Also known as bok choy or Chinese white cabbage, Pak choi is grown for its stalks, which are used in Asian cooking. It is also delicious raw. Each plant bears 10-14 erect stalks, 8-10" long. Grows best in cool weather and can be grown as a spring or fall crop.
Sow cabbage seeds in North in early spring for first crop, again in midsummer for fall crop. In the South, Sow in the fall. Start seeds indoors about 8 weeks before outdoor planting time. Sow about 8" apart in rows 24" apart and cover with 1/4" of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist. Place containers in a south facing window or under grow lights until seedlings emerge. Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days. Provide seedlings plenty of light after they sprout - supplemental grow-lights can help if a sunny enough place indoors is difficult to provide.
How to Grow
Thin to stand about 16" apart when seedlings are 1-2" tall. Move plants to a sheltered location outdoors for one week before transplanting into the garden to "harden off." After the last heavy frost transplant hardened-off seedlings outdoors to an area with rich, well-drained soil, in full sun. Cabbage can tolerate some light shade - especially where summer heat arrives early. Transplant after all danger of heavy frost. Set cabbage plants 12-18" apart in rows 2’ apart. Do not plant cabbage family crops in the same place 2 years in a row. Water when rainfall is less than 1 inch per week, and regularly apply compost or balanced fertilizer. Once planted out, floating row covers help keep pests at bay.
Harvest heads when they become firm. Cut stems at soil level and remove outer leaves. Smaller heads will develop at the base once central head is harvested. Store fall-harvested cabbage for several months if you store them at 40°F in high humidity. Eat cabbage cooked or raw.