Food-Lover's Garden: Grow Your Own Stir-Fry

With smart planning and some new varieties of seeds and plants, you can create a garden based on your favorite dishes.
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Homegrown ingredients will make your wok really sizzle.

Bok choy: Plant baby bok choy, which grows quickly and has tender, sweet leaves that are tasty in a stir-fry. Bok choy is best grown from seed. Weed out seedlings that are maturing slowly to help the others sprout faster. Each seed will yield one bunch.

Eggplants: Japanese eggplants are virtually seedless and ripen a bit faster than the classic Italian variety. They're also less bitter, so you can throw them right into the wok without salting them first. They need a full season to grow; speed things up by skipping the seeds and starting with a well-formed plant.

Onions: Tender scallions are easy to grow and are ideal for quick-cooking methods like a stir-fry. You'll get only one scallion per plant or seed, so after you pick one, immediately cut off the white root end and set it back into moist soil: It'll regenerate within three weeks.

Peas: Plant sugar snap peas rather than traditional snow peas: Even after sugar snap peas are cooked, they retain a satisfying crunch, and they’re less stringy and papery than snow peas. Sugar snap peas grow to amazing heights, so outfit your plot with a six-foot-tall bamboo stake.

Bell peppers: Red, orange and yellow bell peppers are sweeter than the usual green variety. And they're a relative bargain: At the grocery store, brightly colored bell peppers are often much more expensive. Like eggplants, bell peppers take all summer to mature. To jump-start the process, avoid seeds and purchase small plants.

Use your home-grown produce to make Spicy Beef Stir-Fry.

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