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water spinach

 
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Location: Tennessippi
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Living in a temperate climate that basically gives us a tropical sumer has it's advantages. one of these is water spinach (ipomoea aquatica). I can get this from a local farmers market, but would rater grow it myself.

My wife puled the leaves off for a meal and stuck the stems into the mud of our small garden pond. They have taken root and put out new leaves. The concern I have is that we got them out to late to get more than another meal or two before it gets too cold.

if citrus can grow in the alps, I should be able to find a way to grow water spinach here. The problem is that this is obviously a frost pocket. I realize that the water will give off heat for a little wile, but the heat will be gone soon after the cold comes. I might try to over-winter some indoors for "seed stock", but it would be awesome to grow it outside all year.

How can I design a system that would allow for that? Any thoughts would be much appreciated. I will try to get some photos up later today.
 
Michael Holtman
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Here's some pictures. The soil is bare right now because we were using ducks in this paddock/garden bed/pond area.
DSCN1470.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN1470.JPG]
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Location: Southern New Hampshire (Zone 5)
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I grow water spinach year-round indoors in my hydroponic Tower Garden.  It-re-roots easily and grows fast.

I don't have any experience growing it outdoors, but most sources list it as extremely frost-tender, likely will need to maintain above 40F and it will stop or slow any new growth if it gets that cold.

http://tcpermaculture.com/site/2014/01/29/permaculture-plants-water-spinach-kangkong/

You could try some Eliot Coleman-style winter techniques with a plastic hoop over row covers, but I expect limited success with this tropical plant in Tennessee, where it hit 5 or 10 degrees every winter.
 
Michael Holtman
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Yes, I was thinking it may only hold up to around 40 degrees. Like I said, I may have to just find a way to keep it indoors. One of these days I'd like to build a hothouse with a RMH in it.
 
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