Can I grow wasabi in my weather or climate?
This is a common question I get asked and the answer is Yes, so long as you are prepared to pay the cost.
What is that cost?
The cost of growing wasabi is directly related to the weather and climate conditions of where you want to set up your wasabi farm. This is independent of whether you want to grow wasabi in the ground or not.
The wasabi plant is a fragile plant and the leaf stalk (petiole) snaps very easily. Therefore, if you plan on growing in the ground in an area where there is significant and/or gusty wind, then you will need some sort of protection or wind deflection system.
It is even worse if you are in an area prone to hurricanes or typhoons. The speed and destructive power of these types of weather event raise the cost even higher, as now you will need a hurricane / typhoon proof or resistant structure to protect the wasabi plants. This may or may not be an economic place to grow wasabi. Do your sums before you commit to anything.
Do you get regular rainfall to replenish either the water tanks or site or any other water source you may be using? Just relying on town water is not necessarily a solution either as there are many places in the world at the moment that are struggling to provide enough drinking water to its citizens. Here is an article that has the facts and figures on this. This information should make you look carefully at where you want to site your wasabi farm in relation to potential future weather patterns.
If you are in snow prone areas then the protection needs to be two-fold; firstly for the amount of snow – wasabi will survive under a thin layer of snow for a period, but not under a lot of snow which crushes the plant; the second one is the degree of frost applied to the wasabi plant – if the plant itself freezes then the plant dies. As you can see this is all a fine balancing act to get everything right.
Reversing the situation where you are dealing with high humidity and temperatures also has its own problems which must be addressed in their own way.
The aim of the wasabi farm is to mimic the natural growing conditions as much as possible, and where you start from dictates the solutions, resources needed and the final costs.