How to Grow Bok Choy

How to Grow Bok Choy

How to grow bok choy.

Bok choy (Brassica Rapa) is an Asian green that has been cultivated for over a thousand years.Also known as Pak-Choi, cabbage, celery, mustard and Chinese cabbage, Chinese cabbage is fast growing and very tolerant of different climatic zones. In translation, Chinese cabbage means “white car”, referring to whites green stems of this tasty but soft. 

Chinese cabbage leaves are round and a beautiful green. Depending on the 

variety, this biennial plant can range from seven inches to more than a foot high. Like most other vegetables, Chinese cabbage is a cool weather plant. In cooler areas, Chinese cabbage can be planted in spring, whereas in warmer areas of 7 or warmer, the plant does best as a fall crop. There are heat-tolerant varieties available that can be grown in summer gardens. 

To prepare a garden for plants, the soil should be rich in nutrients and well drained. A slightly acidic pH of approximately 6.5 will help the plants flourish. Plants should be planted in full sun for cooler weather, but may need partial shade if it grows during the summer. Plants can be started from seeds or transplants. 

If the principle within the seeds, the seeds begin one month before the last frost of the season in individual containers. Using individual containers reduces root disturbance during transplanting. Transplants can be moved outdoors when temperatures are at least a steady 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If plants are exposed to many days of low temperatures (40 F), plants may bolt. These seeds can be planted directly in soil when the outside temperature reached a steady 50 + degrees Fahrenheit. If planting in the fall, sow seeds about 35 days before the first chance of frost. 

Seeds sown directly in the garden should be planted about 1 / 4 inches deep and spaced about one inch apart. Transplants should be planted about two inches apart. The greens can be diluted more than the plants begin to grow. Young plants that are perfect for salads thin. When the plants reach three to four inches in height, the soil should be mulched to help retain moisture. If plants do not get enough water, Chinese cabbage closes. Plants do not like hard frost, but if protected, can continue to provide fresh vegetables for several weeks in the cold season. 

Plants thrive when watered weekly with a manure tea, but if grown in containers, limit feeding to once every three or four weeks. Bok Choy is a popular target for various garden pests including beetles, aphids, and cabbage-worms that can eat holes in leaves. Floating row covers can help reduce the destruction of some of these garden pests. 

The leaves of Chinese cabbage can be harvested at a size you can use. The leaves are collected by the breakdown of the leaves off base, but leaving a few leaves of the plant. New growth will appear in the center of the plant. Once the new growth is established, the leaves are very few previous extractions can be removed. Remove flower stalks when they become visible. 

When the bolt of plants, both flowers and pods are also edible. Bok choy can be cooked as most other greens. The leaves have a mild mustard flavor and are popular both in salads and a variety of recipes. 


Burpee – THE COMPLETE PLANT & Herb Gardener by Karan Davis Cutler, copyright 1997.

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