How to Grow Oriental Vegetables


The crunchy, tasty vegetables in Chinese and other Far Eastern restaurants are relatives of plants commonly grown in American gardens. Several members of the cabbage family are considered Oriental and include Chinese or Napa cabbage, bok choy, tat soi and Chinese broccoli. Legumes also fall into this classification and include the yard-long bean and edible-podded peas. Oriental greens include arugula, collards, chrysanthemum greens and mizuna. Don't forget the Japanese eggplant, Chinese leek, various peppers and bitter melon. Many of these are cool-season vegetables, so start them in late summer.

Step 1

Prepare the soil in a sunny area of the garden by digging in one part compost to four parts soil. Include leaf mold, peat moss, grass clippings or other organic materials to assist the growing process.

Step 2

Start seeds in flats to be assured that a larger number of plants are less likely to be eaten by snails and other creatures, as can happen when seeds are planted in the garden soil. Fill flats with potting soil. Make small furrows for the seeds and plant them according to packet instructions. Keep the flats in a sunny place and the soil moist.

Step 3

Plant bedding plants in the prepared garden area by digging holes with a trowel. Make holes large enough for the plants' roots and allow sufficient space between plants, depending on the type of vegetable. Remove the plants from their nursery pots, loosen the roots and set them into the holes, filling in with more of the soil/compost mixture.

Step 4

Fertilize young plants about one month after planting or one month after seeds germinate, using a balanced plant food, such as 10-10-10. Follow the label instructions.

Step 5

Spray plants that develop aphids and other sucking insects with an insecticidal soap. Protect the plants from snails and slugs by scattering diatomaceous earth or iron phosphate granules on the soil around the plants. Follow the label instructions for dosage.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Potting soil
  • Trowel
  • Oriental vegetable bedding plants or seeds
  • Fertilizer
  • Insecticidal soap (optional)
  • Diatomaceous earth or iron phosphate (optional)


  • Ohio State University: Asian Vegetables
  • Kitazawa Seed Company: Asian Vegetable Seeds
Keywords: Oriental vegetables, gardening cool season, grow bok choy, grow Asian vegetables

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hi'iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Fahs wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, GardenGuides and eHow. She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.