This Pak Choi’s tender leaves and crisp sweet stalks are a tasty addition to recipes or eaten raw. Swap stalks for celery sticks, add to soups and stews, or grill on the barbecue. Plant every couple of weeks for successive harvests.
Here’s what you need to know.
Start by preparing the land for your Pak Choi. This vegetable grows best in well-draining soils rich in organic matter, so make sure to incorporate compost or manure in the substrate. The ideal soil pH should be between 6.0 and 7.0, although Pak choy also tolerates a pH of up to 7.5.
– Location and temperature
Pick a part of your land that receives partial shade. As a cold-season crop, Pak Choi can tolerate full sun, but it usually only needs about 4 or 5 hours of direct sun per day.
The ideal temperature range for growing Pak Choi outdoors is between 60 °F and 75 °F (16 °C to 24 °C). Don’t worry if you experience a drop in temperature after your plants are established. A decrease in temperature to around 60 °F (16 °C) can give the stems a very juicy texture and increased sweetness, making autumn a perfect season for growing Pak Choi.
– Spacing and watering
Sow your Pak Choi seeds or transplant your seedlings 6 inches (15 cm) apart, and water well. This vegetable needs regular watering throughout the growing season, as drought will cause the plant to bolt and start producing seed.
Luckily, Pak Choi doesn’t require additional fertilizers, especially if you’ve planted it in soil that is rich in compost. However, if your land is very poor in nutrients, you can apply an organic, nitrogen-rich fertilizer once during the growth period.
Pak Choi is a very sturdy crop for pests and diseases and doesn’t have many of the problems other members of the cabbage family encounter. Now and then, it can suffer attacks from slugs or cabbage worms, which enjoy eating the leaves.
Our tip is to manually remove these pests and discard them in a bucket of soapy water. Using chemical insecticides is not something we recommend.
4. How to harvest Pak Choi
Pak Choi can be harvested at any point once it has at least 3 sets of leaves per plant. You can either pick it and serve as baby Pak Choi or allow it to spend more time in the soil. This will allow the stems to become thicker and meatier while also producing larger leaves.
To harvest Pak Choi, use a sharp knife and cut the plant at soil level. Pak Choi is harvested and used whole, which is why we don’t recommend trimming just some of the leaves off the plant. Younger vegetables are sweeter and more tender, while Pak Choi allowed to grow up to 1 foot (30 cm) tall will have a crunchy, meatier texture, with a mild bitterness.