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In recent years, some gardeners have taken a great interest in the cultivation of Japanese kale. There are many types and varieties of this culture, but, most importantly, they are all rich in vitamins and are a delicacy. You can get healthy greens throughout the year, using even an ordinary window sill for this.
Mizuna cabbage, native to Japan, is an unpretentious and fruitful lettuce. Beautiful external signs allow you to grow a salad vegetable in flower beds next to flowers. The features of the plant, methods of growing and the intricacies of caring for Japanese cabbage will be discussed in the article.
A bit of history
Mizuna cabbage is native to Japan. The islanders are big fans of balanced and proper nutrition. They have a lot of greens in their diet. One of the options for green vegetables is the Japanese cabbage Mizuna, which the Japanese have been growing since the 16th century.
The salad vegetable is popular due to its chemical composition: with regular use, you can forget about some medications. Mizuna cabbage (pictured below) or, as it is also called, Mitsuna, is highly valued, not only in Japan, but also in North America, in Western Europe. In Russia, they learned about a useful vegetable relatively recently, but he already has fans among our compatriots.
If we talk about Japanese cabbage from the point of view of botany, then Mizuna belongs to green pepper salads, to the Cabbage genus of the Cruciferous family. This type of leafy vegetable is still less popular in Russia, although Russians have already come to love and appreciate Chinese and Peking cabbage, its closest relatives.
Japanese cabbage Mizuna is used mainly for preparing vitamin salads. The Japanese themselves call the plant a help for the lazy, since it is unpretentious to care for. It will not be difficult to grow Japanese cabbage Mizuna even on the windowsill, you just need to get acquainted with some of the nuances.
Japanese cabbage has two varieties:
The leafy plates of Japanese cabbage are located on long thin petioles, collected in a lush rosette. During growth, it forms a dense bundle. The leaves, depending on the variety of Mizuna cabbage, can be bright green or reddish brown. The beauty and unusual shape of the leaf blades is appreciated by landscape designers.
A head of cabbage is not formed on Japanese cabbage, despite the name. The main value of the plant is vitamin leaves, which grow constantly, which allows them to be cut off during the entire vegetative period.
Flowering does not give the plant a decorative effect due to too small light yellow buds. The seeds of Japanese cabbage are slightly smaller than poppy seeds.
Important! Having collected the seed once, you can use it for three years in a row.
By the end of the growing season, in addition to the mass of leaves, cabbage will present a small edible root vegetable about 15 cm long. It is similar in taste and shape to rutabagas.
Japanese cabbage Mizuna is an early ripening plant, you can cut the leaves in a month, one and a half after sowing the seeds (depending on the variety).
The salad vegetable is frost-resistant, the seeds can germinate at -2-3 degrees. And the cabbage itself can withstand light frosts in autumn without much damage. This characteristic allows you to cultivate in many Russian regions and grow a plant in vegetable gardens from May to September.
Advice! If you would like to have Mizun Vitamin Kale in your diet throughout the year, you can plant it in a heated greenhouse or on a windowsill along with other greens.
The Japanese vegetable is a short-day plant, it is important to know for those who decide to start growing it. Experienced gardeners are advised to shade cabbage plantings in the afternoon to avoid the formation of arrows.
Mizuna is prized for its mild and spicy flavor. Many aficionados compare it to the taste of mustard, radish or arugula. Japanese cabbage is advised to be eaten in early spring to avoid vitamin deficiency. The leaves are used both fresh, adding to all kinds of salads (with meat, vegetables, fish and fruits) and sandwiches (with cheese and feta cheese), and for making soups, stews, marinades.
Fresh leaves of Japanese cabbage Mizuna are stored for a short time, as well as salads from them. If you've harvested Japanese cabbage and want to keep it longer, don't remove the root. In addition, cabbage can be prepared for the winter for a variety of diets.
Attention! Japanese cabbage Mitsuni is very tasty in salted, pickled form, you can dry it.
Japanese cabbage varieties
The State Register of the Russian Federation recommends two registered varieties of kale from Japan for cultivation - The Little Mermaid and the Dude. Let's consider them in more detail:
The little Mermaid
The little mermaid belongs to a mid-season variety, technical maturity occurs in 60-70 days from the moment of sowing seeds for seedlings. Due to its heat resistance, frost resistance, the cultivation of Mizun cabbage of this variety is possible in open and protected ground.
The rosette is slightly raised, up to 60 carved leaves are formed on it, the height of which is about 41 cm. The bunch is up to 70 cm in diameter. This fact must be taken into account when planting cabbage seedlings.
The weight of one outlet is from 1000 to 1500 grams. As a rule, with proper care, up to 6.5 kg of vitamin salad is harvested from a square meter. The purpose of the Mizuna cabbage of the Mermaid variety is universal.
The Little Mermaid variety stands out for its green openwork leaves. They can be smooth or slightly wrinkled. The taste of leaves and white petiole is excellent.
Attention! The variety got its name thanks to the gorgeous leaves that resemble a mermaid's tail.
Japanese cabbage of the Pizhon variety is an ultra-early variety for salad purposes, intended for fresh consumption. Technical ripeness occurs in 30 days.
The variety has a horizontal rosette with heavily dissected leaves. The plant is less productive (up to 4 kg per square meter), the weight of the outlet is about 450 grams.
Important! After cutting, cabbage variety Pizhon quickly grows leaves.
In addition to the above varieties, shops also offer seeds of the Mizuna Green and Mizuna Red varieties (the foliage has an anthracite tint).
Collard greens from Japan and China at their summer cottage:
In Russia, Japanese cabbage is considered a salad. The vegetable is sold in stores, many Russians willingly buy it because of the large amount of nutrients.
The Mizuna varieties contain:
- vitamin C;
- vitamins B1, B2, PP;
- biologically active potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron;
Considering the content of useful micro- and macroelements, salad vegetables are rightfully considered medicinal. The Japanese have appreciated this quality for a long time.
What are the benefits of Mizuna cabbage:
- strengthens the immune system;
- reduces the risk of cancer (doctors recommend a vegetable for people with cancer);
- improves bowel activity and regulates water and body metabolism;
- normalizes cholesterol, removes salts and toxins;
- strengthens blood vessels, prevents plaque formation.
Doctors recommend eating Japanese leafy salad in the spring and fall to avoid vitamin deficiencies. Cabbage is useful for people with heart disease, with anemia.
Attention! Japanese cabbage Mizuna is a low-calorie product, so nutritionists have long paid attention to it.
Side effects as such were not found in the vegetable, because it has long been known in Japanese cuisine. The only caveat is individual intolerance.
Features of agricultural technology
Japanese cabbage Mizuna belongs to unpretentious frost-resistant plants. The culture is favorable to drained, light fertile soils with a base number of pH 6.5–7.2.
You can grow in a sunny place with a little shade. The best predecessors are legumes, peppers, beets, tomatoes.
Cultural gardeners note that agronomic standards are in line with Peking cabbage. We think our tips will be a great help for newbies:
- A leafy vegetable is planted in the early stages by seedling or by direct sowing of seeds into the ground. The gardeners choose the time in each region depending on the climatic conditions, but this, as a rule, is April - May. For a continuous flow of greenery, sow the seeds every two weeks during the summer.
- Close up small seeds of Mizuna cabbage only 0.5 cm at a distance of 5-10 cm, so that as they grow, you can pull the plants for salads. The distance between plants for a good harvest should be within 20-25 cm. The row spacing should be at least 30 cm.
- Seeds sprout well at a temperature of 14-20 degrees. The first shoots appear after a week. If the seeds are sown in open ground, then you need to stretch the film from above. It is removed when the first shoots appear.
- While the vegetables are growing, you need to monitor the moisture of the soil, since overdrying can provoke shooters.
Warning! You need to be careful with the addition of organic matter, but mineral fertilizers are not applied at all, otherwise, instead of environmentally friendly lettuce leaves, you can get a harmful product.
It is not difficult for experienced gardeners to take care of the planting of Mizun salad, because the agricultural technique is similar to the cultivation of Peking cabbage. But for beginners who first took up a Japanese leafy vegetable, you need to carefully read the article and make notes for yourself:
- With the appearance of the first shoots, you need to monitor the condition of the soil. It is not necessary to overdry it, but abundant watering is harmful. In order for the plants to have enough moisture for a long time, they are watered not only at the root, but also on the surface between the bushes. Then the planting is mulched. It is not recommended to water Mizun cabbage over the leaves, as they will start to rot.
- The second point is weeding. Weeds can cause pests to damage the vegetable.
- Since sowing and planting are made thickened, the plants need to be broken through so that at least 20-25 cm remains between the bushes.
- In order for the green mass of Japanese cabbage Mizuna to grow or recover faster after cutting, top dressing is carried out after 15 days. Wood ash is considered the best fertilizer and protection against pests. It is used both dry, for dusting, and in the form of an aqueous solution for root dressing. Nitrogen-containing fertilizers are not used for feeding Mizuna cabbage.
- Since the Japanese leafy vegetable is a short day plant, it should be covered in the afternoon.
- Leaves are cut completely, leaving only short cuttings close to the root. The green mass is growing rapidly.
- If the variety is not a hybrid, then the seeds can be harvested.
Green bed on the window
If you are a fan of the Japanese leafy vegetable Mizuna, you can dig up the bushes and transplant them into flower pots in the fall before frost. At first they are kept on the veranda, and when it gets colder, they are transferred to the apartment. A small greenhouse with vitamins will appear on the window, but, in addition, this is a good decor element.
Japanese cabbage pests
As we said, the Japanese leafy vegetable Mizuna belongs to the Cruciferous family. Therefore, it can be damaged by such insects:
- cruciferous flea;
Pest control chemicals on Japanese cabbage Mizuna are never used because the vegetable accumulates all the toxins in the leaves. What should gardeners do? The answer is simple: all pests, except for the bear, do not tolerate wood ash and tobacco dust. There is no need to wait for the invasion of insects. Preventive measures are the best weapon.
Tobacco dust is sprayed on the leaves and the surface around the plants or combined with water in a ratio of 1:10. Wood ash can also be used dry or diluted in water and sprayed on cabbage plantings.
In stores, there are products consisting of natural ingredients, without chemical additives. If ash and tobacco did not help to cope with the problem, then store-bought products are used. You need to set special traps from the bear.
Advice! In order not to waste time treating Japanese cabbage Mizuna from pests, inspect the plants.
Vitamin-rich Japanese cabbage Mizuna is highly prized by greenery lovers. No wonder there are a large number of Japanese dishes in which this vegetable plays the leading violin. At the end of the article, we present one of the most common recipes:
According to the recipe, we need:
- lettuce leaves;
- boiled eggs - 2 pieces;
- pear - 1 piece;
- nectarine - 1 piece;
- hard cheese (for example, Poshekhonsky) - a small piece;
- fresh lemon juice - 1 teaspoon;
- vinegar and olive oil to taste.
Leaves are torn into small pieces, cheese, pear, nectarine and eggs are cut into cubes. Combine the ingredients in a salad bowl and add lemon juice, vinegar and oil. Vitamin salad is ready.
If you want to provide your family with a healthy vegetable, grow it in your garden. If you don't have a plot, find a spot on the balcony or window for the Japanese leafy vegetable Mizuna. It grows beautifully!