This is a blog post on growing and harvesting water spinach. Water spinach also known as Kangkung in Malay, morning glory and Ung Choi / Choy in Chinese is actually a weed that grows well in swampy land in South East Asia. it is available there for very cheaply. In some parts of America, it is considered a weed. It is possible to grow in over the summer in temperate countries like the UK. Although it is called water spinach the taste is not quite like spinach. It is not related to spinach at all.
During the lockdown for a few weeks, there were supply issues with water spinach in shops. Therefore it is a good idea to grow your own if you have a garden at home. Water spinach has got many uses it is great as a stir fry with a bit of fish sauce or some prawn sambal or added to noodle soups. Here is a link to water spinach stir fry. It is possible to freeze water spinach as well.
Growing and harvesting water spinach
Water spinach is grow as annuals in the UK. It needs a temperature of around 20 degrees to grow. It is possible to grow it in water or a pond. Otherwise just water it often.
To grow water spinach one will need to get hold of some seeds. It is possible to propagate from cuttings but I have done this method before. I normally buy mine from eBay a great place for buying seeds online. Sometimes you might find that seeds are sold in South Asian grocers. If the seeds are viable they germinate easily normally within days. Plant out with the seedling are old enough and the risk of frost is over. Sow the seeds under cover in March or April.
Grow them in a sunny spot with well-drained manure compost. As it likes swampy places water regularly. Once the water spinach plant matures it is ready to harvest. Do protect them from slugs and bugs. It will take about 8 weeks to grow from seed to matured plant. To harvest cut of the stems and leaves and leave about3 inches for a regrowth. By harvesting it regularly it will prevent the plant from going into flowering and producing seeds. As the UK climate is never going to be as hot as the tropics I have yet to see it flowering.
4 thoughts on “Growing and harvesting water spinach”