By Amy Lambert
I am a sucker for unusual plants. I also love most international foods. Kitazawa Seed Company is a fun place to get mostly Asian seeds, although they have some standard varieties of “regular” fare.
I’ve been on a quest to find the best greens for our taste and climate. Kitazawa has a wide variety of Asian greens: Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, pac choi, spinach, brassica, Yu Choy Sum, Komatsuna (a relative of turnips, but looks like spinach). Definitely something for everyone.
Kitazawa Seed Company has Difficult to Find Seeds
- Turnips, I love the salad turnips like Tokyo Cross. You don’t usually see this many varieties of turnips offered in seed catalogs.
- Chinese celery, which is more like what I call “leaf celery”. Definitely a cool weather plant.
- Molokeyhia which may be an acquired taste, but it grows great in Oklahoma.
- This is also a source of Korean summer squash. These are hybrids (four varieties offered, I have grown two of them). Their species is c. moschata (solid stems vine borers can’t penetrate.) I call this stuff Korean Kudzu. It outgrew my trellis and snaked its way through the asparagus bed. It’s like Seminole pumpkin, it will go as far as you let it. It outgrows bug and disease damage like Seminole, too. Picked small these are similar to zucchini. Personally, I like them better. If they get big, the chickens will eat them and one “almost” too big is great grilled over charcoal.
Kitazawa actively pursues preservation of heirloom vegetables
Kitazawa has a program called Second Generation Seeds. They are trying to preserve some Asian heirloom seeds. This is new to me, but they are selling 7 varieties of naturally grown heirlooms. There are open pollinated seeds of most species and they are very good about noting what is a hybrid.
This Company Sells other Hard-to-Find Seeds
Kitizawa Seed Company is also a source for roselle, holy basil, Thai basil, culantro, sculpit, fenugreek, jicama. I originally had trouble finding these things when I first stated gardening, but here they are.
But wait! There are More Advantages to this Company.
Kitizawa is not stingy on the seed count and offers bulk seeds as well. The catalog description gives you planting instructions, INCLUDING best germination temperature. Service has been quick. I believe shipping costs are whatever is the cost of postage. They are offering a “fill the box” where they describe what fits in the flat rate boxes to maximize your shipping dollars. They are located in California, you are not paying international rates. I have never had to return anything, so I can’t speak to customer service.
I have spent hours exploring Kitazawa’s website. You can get a paper catalog, as well. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have