How To Grow Bok Choy

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Bok Choy

Growing Bok Choy

Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage, with a crisp and crunchy stem, and large green leaves. It is a nutrient-dense vegetable, high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Bok choy is usually eaten cooked, but can also be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches.

Cheatsheet:

1. Choose a suitable space

🌞 Ensure 6 hours of sunlight daily

💦 Provide well-drained soil and consistent moisture

2. Start from seeds

🌱 Plant 2-4 weeks before last frost

🌱 Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart

3. Keep plants thriving

💧 Water regularly to avoid bolting

🌡️ Maintain temperature between 50-75°F

4. Promote healthy growth

🌿 Fertilize every 3 weeks

⚙️ Organic mulch for moisture retention

5. Harvest with care

⏳ Harvest outer leaves when 4-6 inches long

🔪 Use a sharp knife to cut at base

6. Enjoy the benefits

💪 High in vitamins A, C, and K

💚 Boosts immune system and supports bone health

7. Perfect for self-sufficiency

🌱 Economical and easy to grow

🌎 Reduces dependency on store-bought greens

Gardening has long been loved as a pastime and passion, and any experienced green thumb will tell you that growing bok choy can be a rewarding experience. Whether you’re a beginner gardener or a seasoned pro, this hardy vegetable is great for anyone wanting to grow something incredibly delicious. Growing bok choy isn’t overly-challenging, but it does require a few specific steps. Here’s everything you need to know about planting and growing your own asian greens.

Why Grow Bok Choy?

Bok choy is incredibly tasty and nutritious. This asian green can add complexity to any dish, and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Whether sautéed, boiled, or steamed, this leafy vegetable will never disappoint. On top of being tasty and versatile, bok choy is very easy to grow, making it a great choice for beginner gardeners. It can also be grown in most climate zones throughout the United States, so did not really matter where you reside, chances are you can give it a go. Finally, bok choy also has a relatively high yield, so you’ll find that the investment (financial and in time) is well worth it.

Overview Of Growing Bok Choy

Bok choy is a cool-weather vegetable, so it thrives in temperatures between 60-75°F. Knowing what soil type is most ideal for bok choy is important, since the right soil texture and pH level will aspect the success of your vegetables. Loose, high quality soil is best, so make sure to incorporate some organic matter before beginning. Then, you’ll want to find a spot that receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Even though bok choy prefers cooler weather, it still needs plenty of direct sunlight in order to grow.

Step 1: Start Indoors Or Directly Outdoors?

You can technically start bok choy from seeds both indoors or directly outdoors; if you decide to start indoors, it is recommended you use a seedling tray and plant two to three seeds per square. While some gardeners may see starting indoors as an added step, it does have a few definite advantages. For starters, there is less risk of rot or pests that may harm the seeds. Additionally, indoors you have much more control over the temperature to ensure the best environment for the seeds.

Step 2: Keep Seeds Sheltered And Moist

After planting the seeds, make sure to keep them sheltered and moist, ideally in an area with temperatures between 65-70°F. If your soil is consistently dry, you may need to water the seeds every other day. Although you want the soil damp and not saturated, the seeds must be kept moist at all times in order for successful germination. Once the seeds germinate and appear above the soil, you’ll want the soil to be on the drier side. This will help bolster the plant’s root system.

Step 3: Thin Out The Seedlings And Harden-Off

Once the seedlings appear, you’ll want to thin them out and separate them out twelve to eighteen inches apart. This ensures the plants have enough room to reach their full size; you can plant them closer if you want to harvest a smaller head of bok choy. Additionally, you’ll need to harden-off the seedlings once they reach at least four inches in height. This process involves slowly introducing the seedlings to outdoor light and temperature and should at least two weeks; any shock to the plant can result in stunted growth.

Step 4: Planting The Seedlings Outdoors

Similar to the harden-off process, you’ll need to be careful and measured when planting the seedlings outdoors. Plant your seedlings twelve to eighteen inches apart and make sure to cover the roots with loose soil. You’ll want to water them immediately after planting and then do so gently every few days. Remember, bok choy prefers it when the soil is damp, so do not overwater. Additionally, you may want to mulch around the plants for additional protection from the elements.

Step 5: Fertilizing The Soil And Regular Maintenance

Once the seedlings are planted, you’ll want to fertilize them a few times throughout the growing season. Entering the summer months, you’ll want to use a high quality, nitrogen-rich fertilizer to ensure the best flavor and texture. Additionally, make sure to keep an eye out for any pests or diseases, as bok choy can easily be affected by either. Regular maintenance of the soil will help prevent this and also ensure that your vegetables grow to their fullest potential.

Harvesting Your Bok Choy

Once the bok choy has fully matured, the heads will be about eight inches tall and ready to be harvested. When harvesting, it is best to cut the entire head and never just break off individual stalks; for future harvests, you’ll also need to remove any wilted leaves in order to get the most out of your plants. You can harvest bok choy multiple times throughout the growing season, and for optimum flavor and freshness, it is best to consume within one or two days.

FAQ

1. When should I plant bok choy seeds?

Plant bok choy seeds in early spring or late summer.

2. How much sunlight does bok choy need?

Bok choy needs partial shade to full sun for optimal growth.

3. How often should I water bok choy?

Water bok choy regularly, keeping the soil evenly moist.

4. What type of soil is best for growing bok choy?

Growing bok choy requires rich, well-draining soil.

5. Can I grow bok choy in containers?

Bok choy can be grown in containers as long as they have sufficient depth and drainage.

6. How long does it take for bok choy to mature?

Bok choy typically matures in 45-60 days.

7. How do I protect bok choy from pests?

Use organic pest control methods like neem oil or row covers to protect your bok choy from pests.

8. Should I fertilize bok choy?

Fertilize bok choy with a balanced organic fertilizer during planting and once more during growth.

Bok Choy is a delicious and healthy leafy green vegetable that can be enjoyed cooked or raw. It is high in vitamins A, C, and K and minerals like calcium, folate, and iron. It is also high in dietary fibre, has a mild flavour, and a crunchy texture that is perfect for stir fry dishes, adding a nutritious and tasty kick to any meal.

Want to know more about Growing Bok Choy? Check out these posts:

You might also like:

Your perfect garden awaits!

Launch your garden