shp123

Do you have success in growing choy sum, bok choy,Chinese broccoli

shp123
7 months ago

Hi all, I have been trying to grow these Chinese greens for quite a few years. Always in spring and most of the time they all bolted before June when the first heat set in. Do you have success growing them and would like to share some tips? I plan to start in August for a fall crop this time, I heard I may have better luck in the fall. Thanks.

Comments (16)

  • farmerdill

    Most of the are fairly easy to grow. I prefer Pak Choi, but also grow NAPA and Michihli types. Pak Choi does well either spring or fall but some varieties of Chinese cabbage are best suited to fall. The heading types are slug magnets so you will need to control those. You also have to time your fall harvest as they are susceptible to light freezes.



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  • Labradors

    I start Pak Choy inside and they grow like crazy, but when I plant them out, they get attacked by flea beetles and ruined. Apart from that they would probably be great under a floating row cover as I plant them out about the same time as the tomatoes so it's relaltively cool then.

  • Kay young--Zone 5

    WOW. FarmerDill, I wish I can grow Pak choi like you did. I started well but as soon I plant them outside slug and rollypolly have feast and I end up very little.

    Any tips to share? Thanks,

  • farmerdill

    Win-Win in cold frame ready to transplant. 3/12/2018

    I start mine in cold frames so I don't have light or temperature transitions. Starting conditions same as broccoli cauliflower, cabbage. I have sandy soil so if I avoid low damp places lots of slug problems are avoided. I do use slug baits when necessary. I transplant (spring) a month ahead of tomatoes.

    shp123 thanked farmerdill
  • Kay young--Zone 5

    Thank you for sharing your tips growing napa cabbages. My family LIKE napa cabbages and make winter kimchee at the end of fall. Of course from the store bought b.c I have not been successful. Sandy soil and cold frame...Please DO post more IF you have the time and energy. Thanks a TON!

  • farmerdill

    Z5 should cool enough fpr summer growing. If you can start plants outside and transplant in midsummer for fall harvest you should be good to go. Avoid ground cover in immediate area. Use slug traps ( beer in a shallow saucer will work). I am too old and lazy so I use slug baits. All varieties do well in fall, some will not work in spring due to immature bolting.

    Optico an all season NAPA type

    Green Rocket. One of the Michihili varieties not suited for spring.

    shp123 thanked farmerdill
  • Labradors

    Good stuff Farmerdill. I can grow these in my cold frames next year! Thanks :).

  • Kay young--Zone 5

    The Napa cbbg on top pic look like what I buy from store. I will be so proud if I ever make winter kimchee from cabb I grow. Thank you. What zone do you live in? Thanks again.

  • farmerdill

    8a middle Georgia

  • otcay

    Here in Southern California, I grow the Asian Brassica in mid winter (Dec-Jan) when it rains here and eat them by June, collecting the seeds for the next season. They grow easily, pest free.


  • Kay young--Zone 5

    Otcay! Pest Free???? No fair, My cabbage lvs never look that good! Mine have a bunch of holes that they look like stockings. really!

  • Lynda Radke (USDA 9b, Sunset 23)

    I'm in Santa Barbara and we plant Bok Choy in the fall, usually September. We pick off a few stems at a time from October to December and get enough crop to have it a couple of times per week for three months or so. We have had no luck in the spring. We also like komatsuna, which can produce for us all winter.


  • daninthedirt (USDA 8a, HZ10, Cent TX, Sunset z30)

    New Jersey (which you cross-posted to) is zone 7. Too cold in the winter for bok choy without protection. They can only take light frosts.

  • Lynda Radke (USDA 9b, Sunset 23)

    Agreed, I would think NJ is far too cold in the winter for many plants. We only get a frost every few years, so different rules apply.


  • laceyvail 6A, WV

    What works for me is direct sow, quite early in the season under"pop up" coldframes made with metal hoops covered with plastic. Often sow as early as early March. I do the same to get very early lettuce (sow often in Feb) and for gailan, sown in early April.

  • shp123

    I know some people can grow asian green with much success in NJ. For me, I always wound up with bolting in spring planting. I tried growing in the fall this year, they did okay up until early Nov and the frost killed them. I never harvest enough to make it worth the effort. Ah, forgot to mention the cabbage moth, insect damage on the leaves!

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