Lemon grass and leaf amaranth --- ???s

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by countrygrrrl, Dec 27, 2005.

  1. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I'm determined to grow lemon grass and leaf amaranth this year, but am having a hard time finding reliable suppliers. :nerd: So I'm wondering if anyone here has gotten lemon grass (as a plant or tuber) and/or amaranth leaf seeds from someplace they think is reliable.

    I'm very stuck on NoThyme and Baker Creek because --- gasp! --- I've gotten nearly 100% germination from their seeds and the product has always been hearty, almost to a fault.

    I'd REALLY like to find suppliers this good for the lemon grass (as plant or tuber) and amaranth leaf (as seed) because: 1. I'm addicted to Thai foods and can't go another year without fresh lemon grass; and, 2. I'm even more addicted to giant salads every evening and have heard amaranth leaf makes an extraordinary addition to the salad.

    Anyone have any hints? Clues? Etc? Yes, I know about Dave's Garden and I usually spend hours pouring through them to find just the right supplier, but I'm having serious time crunch problems and can't spend the time to find the right place!

    Any help greatly appreciated! :sing:
     
  2. culpeper

    culpeper Well-Known Member

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    Can you get lemongrass stalks from your supermarket? Or maybe an Asian grocery store? If so, and if they have even the tiniest piece of root on them, they'll grow. They're a tropical plant, so provide plenty of heat and plenty of fast-draining water. Given those conditions, you need do no more than sit back and watch it grow! BTW, lemongrass does not produce tubers - it has a fine, densely-matted, shallow root growth.
     

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Aha! Thanks. That's a good hint.

    One problem is, my local grocery doesn't carry lemon grass, at least not that I've ever seen --- and the closest store I know of which does is 90 miles away.

    However, I know Thai Import Foods sells and ships lemon grass --- they're who I get my green curries from. :rock: So maybe ... :nerd:
     
  4. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    I got my lemon grass from the farmers market, and it has grown...
     
  5. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last night while looking through my new Territorial Seed Co. catalog thay they have lemongrass and armaranth.! I believe they had them in seed and plant forms. I LOVE that catalog! www.territorialseed.com or 800-626-0866
     
  6. Heritage

    Heritage Well-Known Member

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    countrygrrl, I can send you a couple of small lemongrass plants if you PM me with shipping info. I grow it as a lure for bee swarms and have it potted up inside now. It does not take cold weather at all and must be overwintered indoors.

    I have received so much help (and ONIONS!!!) from this board, it is the least I could to to help out. Just let me know. :)
     
  7. hisenthlay

    hisenthlay a.k.a. hyzenthlay

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    Heritage,
    What conditions do you keep it in when you winter it indoors? I got a small plant from the farmers' market over the summer, and it got nice and big. I brought it in before the first frost, and I have it in the basement (~50 degrees) next to a west facing window that sheds some light, and under a fluorescent lamp. I don't keep it too wet, mostly I water it when the soil starts looking dry, because I heard lemongrass liked that. A lot of the blades of grass have turned brownish, and the whole thing looks rather wilty. Is it just dormant? Will it perk up in the summer? Should I be doing anything else for it?

    Countrygrrrl, if mine survives the winter, I'd be happy to divide it up and send you a bit, but it sounds like Heritage has a better grip on this stuff than I do.

    Thanks!
     
  8. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Thank you, thank you, Heritage! I'll send you my shipping info and will gladly pay costs and send you something from here --- loofah maybe? The seeds are completely organic, given to me a few years ago by an organic farmer and I've never used pesticides or chemical fertilizers of any sort on them. I have some nice Indian Peace Pipe, too, heirloom and also organic.

    Ann Mary, I'll check out territorial seeds. This amaranth is a bit different from the other --- it's grown specifically and only (I think) for its leaves, and is commonly used in Asian dishes and salads. Fingers crossed, Territorial has it.

    Hisenthlay, right now, I have two hibiscus, a red pepper, a ficus and an unidentified plant in a large round bathtub. :=D I have some other plants, including some kind of flowering bamboo I've never been able to identify, in the bedroom. I never pay much mind to doing anything different when I bring the plants in and have never had any problems. If I had a basement, I'd probably put them down there.

    But our winters are much, much shorter and much milder than yours, so I'm usually able to bring them in pretty late in the season and put them back out fairly early. I have some strawberries in pots, in fact, which have stayed on te porch all winter --- they're busy putting out new growth right now. ?? Advantages of the mild winter!

    Thank you all! And yummy!
     
  9. Heritage

    Heritage Well-Known Member

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    hisenthlay,
    I pulled a few stalks before frost and planted them in a small pot with some potting soil and put them on my plant shelf under lights. There was just a couple of small root pieces attached when I pulled them, but they have rooted fine. The bulk of the plant I dug up and put the whole thing in a bucket of soil. For a long time it looked brown and dead, but now there are green blades poking up from the middle of the dried stalks and growing pretty well. I just water when it feels dry and otherwise forget about it. They seem to be pretty hardy as long as you keep them from freezing. If it does go dormant, planting again in spring should perk it back up. Good luck.
     
  10. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    I've also got a large pot of lemongrass that I hope to get through the winter. One of my fellow community gardeners was Hmong and many of his vegetables were new to most of us. Lemongrass was one and he had half dozen or so plants. With several other gardeners interested in it, one big clump was left for us to share. In turn, I've been entrusted to keep it alive and then we can divide it in the spring. So far, so good since I tried to not disturb the roots too much.

    Martin
     
  11. LittleJohn

    LittleJohn Well-Known Member

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    Well if you live near me (Ava MO) I'd be glad to share a small start of my lemongrass. I have a 5 gal bucket full
     
  12. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just saw the armaranth with the flavorable leaves in the Seeds of Change catalog! Hope it's the right kind!
     
  13. kentuckyhippie

    kentuckyhippie Well-Known Member Supporter

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  14. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    kyhippie, that's it! The link to it is here.

    It's also called tricolor amaranth, Chinese spinach and leaf amaranth. I was able to dig up a dictionary of Asian veggies, and discovered it's called yin choi in Mandarin --- which is how I knew that was the right stuff!

    Thanks!
     
  15. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I got my leaf amaranth from Evergreen Seeds in California- also the winged beans, baby corns and loofah squash. Let me see if I can pull a linke up.
    www.evergreenseeds.com
     
  16. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Nichols Garden Nursery in OR is also an excellent source for lemon grass and amaranth.

    There are 2 kinds of lemon grass I think. One I first saw in Pakistan. It is very grassy looking -- dark green, grows about 18 inches long not like the light green stiff stalk type that they have in Thailand etc. I tried to grow the Indian subcontinent type lemon grass from Nichols Garden and got a few seeds to germinate, and they were very lemony, but as the label on the seed packet said "germination is sporadic." Growth is sporadic, and slow.

    Good luck to you! I may keep trying with it - it is very lemony.
     
  17. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Grandmotherbear, that's exactly the kind of company I'm looking for. There are several Asian vegetables I'm interested in trying and Evergreen Seeds appears to specialize in them.

    Snoozy, if I have luck with the lemongrass, I'll send you some shoots next year. BTW, the Ti Kuan (I think that's the right name --- the Chinese restaurant tea) is to die for! I may have to make another tea order in a week or so --- I can't believe I like it even more than the Yunnan, but I do. Very nice tea.
     
  18. snoozy

    snoozy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    :clap: :goodjob: :sing: :dance: :happy: