Gardening of the North Coast | More Thoughts on ‘Fast Food’ Culture – Times-Standard


It’s the season to grow fast food. You know, Asian green vegetables like mustard, mizuna, bok choy, tat soi, and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). Add to that list spinach, Swiss chard, raab broccoli, and kale for a nutritious, fast-growing garden packed with vitamins A, B, C, and fiber. Within three weeks of placing the grafts, you can start a light harvest.

Asian greens will get fatty and succulent in no time if you provide three basic necessities. Start by creating a rich, well-drained soil. Add plenty of compost and nitrogen-rich fertilizer at the time of planting. Blood meal is an excellent fertilizer for all green vegetables. Make sure all newly planted crop is watered thoroughly until the rains begin.

Whether in pots or on the ground, give plants as much sunlight as possible. Add plenty of water to make the crop succulent and bountiful. The last days of fall can be warm or quite windy, so keep watering, otherwise the greens will grow slowly and become stunted.

If the weather tends to be cold, cover the young plants with a row cover to protect them and add warmth.

And there it is again: if you really want to be really quick with your fast food, why not just grab a big bag of rich potting soil and a few packets of greens? Drill holes on a flat side of the bagged floor and lay it on the floor so that it looks like a pillow. Then cut larger holes in the bag and insert the grafts. Water and wait. Soon the harvest arrives without ever weeding.

Terry Kramer is the site manager of the Humboldt Botanical Garden and a horticulturist and journalist by training. She has been writing a garden column for The Times-Standard since 1982. Contact her at [email protected]

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