Baby Bok Choy or Pak Choy is a small variety of Chinese cabbage with dark green leaves and white stems. Known for its mild flavor, it is excellent for use in soups, salads, stir fry, stews, or sauté. Some countries in Asia preserve it by pickling these greens. The best part is, it is full of vitamins, beta-carotene, minerals and antioxidants that help protect cells from damage.
This leafy green vegetable is so easy to grow and matures quickly in 3-4 weeks. I find that because it’s a small variety, it is more tender and the flavor is sweeter. What I love about it is they can also grow in containers.
Before you begin planting, make sure you buy good baby bok choy seeds from a reputable source and use good quality seed starter soil mix. Here I use an egg carton to plant the seeds, but you can also purchase a seed starter tray as a container.
The best time to grow bok choy is late summer and early spring when there is no danger of frost. In the heat of summer the plant tends to wilt. You will also need to prepare the soil in the ground where they will be transplanted. Choose a sunny location, then till the soil, mix in some organic compost and fertilizer.
Here are easy steps to grow baby bok choy seeds:
- Fill planting tray with good seed starter soil mix.
- Poke 2 holes (for each square) in the soil using a pencil. Drop seeds about 1/4 inch deep. Plant 2 seeds in each square for insurance. If one doesn’t take off, you still have the other to grow.
- Back fill with a little soil and press lightly to firm.
- Water the seeds gently to moisten the soil and place it in indirect sunlight area. Keep soil moist. Water it every other day depending on the weather. Once it sprouts, transfer it to a sunny location.
- Meanwhile, prepare the ground soil in a sunny location. Till the soil and add organic compost and fertilizer.
- In 2 weeks, the growth should be about 2-4 inches. Transplant the seedlings into the ground and water well. Keep soil moist and weed free.
It is important to apply mulch to keep soil moist and cool. Water regularly and pull weeds as you see it. You can also feed the bok choy plants every 2 weeks with a high nitrogen fertilizer once or twice until they are ready for harvest.
If you want to grow bok choy in a container, just follow steps 1-4 above but plant seeds directly in good potting soil mix with organic fertilizer in the mix. Then water regularly.
In 3-4 weeks, pick the healthy leaves as you need them or pick the whole plant and cut the rooted ends.
Isn’t that easy? I hope you try growing delicious baby bok choy this fall and use it in your meals.