Wasabi is one of the most difficult plants to cultivate and maintain. It’s picky about its environment, temperature, humidity, and water content. It takes two years to mature and for you to reap the benefits. But if you can grow it successfully, it will be worth every ounce of effort!
Growing your own wasabi is an amazing experience that everyone should try at least once in their lives! It takes time and patience but it’s worth every minute of effort put into it. Once you taste fresh homegrown Wasabia japonica, there’s no going back! It has a unique flavor unlike any other food out there – spicy yet sweet at the same time! Just imagine being able to make sushi rolls from scratch using ingredients from your very own garden… now isn’t that exciting?!
Wasabi (Eutrema japonicum)
When is the best time of the year to plant Wasabi
To answer this question, you would have to know what Wasabi is. Wasabi is a type of Japanese horseradish which tastes “hot and spicy.” It’s made from a root that can be ground up into a sauce or paste. The plants are usually planted from pot plants in the early spring, but it takes two years before they’re ready to harvest. The entire plant is edible, but the thick stalk is what ground up for making wasabi sauce or paste is usually.
So, if you’re looking to harvest your own plants, the best time to do so would be in the second year, sometime in the late spring or early summer. Keep in mind that it takes a while for the plants to mature, so don’t expect to harvest any wasabi right away. It can take up to 3 years before the plant starts to produce mature stalks.
Where in the Garden Should You Plant Wasabi
If you are thinking about planting wasabi in your garden, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, wasabi needs plenty of water, so make sure to plant it in an area that gets lots of rain or irrigation. Second, the soil should be moist but well-drained. Wasabi doesn’t do well in soils that are too acidic or too alkaline, so make sure to test the pH of your soil before you plant. Finally, wasabi needs plenty of shade, so make sure to plant it in an area that is shady or has a lot of trees nearby. With these things in mind, you should be able to find a good spot in your garden for your wasabi plants.
If you’re wondering if Wasabi grows in colder climates, then the answer is yes. You can grow Wasabi anywhere in the world, but it does require a specific climate. The plant thrives in wet, cold conditions with good drainage. It also needs lots of light, so you’ll want to place it outdoors in an area where it can receive six hours of direct sunlight each day.
How Often Should I Watering Wasabi
There are different factors that will affect the frequency of watering wasabi, including the type of soil it’s grown in, if you’re growing it indoors or outdoors, how much water it needs to survive, and the climate where you are.
You’ll want to make sure to water your wasabi plants enough to keep them healthy at all times. Watering your plants every day is not always best. If you have sandy soil, you can probably get away with watering less often than if you had clay-like soil. Wasabi is grown indoors usually just needs to be watered once per week because they have faster evaporation rates. Outdoor plants will need water more often because their roots need them to be able to work their way down into deeper levels of soil to find proper moisture and nutrients.
On average, your wasabi plants will need around 1″-4″ worth of water every week from the bottom of the pot or container they are growing in. Different factors can alter how much water is needed for your wasabi plant to survive. However, if you over-water them, you may kill your plant altogether.
If you’re growing your wasabi plant indoors, place a small dish beneath the roots where they’re planted and put just 0.25″ of water in it. This will help you monitor how much water your wasabi plant is successfully drinking up from the soil at a time. When 1/4″ of water has evaporated from the dish, it’s time to water your plant again.
Make sure to keep an eye on the weather conditions in your area as well! If there is a drought or it’s especially hot outside, you’ll need to water your plants more often than usual. On the other hand, if it’s raining a lot outside you may not need to water your plants for a week or two.
As a general rule of thumb, try to water your wasabi plants when the soil feels dry an inch below the surface. If you’re unsure whether it’s time to water your plants or not, you can always perform the dish test as outlined above.
If you’re growing your wasabi plants indoors, one good indicator of when your plants need water is after they flower. This means it’s time for you to prune them because all the plant’s energy is going to the flowers instead of growing new leaves and roots. Another way to find out if your wasabi plants are thirsty is to lift them up from the pot and see if the soil is dry. If it is, it’s time to give them some water!
Watering your wasabi plants correctly is essential to their growth and health. By following the tips above, you can be sure to water your plants in a way that best suits their individual needs.
When and How to Harvest Wasabi
When you first start growing wasabi in your garden or greenhouse, you will likely get too much of the plant before getting very little rhizome yield. It takes up to two years for the wasabi to reach maturity. Once it reaches a suitable size, you can harvest some of the stalks as they mature. Allow the plant to continue growing so that these stalks produce more new shoots and leaves.
To harvest your wasabi plants, dig them up from the ground with a garden spade or shovel. Usually, the stalks are harvested between January and February in Japan. If you live in a warmer climate, you can harvest your wasabi throughout the year.
When harvesting your wasabi plants, use a sharp knife to cut away at least half of the leaves that are on each stalk. Be sure to leave about two inches of each stalk so the stalks remain healthy.
The leaves are edible if you have harvested them when they are still tender. If this is your first harvest, allow the leaves to grow back on the plant before harvesting again in order to let more of the wasabi root develop further. As time goes on, it gets harder for new leaves to grow back after each harvest.
The new shoots also have a delicate flavor and can be eaten if they are harvested before the stalks start to grow. If you wait until about May or June, the shoots will become woody and tough, too bitter to eat. At this point, simply pull out the entire plant from its place in the soil.
Different Ways to Store Wasabi
There are many ways to store wasabi, but one of the most convenient is to freeze it with water inside an ice cube tray. If you plan on using your wasabi within a few months, freezing it will maintain its freshness and give you a lot more flexibility in cooking with it.
Another way to store wasabi is in a container filled with water that can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. You can also store it by mixing it with about six tablespoons of soy sauce and then placing it in a container that has some kind of sealant on the lid. This will help to keep the wasabi from oxidizing and turning brown.
If you are not going to use your wasabi for a while, you can dry it out completely and then store it in an airtight container. Doing this will help to preserve its flavor for up to a year. However, if you want to reconstitute the wasabi, you will need to add a small amount of water before using it.
No matter how you choose to store your wasabi, it is important to keep it in a cool, dark place. Doing this will help to maintain its flavor and minimize the chances of it going bad.
Other things of interest about Wasabi
- The root of the wasabi plant remains dormant for up to five years but is still viable.
- In Japan, where more than 80% of all domestically grown wasabi is produced, a large number of wasabi farms have been forced out of business due to a decrease in demand over the last few years. This has caused a marked drop in domestic production, and a marked increase in the price of wasabi.
- Wasabi has a domineering flavor that can easily overwhelm other tastes.
- Wasabi is rich in iron and calcium, as well as vitamins A and C, all essential nutrients for good health. It also contains numerous trace elements such as zinc, magnesium, and potassium.
- The unique flavor of wasabi is the result of a compound called allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), which is also found in mustard and horseradish.
- AITC is a volatile gas that dissipates quickly, so freshly grated wasabi produces the most flavorful results.
- A piece of wasabi root is usually enough for an entire meal.
- Wasabi takes three years to grow and can be harvested only once a year.
- Because of its limited growing season, most “wasabi” served outside Japan actually comes from either horseradish or mustard powder that’s been colored green with food coloring.
Conclusion: Now that you know how to grow Wasabi, you can cultivate your own crop and ensure the quality of its root! This could be an option for those living near the coast in a region where Wasabi grows naturally. Cultivating this spicy plant will ensure a steady stream of fresh Wasabi all year long.