Kangkong, also known as Water Spinach or Ong Choy, is a popular leafy green vegetable in many Asian cuisines. With its vibrant green leaves and crisp, tender stems, Kangkong is not only delicious but also a nutritious addition to your garden. In this OrganicMotion article, we’ll guide you through the process of growing Kangkong in Eastern Australia, from planting to harvest. We’ll also share a mouthwatering recipe to make the most of your homegrown Kangkong.
Botanical Overview: Kangkong, scientifically known as Ipomoea aquatica, is a semi-aquatic plant that belongs to the morning glory family, Convolvulaceae. It thrives in wet or waterlogged conditions, making it an excellent choice for ponds, water gardens, or containers.
Climate Requirements: Kangkong prefers warm, tropical, and subtropical climates, making it well-suited to Eastern Australia.
Planting Schedule in Eastern Australia
- Spring (September – November): Spring is the perfect time to start planting Kangkong, allowing it to establish itself before the hotter months.
- Site Selection: Choose a location with full to partial sun that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Kangkong can also be grown in a container placed in a pond or water feature.
- Planting Method: Kangkong can be grown from seeds or cuttings. If using seeds, sow them in well-drained, rich soil that retains moisture. If using cuttings, choose healthy stems with roots and plant them directly in your chosen location.
- Spacing: Plant Kangkong cuttings or seeds about 30 cm apart to give them room to grow.
- Watering: Kangkong thrives in waterlogged soil. Ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged.
Caring for Your Kangkong
- Thinning: Thin Kangkong plants if they become overcrowded, allowing more space for air circulation and healthier growth.
- Fertilization: Apply a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-3 weeks to promote lush growth.
Harvesting and Enjoying Kangkong
- Kangkong is typically ready for harvesting in about 30-40 days from planting.
- Harvest the leaves and tender stems by snipping them with scissors or pruning shears.
- Kangkong can be consumed raw in salads, stir-fried, added to soups, or used as a filling for dumplings and spring rolls.
Recipe: Kangkong Stir-Fry with Garlic and Oyster Sauce
- 2 cups Kangkong, washed and cut into 5-inch segments
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Red chili flakes (optional, for added heat)
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the Kangkong to the pan and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until it begins to wilt.
- Add the oyster sauce, salt, black pepper, and chili flakes (if desired). Continue to stir-fry for an additional 2-3 minutes until the Kangkong is tender.
- Transfer the Kangkong stir-fry to a serving plate.
- Serve as a side dish alongside steamed rice or as a component of a larger stir-fry meal.
Versatile leafy green
Growing and enjoying Kangkong in Eastern Australia is a rewarding experience. With the right planting schedule and care, you can have a continuous supply of this versatile leafy green. Try the Kangkong Stir-Fry with Garlic and Oyster Sauce recipe to savour the delicious taste of your homegrown Kangkong in a simple and delightful dish.