Pak Choi

If you've found the information on the seed packet to be sadly lacking, this is the place to find out more, or add your comments!

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alan refail
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Pak Choi

Postby alan refail » Mon May 14, 2007 6:07 pm

PAK CHOI

History and profile

Pak Choi (sometimes known as Bok Choy) – Brassica rapa Var. chinensis has been grown in Southern China since at least the 5th century AD. It is a fast growing biennial, but will usually go to seed in the first season if sown in unfavourable conditions. Pak chois vary in size from 10 to 50 cm high. They are shallow rooted and fast growing and the younger the plant the tenderer they are.

Site and soil

Since it is so shallow rooted Pak Choi needs to be grown in fertile, moisture retentive ground. They should not be allowed to dry out at any stage. Most of the varieties widely available are cool season crops and do best in sunny, open positions with temperatures in the range 15-20C.

Uses
Pak Choi can be grown as a seedling, cut-and-come-again crop for small salad leaves, or be allowed to grow into full sized plants, or grown even longer for the flowering shoots


Cultivation

If Pak Choi is grown as a seedling crop it can be sown thickly in rows under cover in Spring – Summer sowings will probably bolt.
For mature plants sow in modules from mid-Summer to Autumn and plant out when weather is cool and preferably the soil is very moist.
For overwintering under cover sow in modules late August to mid September.

I suggest sowing in modules as disturbance when transplanting is one of the main triggers of premature bolting.

Spacing

Spacing depends on the size of plants wanted. 15-20cm is sufficient for small plants, For large plants, especially if being left for flowering shoots in Spring 30-40cm is probably better. Very small varieties can be planted at as little as 10cm apart.

Care

Pak Chois are greedy and thirsty plants and care must be taken to ensure they do not dry out – water little and frequently.

Pests

If grown in Autumn and over Winter the main problem is likely to be slugs and snails. If you have clubroot, pak choi will fail as it succumbs much more quickly that Western brassicas.

Cooking

Seedling crops raw in salads
Mature plants and flowering shoots steamed or stir-fried

Varieties

Joi Choi (F1) – large plants, slow to bolt – white stems
Ivory (F1) – large upright plants – white stems
Mei Qing Choi (F1) – medium size – green stems
Canton Dwarf – the smallest of all – white stems

Other oriental brassicas to grow similarly

Chinese cabbage, Tatsoi, Choi sum (for flowing heads), Japanese mustards including Komatsuna, Red Mustard, Mizuna, Mibuna.

For more discussion on Pak Choi see:-

viewtopic.php?t=2880

Alan
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cevenol jardin
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Postby cevenol jardin » Mon May 28, 2007 10:52 pm

Excellent post Alan

re pests
worst for me is cabbage white caterpillars - they decimated my seedling crops (august sown outdoors) for that reason i now grow my late summer/autumn crop and overwintering crops undercover.
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Re: Pak Choi

Postby Greenman » Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:56 pm

I read this thread quite a while ago, and since then have got my hands on a copy of Joy Larckom's excellent book. I have earmarked a place in my polytunnel for some Pak choi and Japanese mustards this winter.
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cevenol jardin
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Re: Pak Choi

Postby cevenol jardin » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:42 am

I would recommend the rosette pak choi types I really think they are tops so far that I've tried - I put up a post about oriental greens a while back and it has some good pictures of them. I have some mystery oriental brassicas to try this autumn I got in a seed swap written in chinese chararcters so I don't know what they are exciting to see what grows. http://www.masdudiable.com/A55C37/mdd.nsf/dx/Selecting-Oriental-Brassicas.htm
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Colin_M
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Re: Pak Choi

Postby Colin_M » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:02 pm

I got a note from CJ to say that the link posted earlier should read:
http://masdudiable.com/2010/01/10/growing-oriental-greens/
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Westi
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Re: Pak Choi

Postby Westi » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:44 pm

Hi Cevenol Jardin

How exciting trying something new and unknown - make
sure you post a pic of the result and we can all try to
guess the type :)

I love Pak Choi of all types - grows fast and well and tastes
so fresh and crispy.

Westi
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alan refail
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Re: Pak Choi

Postby alan refail » Sun May 15, 2011 5:39 am

A good bolt resistant variety for spring sowing is Green Boy. It can be sown in warmer weather mid-spring and is fast growing and slow to bolt. Fairly elongated dark green leaves on thinner and longer stems than many other cultivars.
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Re: Pak Choi

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sun May 15, 2011 9:19 am

Pak choi is a good plant to sow in autumn when you're ready to clear the tomatoes out of the greenhouse. If you sow in modules you can set them out in the greenhouse border where they'll sit through all the cold weather and then as soon as the light levels rise in February they start growing again and you can harvest lovely fresh greens for salads or stir fries.

I usually also grow mizuna sown directly into the border for a good supply of salad leaves for months on end over autumn, winter and spring.

Another good plant is Chinese Kale. I brought the seeds back from Thailand and they do well both outside and in the greenhouse for an early crop. They produce a finger thick very tender stem which I pick when the flower bud has formed, then they send out lots of side shoots. The leaves can also be used like spring cabbage. It is lovely stir fried or steamed for a short time.
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Re: Pak Choi

Postby thetangoman » Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:31 pm

I have found that Pak Choy is sown indoors and thinned into modules so a fairly established size pant is planted out produces best results .This way the risks of the old cabbage whites etc are far less, usefull space filler as well and is a valuable plant for any allotment.
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