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Growing Kang kong (water spinach) in plastic tub

BW

Growing Kang kong (water spinach) in plastic tub

by 2 years ago
5

I have been growing Kang Kong in a plastic tub that has no holes in it to keep it consistantly moist. I filled up the tub 3/4 full with potting mix, aged cow manure and blood and bone. Once I had my seedlings ready to plant I put them in and then filled up the holeless tub with water to above the soil mark.

Whilst my plants are growing magnificantly in the tub with constant water, I have noticed a green slime/algae that is sitting on top of the tub at the water mark. My questions are;

1. WIll it be a problem growing this plant that is sitting in stagnant water (the plants don't think so) and

2. Is it safe to eat the produce.


I am trying to keep the environment similar to its native habitat in SE Asia and so far so good.

2 years ago
Tutor
Hi Ben, fantastic that you're growing kang kong - there are lots of edibles like this you can grow in a small pond, including arrowroot, watercress and even water chestnuts. This is one of the most productive too - actually prolific. I think your algae problem might be to do with the very rich mix you've put into the soil - actually the kang kong would be fine just in ordinary topsoil. You have provided so many nutrients that the kang kong is not out-competing the algae as it normally would - there's plenty of food for everyone in here! The algae shouldn't be a problem for you, it's not poisonous, just unsightly. Ways you can get rid of it are to flush the whole thing through with water (water until it overflows) - algae tends to grow best in still water, so the more you can keep it moving, the better. Some advocate putting barley straw in the water, which changes the pH and makes the water less favourable to algae - but I have not had particularly good results with this myself. I think the best solution for you is to either live with it, or keep your kang kong in running water - and next year make the soil mix a little less generous! Most pond algae isn't harmful: there is a blue-green algae which is toxic but it's unusual to find it in smaller garden ponds (yours sounds to me like it's probably blanket weed). Wash your leaves thoroughly before eating and you should be fine.
2 years ago
Tutor
BW
2 years ago
Thanks for the quick reply. I am not growing in ponds but small plastic tubs. Where I live in northern Australia it is the same tropical climate as SE Asia, just hotter. My plants are loving the sun and growing like crazy. In fact I will harvest my first crop later this week and will plant some of the cuttings in my algae based tub and eat the rest. I will take some photos and upload for others that may be interested in this crop. By the way, the best way to eat this magical crop is stir fried (mild heat to start) with big chunks of garlic, oyster sauce, a sprinkle of palm sugar and a fermented shrimp paste. Bloody delicious!!!
2 years ago
Moderator
wow that's making me hungry!!
2 years ago
Tutor
Definitely on my 'must grow' list for next year - I'm planning to install a pond in my garden this winter and intend to plant it with edibles, this one definitely in there alongside arrowroot, water chestnut and (once I get the pump working) watercress #yum

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