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Growing Ashitaba – A How-to-Guide Ashitaba is a small plant that hails from Japanese islands. The plant has been grown in Japan for many years. It has however been recently introduced in other parts of the world especially the west. Ancient Japanese beliefs had it that the plant has miraculous healing powers hence its continued growth. The Ashitaba plant is from the Apiaceae genus of plants which also includes root tubers such as carrots. Apart from the miraculous healing power that is attributed to it by the Japanese, the ashitaba is also used for medicinal value in herbal medicine. It is amazing that the plant is also used as food much as it is used for medicinal reasons also. Researchers have established that the ashitaba plant can be grown in different parts of the world. Climatic conditions needed for ashitaba growth can be found in many parts of the world. Fertile soil and sufficient sunlight are the main conditions that are required. It is mainly planted as a seed after which a seedling emerges. The seedling then grows just like any other plant.
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What are the procedures to be followed when growing ashitaba plants? First of all, the seeds need soaking overnight. Only fresh seeds should be used. Having been soaked overnight, remove them from the water and place them in moist sand for about thirty days. They will not germinate at this stage.
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Seeds that have stayed in moist sand for thirty days can now be planted. Rich soils and ample water is necessary during planting. Planting involves placing the seeds near the surface of the soil with loose soil covering them. Strong winds can blow the seeds away hence it is important to press them firmly to the ground. Enough water should be provided so as to enable germination. Ashitaba plants do very well in green houses. This is however not the only place that they can be grown hence it should not worry anyone. The process of germination of the ashitaba seeds can take about fifteen days. Transplanting of the seedlings that emerge from the soil can be done after about two months. The transplanted seedlings are not directly taken to the firm. Place them in port with good drainage holes. This serves to harden them before they can be taken to the farm. After this, they are then ready for the farm. Ensure that the soil is loose enough to provide aeration for the plant. Provide enough water. Ashitaba plants require ample sunlight which is about six hours a day. The plant hence does well in hot and wet climatic conditions. Shield the ashitaba plants from strong winds that could damage them especially at early stages. Flowering of the ashitaba plants will take place two times a year if the platn is well taken care of. The rate of flowering should be one hundred percent if the plants were grown under prime conditions.