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2022 Midwest Vegetable Guide

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Asian Vegetables – Horticulture 80 Midwest Veg Guide 2022 Asian Vegetables – Horticulture Major update by Ben Phillips, Liz Maynard – Oct 2020 Reviewed by Liz Maynard – Aug 2021 Crop Description U.S. demand for ethnic vegetables is increasing rapidly— from a growing ethnic Asian population and from other consumers seeking variety. Asian vegetables are those that have originated from East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Laos, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.), as well as South Asia (India and Pakistan). The crops listed here are adapted to production in the Midwest. The short-season crops might be suitable in double crop situations, such as following wheat or an early cabbage or sweet corn crop. The information below should be considered an introduction to Asian vegetables. More detailed information can be found in the resources section. General pest management recommendations for the crop families described below can be found in the corresponding crop chapters in this Guide. Although not all of the specific crops mentioned in this chapter will be associated with pesticides in the crop chapters of this guide, pesticide labels will list crops on which specific products may be used. Asian vegetables have different names in different languages. You must properly identify the crop to market it properly and to select the appropriate pest control measures. Below are descriptions and horticultural information for some of these crops that are not otherwise discussed in other chapters. Brassica Leafy Greens Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa), and Mustard greens (Brassica juncea) are grown as salad or braising greens or as heading crops. Their leaves are not waxy, and most of them are Asian in origin. They can be grown as components of a salad mix. Crops in this group are more susceptible to damage from flea beetles but tend to be less attractive to caterpillars than cole crops such as broccoli. Chinese cabbage is especially sensitive to bolting in response to cold temperatures and other stressful conditions. Chinese cabbage: Chinese cabbage has been grown in Asia since the fifth century. It is a cool-season annual vegetable. It grows best with short days and moderate to cool temperatures (60° to 70° F). Its cultural requirements are similar to those of cabbage and lettuce. Chinese cabbage is fairly quick to mature. It varies from 40 days from sowing to harvest for some cultivars to 75 days for the longer-maturing ones. Chinese cabbage is a term applied to a wide range of types and varieties. The main types and varieties of Chinese cabbage are: Group I: Napa cabbage Napa cabbages form broad-leafed, compact heads of layered leaves and are also known as pe-tsai, perstai, hsin pei tsai, celery cabbage, Chinese white cabbage, Peking cabbage, won bok, nappa (Japanese), hakusai (Japanese), and pao. There are two types, Chihili and Che-foo. Chihili types of Napa cabbage form a cylindrical head 18 inches long and 6 inches in diameter, with an erect, upright growing habit. Some varieties of this form are Chihili, Michihli, Market Pride, Shantung, and Shaho Tsai. Che-foo types form a compact, round head of green-bladed, white-petioled leaves. Some varieties in this group are Che- foo, Tropical Pride, and Oriental King. Recommended spacing for Napa cabbage is 18 inches within the rows and 24 inches between rows. Group II: Bok choy Bok choy is a non-heading form of Chinese cabbage, with several thick white leafstalks. The smooth, glossy, dark green leaf blades form a celery-like cluster. The most commonly accepted designations are bok choy or pak choy. Many refer to it as Chinese mustard. There are not as many varieties of bok choy as there are of the Napa cabbage. Bok choy varieties include Canton Choice and Long White Petiole. Recommended spacing for Bok choy is 8 to 12 inches within the row and 24 inches between rows. Mustard and other greens: Other brassica greens, such as mizuna, mibuna, tatsoi, komatsuna, and mustard are usually direct seeded. Some varieties are prone to premature flowering, which is enhanced by cold temperatures in the spring. Transplanting, which is less common than direct seeding, can also increase premature flowering in the spring due to increased plant stress. Plant populations vary tremendously and should be geared toward the intended harvest age and size. Stem and Leafy Vegetables (Non- Brassica) Celtuce (Lactuca sativa var. asparagina): This vegetable is closely related to standard head lettuces, with similar cultivation practices. But, celtuce is grown for its thick stem. Plants are cut at the base when the stem is 8 to 10 inches long, and all the leaves are removed except at the tip. Garlic scapes (Allium sativum): In the production of hard neck garlic, a flower shoot, called a "scape", is produced. The scapes must be clipped off to maximize bulb size, and can be bunched or bagged for sale.

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