Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Oriental greens ‘can be grown in a glasshouse’

Gardening enthusiasts who enjoy using their glasshouse to nurture fruit and vegetables that they can use in the kitchen when ready may wish to consider diversifying their produce.

If this is the case – then why not give oriental greens some thought? In an article for UK national newspaper the Guardian, former presenter of the Gardeners World television show and garden writer Alys Fowler said this is a great idea.

She explained that she likes to make salad dressings in the home from things like balsamic vinegar, oil, soy sauce, leaving a clove of garlic smashed up and lying at the bottom of this dark vinaigrette.

This is added to the first cut of oriental leaves – along with some tofu and pumpkin seeds – so the expert said that the anticipation of this taste sensation has her growing oriental greens all the way through the weeks and months at the height of the summer.

"Any bare patch or empty pot is refreshed with a layer of compost and sown." Me Fowler remarked adding: "I like short, wide drills."

"The warm, damp soil and late summer sun will do the hard work, providing the heat needed to get these plants big enough before winter sets in," the expert commented.

In an article for online resource Vegetable Gardens, master of horticulture David Haigh said that oriental vegetables do best when they are grown to be picked in spring, fall and winter.

He said that these exotic greens typically grow very fast, which means they will fill up space very rapidly indeed – and this could turn out to be an issue for greenhouse growers.

However, the expert said that they will be fine in unheated greenhouses – and pots are also recommended as a good place to plant the seeds.

In terms of specific plants, Mr Haigh suggested Pak Choi, describing it as a fast growing relative of Chinese cabbage – and he noted that it has similar cultural requirements.

"Its leaves have a broad, white, crunchy, succulent mid-rib. This oriental vegetable can be harvested either when young as baby leaves or fully grown," he commented.

Mr Haigh said that the Joy Choi variety is perfect for growing indoors in February, adding that it can be transferred to a cold greenhouse for maturing.

After this, it is best relocated to outdoors once again in August so that it has a chance to develop in advance of its October harvest season.