Pak Choi

This Oriental vegetable is quick and relatively easy to grow. It can be used in a variety of salads and stir fries and used in a great many different recipes. It can be used as a baby leaf or you can wait and use the mature heads as a cooked vegetable.

Growing pak choi:

Pak choi seeds can be sown between April and July. They will, like most vegetables, grow best in a sunny position in your garden. Sow the seeds thinly around 12mm deep. If you place them in rows around 30-38cm apart. Use spacing that is towards the higher end of that bracket if you want full-sized heads to form. Spacing can be less if you want the baby leaves.

Gradually thin out the seedlings in those rows until you have spaces of around 10cm for baby leaves, 20cm for semi-mature plants and 30cm for mature heads. The good news for those who hate waste is that you can eat the thinnings as you go along.

Plants should be kept well watered during any dry periods as if they are not they can have a tendency to bolt and their flavour will not be as good.

If you plant successionally you should be able to harvest crops of pak choi between May and September and will even be able to prolong the growing season considerably if you have a greenhouse or polytunnel. Earlier and later sowings can also be made under fleece or cloches in milder areas.

You can simply harvest the pak choi from your garden whenever you need it. It can be useful for providing plenty of fresh green leaves throughout the season and can make your salads a bit more interesting and give your stir fries an Oriental twist.

Why grow pak choi in the garden?

Pak choi is a great addition to a salad bed in your garden. It looks attractive and has a great many uses in the kitchen. It is a good value addition too, as it can provide a harvest over a long season. There are varieties that can even be grown early and late in the year and have good frost resistance. Since the pak choi can be ready to eat from in around a month, these are great for kids and gardeners who don't have much patience. Since pak choi comes in different colours, it can not only be used in a vegetable patch but could also be part of an ornamental border in a cottage garden.

Quick Facts

Latin Name
Brassica rapa spp. chinensis