... I didnt think basil bolted but I guess they do... one less green
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Old June 18, 2016   #36
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I have amaranth growing but the raw leaves taste like grass to me. What's the best way to prepare them?
I often use basil as a green in the summer. I love having a variety of basil. Pesto can be a great source of nutrition. I also live mint in my water,I eat the leaves when I'm done. Chocolate mint is my favorite. Also makes a wonderful juice mixed with cucumber,lemon and ginger,run through the juicing machine. Add vodka or rum if you want a summer cocktail.
I didn't like the sweet potato vines I grew but I only tried one grocery store variety. Must taste pretty good because my dogs would " graze " on them.
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Old June 19, 2016   #37
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Interesting zeedman, so you wouldn't grow kamote from the tuber/sweet potato? I'm watching a youtube on how to plant kamote stems... they look like they want to crawl on the ground? I guess they keep rooting themselves when they do that? I am limited on horizontal space and try and grow everything vertically, do you think they can be trained to grow vertically?
The tubers from the kamote I grew were unlike any sweet potato sold in stores around here; they were white all the way through. They were also long, twisted, and brittle... and tended to form 2-3' away from the plant in any direction, and up to a foot down. It was a major excavating project to find them, and most broke during extraction. After just a few tubers, I gave up & let frost take the rest, with my blessings.

Dry & tasty, but definitely not worth growing for the tubers - and IMO, not worth growing your own shoots if fresh shoots can be purchased. You might be able to winter over some rooted cuttings, though.

Sweet potato greens are better known in the South, so folks from that area might be able to suggest varieties with better-tasting leaves.

Yes, left to their own devices, most sweet potato vines trail over the ground. They will root at the nodes in moist soil, and spread to form a dense ground-hugging mat unless cut back. You could probably grow them from a large pot, hanging or on a pedestal, with the vine drooping over the side. I've seen the ornamental varieties overflowing their pots, and sweet potato foliage is fairly attractive.

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I'm so sad, my lettuce leaf basil have started to go to seed already... I didnt think basil bolted but I guess they do... one less green
If you want to have a steady supply of leaves, cut it back hard when it bolts (several nodes below the flowers) and it should re-sprout. Keep pinching off any new flower stalks as they emerge. I generally allow mine to flower freely for most of the summer, since the bees love it; I trim off blossoms from plants one at a time, to maintain continuous blooming. If I intend to dry some leaves, I remove all flowers stalks in late summer, so the plants will be full of new leaves when harvested.
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Old June 19, 2016   #38
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Nancy are you growing it in containers on your gutter rig??? I didn't consider it coz I heard potatoe and like need earth...
I thought I would give them a try on the gutters. I'll know if it was a good idea in the fall. The decorative ones do so well in containers and produce tubers.
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Old June 19, 2016   #39
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Originally Posted by luigiwu View Post
Interesting zeedman, so you wouldn't grow kamote from the tuber/sweet potato? I'm watching a youtube on how to plant kamote stems... they look like they want to crawl on the ground? I guess they keep rooting themselves when they do that? I am limited on horizontal space and try and grow everything vertically, do you think they can be trained to grow vertically?

I'm so sad, my lettuce leaf basil have started to go to seed already... I didnt think basil bolted but I guess they do... one less green
You can continue to use basil when it bolts but best is to succession plant it. The sweet basil get a little stronger when bolting. The Thai types of basil flower early and taste fine when flowering.
If you have the space,leave the bolting plant. Beneficial insects love basil leaves. If not, make that bolting plant into pesto for the freezer.
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Old June 19, 2016   #40
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Rainbow Swiss chard lasts all summer for me and into the cold periods in the Fall too. It seems to just keep growing in either heat or cold. I plant it in the spring and harvest it until after the first frost.
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Old June 20, 2016   #41
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I plant bok choy regularly in my hydroponics. It gets some really hot sun and grows very well. I like the mild taste of it and use it for soups, salads, pan dishes, and sandwiches. Kai choy also grows well in heat, but it is too hot and spicy for my taste. In my hydroponic trays, bok choy will grow from seed to picking size in 5 weeks.
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Old June 24, 2016   #42
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and my amaranth have started to BOLT as well - WTF!!! I don't know if its the type of amaranth I got but I totally didn't expect that!
My new seed order from Baker Creek is taking forever to ship. I'm so spoiled by Amazon fast shipping... I think I'm going to hit the chinese grocery store and see if I can get some kang kong to root...
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Old June 24, 2016   #43
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I completely agree with chard or even beets for greens. I planted some beets a few weeks ago and despite no supplemental water,extreme heat this past week and being overrun by weeds they are doing quite well.
I had Swiss chard live in the partial shade of AZ for about 15 months once,only dying during a record hot month of August it's second summer with week's above 110 and even a few days over 120.
I've tried so many other greens and chard is by far our favorite taste and ease of growing.
I am thinking about trying some sprouted greens indoors this summer,maybe cress and mustard or arugula,radish sprouts,etc.
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Old June 25, 2016   #44
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I don't see anything wrong with amaranth bolting. I crop the flowers and extract the seeds for cereal. The plant continues to form more branches and leaves, if it is the leaves you want to eat.
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Old June 25, 2016   #45
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I assume bolting amaranth turns bitter?
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