September 1, 2020

Urban Gardening: How To Grow Sitaw


It’s been a while since I posted about our vegetable garden at home. What about you? How is your garden?

The rainy season is already on its way, and this is the best time to grow pole beans or commonly known to as sitaw. Although the sitaw can be planted at any time of the year, it has higher productivity when grown during May and in October-November.
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Sitaw is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals like Vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and manganese.

For home garden or urban planting, sowing sitaw is easy. It can survive using almost any type of soil.

Location is not a problem since the sitaw can flourish under full sunlight but can also survive under partial shade.

How I grow my sitaw?
Sitaw seeds are large enough to have direct seeding method. Sow the seeds at a depth of 2-3cm with about 6-8 inches apart. If you are using pots or recycled pails, you can decrease the distance between seeds. I used to plant 6-8 seeds per pot.
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Sitaw started to emege from the soil.
After 3-4 days, seeds will sprout out of the soil.  
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The leaves is already coming out.
Once it started to emerged from the soil, sitaw grows fast.
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The first pair of leaves.

 And after 2 days, the first pair of leaves will appear.
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In about 2 weeks after planting, the sitaw will need support to cling on as it grows. Place pole beside each plant. I used small bamboo branches here.
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Trellis are already placed for the sitaw to climb.
Flowers will start to emerge and a small pod will start to appear as the flower wilts. 
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Sitaw flowers

Enough water supply is needed to increase the production of flower pod production.
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Sitaw pods
After 7-10 days, the sitaw is ready for harvest by holding the stem and twisting the pod until it snaps off. Once picking of pods started, it can be made with 2-3 days interval.

Like most vegetables, the sitaw is also prone to pests and diseases.
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Aphids damaging the leaves and flowers.
Common pests are beanfly, aphids, pod borer, leafminer, and leafhopper. Using homemade insecticide is good enough to control these pests.

Mosaic virus is one of the common diseases of the sitaw. This is a virus carried by aphids resulting in irregularly-shaped light green leaves.

Another is rust. The first stage of this disease is white spots on the underside of the leaves. The entire leaf will turn yellow and after few days dried up then falls off.

Root rot is also a common problem in growing sitaw. This is caused by a fungus that grows after prolonged rain or excessive water.

One of the most effective control in pest and disease prevention of sitaw is using more resistant varieties, crop rotation, pruning of infected parts, and if needed, using chemicals like fungicides.
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Adobong Sitaw
Here are some of the sitaw harvested from our home vegetable garden cooked straight in the kitchen.

Happy gardening!

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