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How to Grow Bok Choy, a Chinese Vegetable

Brassica Rapa

Bok Choy, also called Chinese Cabbage,  is a cool weather Chinese vegetable that's easy to grow. This non-heading cabbage grows quickly, and is ready to eat in as little as 45- 50 days. It's a favorite in a wide variety of Chinese and Asian stir-fry recipes. It can also be steamed.


Propagation:

Bok Choy is grown from seed. Bok Choy seeds can be directly seeded into your garden, or seeded indoors for transplanting later. Sow seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/4" or less of fine garden or seed starting soil.

Seeds germinate in 7- 10 days.


How to Grow Bok Choy Plants:

Days to maturity: 45 - 50

Bok Choy plants thrive in cool weather. Spring and fall crops are best, leaving the summer months to the hot weather crops.

Plant seeds indoors well before the last frost in your area. Plant seedlings outdoors about two weeks later. The seedlings will withstand frost and light freezes. You can also directly sow seeds into your garden. Bok Choy will be one of the first vegetables to harvest in the spring.

A second crop can be started in mid to late summer. Time fall crops to mature near or slightly after the first expected frost date in your area.

Plant Bok Choy in rich, loose garden soil. Fuel fast growth with an early application of fertilizer. Keep the soil moist.

Space or thin plants to 6" - 10" apart in rows 18" - 30" apart.

Keep plants well weeded.

Plants have a tendency to quickly go to seed in hot, weather, or if under stress.


Insects and Pests:


Insects can be a problem when growing Bok Choy. Because this is a leaf crop, avoid using chemical insecticides. Use garlic sprays or organic repellents, only if problems arise.


Disease:

Bok Choy is susceptible to rotting during hot and humid weather.

It is strongly recommend that you don't plant Bok Choy, in an area where other members of the cabbage family have been grown in the past two years. This will help to minimize plant disease.


Hardiness:


Like other members of the cabbage family, Bok Choy prefers cool, and even cold weather. They can be among the first plants in your garden each spring. Start them indoors, and plant them before the last frost, freeze or snow. They will survive below thirty degrees. They will be among your last crops to survive the increasingly frequent fall frosts.


Harvesting Bok Choy:

Bok Choy is a non-heading plant. Leaves and stalks form close together, similar to celery. Harvest plants when they have reached 12" - 18" tall. Remove the outer leaves. Wash leaves before eating.


More Information:

Pak Choi - it's also a Chinese Cabbage, and closely related to Bok Choi

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