Pak Choi Cabbage is a popular type of cabbage, and is most popularly known as bok choy or Chinese white cabbage. A non-heading leaf type, this Chinese cabbage tends to produce glossy green leaves accompanied by snow white stalks. Its leaves are characterized by their large size, round shape and smooth texture. Pak Choi plants bear about 10-14 inch, erect stalks and the leaves generally grow between 8 to 10 inches. A fast-maturing plant, the Pak Choi cabbage can either be wholly harvested or used only for its outer leaves.
Pak Choi is able to grow over a long period of time, and its hardiness makes it able to withstand cold temperatures. Luckily, the Pak Choi can be grown as both a spring and a fall crop. It is mostly successful in regions where summers are cool and winters are mild. Optimal temperatures for the Pak Choi to succeed in its growth are between 59–68°F.
Taste-wise, Pak Choi is a great addition to many different dishes and lends itself to Asian cooking. Crisp and tend with a mild taste, Pak Choi is best used for stir fries and with different meats. Some recipes to try with Pak Choi include a delicious beef noodles with pak choi with mushrooms and stir fry with chicken.
Unfortunately, the Pak Choi is not immune to pests and diseases. Some of the common diseases that may affect a Pak Choi include:
1) Alternaria leaf spot (Black spot, Gray spot)
A fungus which tends to appear in cool and wet weather, it is characterized by small and dark spots on leaves which morph from brown to gray. These lesions may form rings, and become brittle and crack. Lesions may also appear on the stems and petioles of the plant.
2) Bacterial soft rot
Thriving in warm and moist conditions, bacterial soft rot is also a risk. This disease causes water-soaked lesions to appear on the head of the cabbage. The lesions expand and form a rotting mass of cream colored liquid tissue, and also exudes slimy liquid.
They are also susceptible to flea battles, cabbage worms and aphids as well, so careful consideration needs to be made in that regard to protect the plant.
Sowing The Seed
Cabbage is a cool seasoned crop, which is well suited for the early Spring and early to late Autumn season. The seeds can be started indoors, or directly outdoors. If started indoors, sow in peat pots, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost, at a depth of 1/4” under topsoil. Transplant into the garden, or direct sow outdoors, when the weather is slightly cool to warm. Check below for spacing and growth habits.
Cabbage plants, as explained above, will thrive in cooler temperatures. It is recommended to place them in an area of full sunlight, with temperatures averaging around 60F to 65F. The plants will need a soil that is rich in organic matter, but also well drained. If your sowing area is filled with hard, compact soil, we recommend adding in a light compost mix to improve drainage. Water the plants daily to ensure that the soil is kept moist until germination has occurred.
Germination & Growth
Cabbage seeds will typically take anywhere between 7 to 14 days to sprout open. The plants themselves will take up little garden space, and can be grown in rows. Each plant can be spaced about 18 to 24 inches apart from one another, in rows that are spaced about 24 to 30 inches apart. Fertilize when new leaves form, and when the heads begin to form. Harvest your Cabbage heads in roughly 40 to 50 days.