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Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
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psa
Oct 16, 2016 12:22 AM CST
I don't know where in the forums to put this plant--I can't believe I couldn't find threads on it already.

Thumb of 2016-10-16/psa/85d7c2

I've been growing wasabi, mostly in aquaponics systems, for a couple years now, and decided to take it a bit more seriously this year. For me the principle obstacle has been heat (but they also don't like a freeze). I've managed to keep some growing in the greenhouse for a long time now, and it seems that cool water temperatures go a long ways toward mitigating high air temperatures. These plants are also, like many brassicaceae, highly susceptible to aphids.

I'll be up front in saying that I'm messing about with these, like I do so many other plants, for my own amusement. We'll see what comes out of my efforts in a couple more years, but I'm patient. That said, I run a wholesale plant nursery business, so I employ quarantine protocols, IPM, climate monitoring, mass production methodologies, and strict observation and record keeping, as in all of my plant projects.

Here are my latest trials, on extra deep water tables (~1" of water) with some plants each in coarse media, fine media, and classic peat-based propagation mix. I have Daruma, Mazuma, Green Thumb, and wild strains of wasabi plants, under two different artificial lighting protocols. For this first phase (~5 months) I will not be varying temperature between the groups, but I plan to do a split after that with cooler and warmer conditions. Temperatures in the current setup swing from 60F (~15C) at night to 77F (25C) during the day.

In six months the plan is to split the group, with one half moving out into warmer temperatures and less absolute control over conditions (shadehouse), and the other remaining indoors. At that time we'll also be evaluating transplanting protocols, but that will depend a bit on the observed growth. In all, the two year plan is quite involved, but there are many forks it could take based on observations, and those criteria are many. There are also many things I'd like to explore with these plants, including propagation and crosses, and the interplay between nutrients, temperature, light, and media.

I'm still making adjustments to the tables, but here's an early shot:

Thumb of 2016-10-16/psa/612b27

The plants in loose media have produced more young leaves, including side shoot leaves, since they were transplanted, while those in peat mix have better enlarged the fewer leaves that they have. I have my doubts about the peat mix, but plants using it and sunk into the aquaponic tables in the green house have been amazingly tough.


Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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farmerdill
Oct 16, 2016 6:27 AM CST
One thing I have never tried to grow. It is an herb. Wasabia japonica or Eutrema wasabi. Similar to horseradish which is more often used as a substitute.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Oct 16, 2016 3:59 PM CST
Paul, that's a very interesting project! I think this past season (or possibly the year before?) was the first time I ever saw Wasabi offered in the garden catalogs that I get (seemingly hundreds of them...). Is it the roots that you use, like horseradish?
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Name: Paul Anguiano
Richland, WA (Zone 7a)
GW & DG: tropicalaria
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages Garden Photography
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tomato Heads Organic Gardener Greenhouse Native Plants and Wildflowers Herbs
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psa
Oct 17, 2016 12:19 AM CST
The stem, often called the rhizome because it roots and shoots adventitiously and can sometimes be found below the water line, is grated finely to make a paste. However, the leaves are quite good as well, and there are several leaf preparations that can be done to bring out the flavors more. I think wasabi's scarcity both as a plant and as food is due to its slow growth rate (18-24 months to harvest the stems) and its need for wet, mild (Japan-like) growing conditions.

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tamanna_Sultana/publica...
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Oct 17, 2016 7:42 AM CST
Interesting! Thumbs up
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