My Top 10 List: Vegetables: Bok Choy & Snow Peas

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My Top 10 List: Vegetables

By Trish
April 19, 2011

For the new and well seasoned gardener alike, here is my top 10 list of vegetables that every gardener should grow.

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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Jul 18, 2011 2:33 AM CST

Bok Choy stems are sweet and juicy enough to munch raw in the garden, and the big leaves are great in soup (I suppose you could steam them as greens).

I'll eat a handfull of young leaves while driving to work, and people who eat salad could eat them in salad. I like the fact that the leaves are blander and sweeter than mustards but "beefier" than lettuce. My Bok Choy leaves tend to be more tender than chard I've grown, but your milage may vary.

I like the stems raw and the leaves boiled just a little.

Of course you could stir-fry either, but then I would have to both "stir", and "fry", which sounds like a lot of cooking to me.

Snow pea pods and snow pea peas are sweet, delicious and crunchy. Maybe some day I'll have enough room for them that I can pick enough so a few make it all the way to the house. Usually I've I've eaten the whole handful before I get out of the garden.

This year I started some Gai Lan, but the flavor is heartier and stronger and I'm still getting used to it.

This was also my first year starting Komatsuna, but it got a little spicy after the plants got bigger. I'm still decidng whether I like "spicy" / mustardy leaves.

Corey
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Jul 20, 2011 4:35 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Good list, Corey!

We also enjoy Swiss Chard, which just now got bitter for us- a real feat in TX heat.
Sugar snow peas- we never have enough of them- everyone snacks on them in the garden, and they never make it to the house, much less to the table.
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

Check out my Store for farm soaps and other handmade goodies!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jul 21, 2011 1:29 PM CST
>> they never make it to the house, much less to the table

Yeah, I have to plant more snow peas next year.

After months of being slow and coy, my main patch of "BUSH" snow peas just went into overdrive and grew and yielded well ... and then overwhelmed the flimsy trellis I put up for them .. and then tipped it over!

(Oregon Sugar Pod II - I think it's great that these get even sweeter as the peas get lumpy and the pod thickens. But I don'rt wnat to leave them on the sparwling bush so ong that it stops putting out new pods. I assume it's like deadheading: encourage more pods by picking old ones.

Next year, instead of using cheap flimsy bamboo twigs from Home Depot for a trellis framework, I'll anchor it with 4 steel angle irons I just dug out of the recycle dumpster at work. And thenmaybe hunt to see if there is such a thing as "pole" snow peas.

One of these years, I ~hope~ to grow usable bamboo stakes and poles of my own.

Corey
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
Image
Trish
Jul 22, 2011 1:02 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We want a good stand of bamboo too. So handy!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

Check out my Store for farm soaps and other handmade goodies!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jul 22, 2011 6:55 PM CST
I think Fargesia rufa may simply be too wimpy for poles & stakes, unless you grow it under PERFECT conditions for many years.

If I recall, it was alleged to grow "up to" 1/2" in diameter, and that would have been fine. Instead, I have around 1/8" or less after 2 years (seems like 3).

My next try may be F. robusta, unless I find some bigger clumping species really hardy down to 5 or 0 degrees F, rain and shade and clay tolerant.

No runners need apply. I wonder about "semi-clumping", but I have a small yard.

Here is his baby picture fom July 2009.

Corey
Thumb of 2011-07-23/RickCorey/d545c8
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
Image
Trish
Jul 22, 2011 8:07 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We have the space, and we've tried several times. Unfortunately, we've been cursed with drought for several years now and where we'd not mind it growing a lot, there also isn't a convenient hose bib to water!

We have a friend who is growing some magnificent 4-5 inch diameter ones! He's never been able to divide it, though- it just won't transplant.
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

Check out my Store for farm soaps and other handmade goodies!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Jul 25, 2011 10:17 PM CST
>> magnificent 4-5 inch diameter ones!

Niiiice!

I'm sure my baby likes the constant PNW rain, and I water him in the (dry) summer. I am going to try to improve his drainage when I have time.

>> He's never been able to divide it, though- it just won't transplant.

Funny, my reading tells me that most bamboo have very shallow roots. maybe the big ones are fussy. I have read about bamboo cuttings and layering, but they talk about how hard it is.

Has he tried during different seasons? I think that, when the tops have stopped growing, the roots are growing fastest. Maybe the roots are most nearly dormant at an unexpected time?

Corey

Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 7, 2013 3:33 PM CST
>> there also isn't a convenient hose bib to water!

You probably have more square feet just inside your outbuildings than I have in my whole (tiny) yard!

But 1/2 inch irrigation mainline is only $14 for 100 feet or $120 for 1,000 feet. I think you said you had to bury it to get it to survive under Texan sun, and that would be a lot of work.

I just wish we could both grow bamboo sturdy enough for stakes and trellises!

Here are a few shots from the years following my 2009 "baby picture" three pages up.

June 2010 July 2011
Thumb of 2013-10-07/RickCorey/232f37 Thumb of 2013-10-07/RickCorey/03067b

All 3 from March 2013, before the growth spurt:

Thumb of 2013-10-07/RickCorey/4ae3bb Thumb of 2013-10-07/RickCorey/0e8671 Thumb of 2013-10-07/RickCorey/134d39

This summer, growth was slower. I haven't fertilized it as much, or watered it as much, and it may have filled its little semi-raised bed.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
Image
Trish
Oct 8, 2013 6:54 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

"Thanks" to the drought, new areas have opened up that are much closer to water. That gives me hope for bamboo!!

I agree, there is so many fun uses for it! Our project list gets filled up practically years in advance, so it might be awhile, though. Our climate is perfect for it, once it gets established. In fact, it can be aggressive, if not downright invasive if not put in an area that can be controlled. I'm guessing that you have a bit harder time coaxing yours along, but I bet you'll love the results once you get a tall stand!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.

Check out my Store for farm soaps and other handmade goodies!
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 8, 2013 11:40 AM CST
>> Our project list gets filled up practically years in advance

Oh, man, I know what that is like! And I don't have any 90 acres, or one acre, or 1/4 acre!

>> In fact, it can be aggressive, if not downright invasive if not put in an area that can be controlled.

True, and that's why I'll only grow clumping bamboo. I won't even go near a semi-clumper. Bamboo species that are runners - yikes, it surprises me they haven;t taken over the earth.

Mine went from a half-gallon pot to 7 feet tall and wide in around 4 years. growth seems to have slowed, but it has almost zero soil and I didn't fertilize it much last year. I need to expand its baby bed if I hope to get culms with more girth.

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