Anyone can grow a beautiful garden full of flowers and vegetables that look picture perfect, but the ambitious gardener grows with a purpose. They plan out their garden so the plants within them complement one another for additional vitality, pest repellant, and a delicious meal. If you’re looking to give your garden some purpose beyond aesthetics, try growing a stir fry garden!
One of the best ways to organize your garden is by using raised gardens and square foot gardening. Along with maximizing space – rows work in large areas, but many of us have limited space – raised bed square foot gardening organizes plants into neat squares with nutrient-rich, loose soil optimal for virtually any plant. For a stir fry garden, it’s recommended that you have at least 4 square feet (1x4 or 2x2 raised garden bed or larger) in which to plant; stir fry is comprised of a variety of vegetables and you will want to try every combination.
Stir fry recipes call for a mixture of frost-tolerant/hardy and frost-sensitive plants, so pay attention to when you plant and harvest times. The following are some of the most popular veggies used in stir fry along with their: spacing, rough planting dates, and harvest times!
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What to Grow
Bok Choy (Pak Choi)
A staple of stir fry, Bok Choy is a Chinese cabbage that you will want in your garden. Larger varieties can be planted 3 to a square foot, but the smaller baby varietals can be planted 9 to a square foot. This spoon-leaf vegetable can be planted in the fall or spring. Plant a quarter inch deep and, if you plant in the fall, make sure the soil doesn’t get too cold. Remember: Frost-tolerant/hardy doesn’t mean it’s impervious.
Another green well-known for being in stir fry recipes, broccoli is a frost-hardy vegetable that you will have to dedicate space to. Only one can be planted per square foot, so it may be a vegetable for those growing a larger stir fry garden. It’s also similar to Bok Choy in that it can be planted before the first fall frost or before the last spring frost and it will be harvested in the summer.
Scallions are a flavor adder in stir fry, and are a must in the stir fry garden. These plants can be planted 16 to Garden Grid™ watering system square (~1 sq. foot), so you never have to worry about fitting enough in. They can be harvested when they are pencil-size which is usually around 60 days after planting, which should be a few weeks before your projected last frost date. They need to be planted around an inch deep for germination warmth and for support as they grow. Pro-tip: Their flavor becomes 'hotter' as they mature. So, when you harvest can directly affect your stir fry’s taste.
Who doesn’t love this rustic vegetable? Raw, cooked, steamed, sliced, and stir fried – it is one of the most versatile vegetables there is. Before planting these root veggies, loosen the soil down to a foot and remove stones to ensure maximum growth (If growing in a raised garden bed, you don't have to do this).
Carrot are planted 8-16 to a per Garden Grid™ watering system square (~1 sq. foot), depending upon the varietal and can be planted during multiple times of year. A few weeks before the last spring frost will yield results in 2 to 4 months and planting can continue into the fall. Before the first fall frost, plant and cover with compost which will protect them during the winter. When they are harvested in the last spring, they will be sweeter due to their consolidation of sugar during the cold season.