Alugbati is one of the most popular vegetables in western visayas, particularly in the province of Iloilo. It can be grown also in other parts of the country.
The young and tender leaves of alugbati are cooked with other vegetables such or with eggplant, squash, mongo or with meat, dried fish, and shrimps.
Basella alba and Basella rubra are species of alugbati which were introduced into the country and believed to have come from Tropical Asia. Basella alba is the white variety while Basella rubra is the red variety.
The vegetable easily adapts to a wide range of soil types but it thrives best in a well-drained clay loam soil. It is grown from an altitude of one meter above sea level to high elevation and can be cultivated throughout the year.
The best time for planting is at the end of the rainy season. Alugbati is propagated through seeds and cutting 20 to 25 cm long. In using cuttings, the leaves are usually removed before planting so as to reduce water loss through transpiration.
How to plant.
Plow and harrow the field. Plant three (3) to four (4) cuttings per hill at a distane of 20 cm -30 cm between hills in furrows spaced at 50 to 75 cm apart . If there area more cuttings, plant 7 to 10 cuttings per hill with a distance of 40 to 50 cm between hills.
Cultivate by hilling up the soil either with a garden hoe or animal drawn plow. Weed by hand regularly.
Irrigate when necessary. Apply compost fertilizer for best results.