what greens to grow in hot place...

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by sindhooram, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hello, I am trying with difficulty to get more greens growing in my garden in South India. I grow amaranth which is OK but you need a load to make a meal, and also cook sweet potato leaves like spinach as they are the easiest thing in the world to grow . But I would like to grow more salady things.
    I have just planted something called Mizuna to see how that does. I boughts some Malabar spinach seeds (I actully live near the malabar coast so they should do well) but I can't get them to germinate. I have heard that New Zealand spinach is really tasteless and hard to eat...

    Would like to know what greens people have found to grow well in the heat (temps up to low 30's at the moment), as fast growing and insect resistant as possible, and - although I am happy to eat most veggies - would be good if they are tasty!!
    Many thanks and happy New Year to all...
     
  2. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Location:
    inland Otago, NZ
    Climate:
    Inland maritime/hot/dry/frosty
    NZ spinach can be very tasty, depending on where it is grown. It grows in the wild here, and along the coast it will taste more salty. I don't like it alot, but I don't like regular spinach that much either. If you like those kind of greens it may be worth a go.

    What about beets? - you get the greens and then the root.
     
  3. permup

    permup Junior Member

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    Hi Sindhooram,

    I'm in Sydney, Australia. Our summers are very hot, and I grow cucumbers, zucchini, lettuce, fennel, corn, beans, snake beans, corriander, nasturtiam, tomatoes, silverbeet, warrigal greens (NZ Spinach), bitter melon, radish etc.

    I don't like spinach usually either, but warrigal greens done in a white sauce are delicious. I don't like them raw.

    Paula.
     
  4. TCLynx

    TCLynx Junior Member

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    Argh!!!! Been having issues posting, or not being able to will see if this works. I haven't been on the forum here in a while and when I did come back I wasn't able to sign on and I couldn't register and it took a while for the admin to get back to me and sort it out. Looks like my sign in had been hijacked as there was some ad for a hotel in my signiture!!!!

    Anyway, Greens for a hot climate. NZ spinach I thought was ok but the other half didn't like it (he never gave it a chance though) chickens liked it as did the Tilapia. Tasoi or spoon mustard is supposed to be heat tolerant but I'm not sure how far that goes. Sweet potato leaves (especially the young ones and vine tips) ca be eaten raw in salads, at least the variety I was growing. Malabar spinach if it does get going (my seed germinated well) can even become a pest as I hear it though mine didn't but we didn't like the taste or texture of the leaves so I haven't grown any more of it. Basil grows well in heat and some small amount of basil leaves can be nice in salad. Look into hibiscus, there are some edible leaved varieties that would be quite happy in a tropical climate. And my favorite for hot weather salad, purslane, nice slightly sour crunch for a salad in hot weather. Purslane is a succulent that is supposed to be really high in healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
     
  5. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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    ceylon spinach

    sweet potato - young leaves

    choko - choyote - leaves

    nasturtium

    just a few I can grow on the shunshine coast
     
  6. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hello, thank you for all so much for the ideas and replies... I'm going to check out some of these options...I've never heard of choyote...would alos be good to get nasturtium going here - I've never seen it locally. I dont know if beets would grow here but may give them a try once I've got some better root crop type soil...purslane I also hadnt thought of.
    I'd also like to know which things are most insect and bug resistant....the Mizuna I planted started growing well...I tasted one young leaf and like it. BUT it seems really hard to get it going as no sooner does it get to a certain size when things just started eating it so I'm dispairing of getting it to adult size...the same thing happened when I tried rocket and I finally gave up.I cant imagine its worth trying lettuce.. I think crickets are the main problems...
    Just wondering what is the best approach - plant so many seeds and hope a few will survive?? cover whole garden in netting (I do this in small areas but not too keen on making my whole garden netted)? spray with chili pepper or something?? I cant believe only in India there is this problem but I am getting a bit frustrated to say the least with this. I know marigolds are supposed to be insect repellent but I dont think crickets are bothered by them. In case anyone has a good solution please let me know....

    A Chinese man recommended to me growing goji berries and eating the leaf - has anyone tried that?
     
  7. TCLynx

    TCLynx Junior Member

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    I didn't know the leaves of goji was edible. Wow all the more reason to try growing it if they are.
     
  8. paradisi

    paradisi Junior Member

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  9. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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    can you attract any insect eating birds?
     
  10. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hello, there are a lot of birds here - we put water for them to bathe in and feed them at times... I dont know if they make much of a dent on the cricket population though which is huge judging from the noise they make at night...

    I connected with a Goji berry guy who is from China to ask if they would grow in my hot and sometimes humid climate...he said that the berries would probably be smaller and less numerous but that they will grow in hot climates and Chinese people eat the leaves and they are very nutrious - he said that he eats them cooked and raw...

    Chayote sounds very promising - I have seen that veggie occasionaly in market here so i may be able to get some seeds...I dont like the sound of 'in general is is quite finicky to grow' though which that Wiki article says...
     
  11. hawkypork

    hawkypork Junior Member

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    From my experience in Cape York try kang kong (likes a boggy spot), basil is dead easy too. Others I have heard of a sweat leaf and ceylon spinach.

    I used to rely on snake beans as my never fail tropical green.

    If I was living in South India I would get on my bike and go for a ride in the country side to see what everyone else is growing.

    best wishes Hawkypork
     
  12. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

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    Sweet Leaf is a MUST have in the tropics (Souropus androgynus) very nutritious and easy growing .
     
  13. Norcalgardener

    Norcalgardener New Member

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    Perrenial Cucumber-raw & cooked
    Moringa
    All squash flowers
    Kallolo
    Papaya Leaf
    watermelon leaf
    Sisso
    Japanese Spinach
     
  14. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Asian greens in the cabbage family will probably take more heat. there are a lot of them (kales, collard, the BokChoys etc)

    There are also a lot of varieties of pick-as-needed lettuces, most will cope with heat if watered well.
    (Chiltern seeds on line catalog lists a lot). If not, the worst thing that can happen is they will go to seed and you then have to scatter the seed about.
    If you can make some mico-climates shade/damp dry/sunny you can extend your range. Eg watercress for that shady, boggy spot. Basils for the sunny well watered spot.

    Beets will take sun and even tolerate salt. There is a variety just grown for the leaves. Also spinach.

    Don't forget herbs such a basil(s), rocket(s),cresses (curled, Greek, Land), chives, borage, Fennel (esp. Florence), chicory, comfrey and viola species (&other) flowers all provide a bit of interest & lift in salads
    There are also weeds such as dandelion that are nice if blanched. Good King Henry, purselane, salsify etc

    I was surprised to read that Asians get all their calcium from greens as they don't tend to drink milk or eat cheese.
     
  15. greenfarmers

    greenfarmers Junior Member

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    Morning,

    Summer in south-east Queensland with days 28-36 degrees ...

    Greens we grow (all of which we eat raw): mizuma (keep planting every couple of weeks, so just as the last ones get daggy, you have new ones coming through), bok choy, pak choy, tat soi, ceylon spinach (the last three make fantastic leaves to wrap other foods in, in place of bread), rocket, purslane, egyptian spinach (recent addition, but proving very able to easily handle heat), kale (both the curly squire and the red), warrigal greens, buckwheat (leaves are great raw, but do not handle being stored), collards (also good for wraps), sorrel, swiss chard and a smaller leaf spinach which I think is called perpetual or evergreen ... and don't forget your herbs - parsely, corriander (again replaced regularly), oregano, thyme, basil, dill, chives ....

    Other good plantings: cucumber, melons, tomatoes, capsicum, egg plant, green beans and sweet corn. Our present garden is very young, so no fruit yet.

    So there is lots you can do. We find if we keep up the quantity we can afford to loose a few here and there to wildlife and bugs, so control of them does not become as critical or stressy. Birds, frogs, lizards etc are also encouraged, through keeping water in the garden, LOTS of mulch and also close very interspersed planting, which might make things harder for the bugs to spot!

    We also run chickens through the garden and throw any bugs and bugged leaves/fruit to them -- especially fruit fly effected tomatoes which are just terrible at the moment. The chooks end up with a good bucket of those daily -- which leaves just under the same amount of unaffected fruit for us -- again growing quantity ...

    Be adventurous!

    Heidi
     
  16. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    thanks again for all the suggestions - I've got loads of new ideas now but first of all I need a stratagy for my soil so I made another post about that...
     
  17. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

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    Hello - just a quick questions - I did a google search for the sweet leaf and it is coming up as stevia - is that what you meant?/ Do you eat those leaves in salad etc. or just to make a sweetner??
     
  18. permasculptor

    permasculptor Junior Member

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  19. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Chayote (or choko as I know it) is grown from one of the fruit.
    I always plant two with the blunt end down.That where the roots come out.
    I dig the hole and loosen the soil around it, put the fruit in the hole so its half buried and draw the soil around it.
    Keep it moist and mulched.
    Being a vine it likes to grow up things,fences,trees a pole will not be enough for it.
    It can be grown along the ground but it does like to go up.

    Stevia is sweet leaf.
    It does have a different taste to sugar.
    I think it tastes alittle like green tea when fresh.
    As I have only just started growing myself I cant tell you what it tastes like dried.
    I will be using it as a sweetenter not a salad plant.

    Hope this helps.
     
  20. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    My Stevia was just sweet, but I have noticed some posts complaining that it has a strong anise flavor.
    Mine never did, so maybe there are two varieties??
     

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