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Growing bok choy (Brassica rapa) is a great way to prolong the gardening season since it is a winter crop. Planting bok choy seeds in late summer, since it is a cool-season crop, enables gardeners to take advantage of garden space that becomes available after earlier crops have finished for the season. Because bok choy is frost resilient, it will continue to thrive even after the cold weather has eradicated insects and pests from the environment.
Growing Instructions for Bok Choy Seeds
Choke maintenance is straightforward since it is grown as an autumn crop. It may be planted directly into rich, nutritious garden soil at a depth of 14 to 12 inches (6 to 13 mm). It is advised that appropriate drainage be installed in places where rainfall causes saturated conditions. Planting fall crops in full light is possible. Planting bok choy seeds in tiny batches every two weeks will result in a consistent and ongoing yield of the vegetable.
Growing bok choy seeds for a spring yield is more difficult than growing it in the fall. Bok choy, being a biennial, is very susceptible to bolting. This happens when prolonged exposure to frost or temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) is followed by an increase in temperature. Winter circumstances, followed by a warm season, cause bok choy to blossom in its second year after being planted in the fall.
To avoid spring crops from bolting, plant seedlings inside 4 weeks before the last frost date to give them time to mature. Incorporate a high-quality seed starting soil mix into which bok choy seeds may be sown to a depth of 14 to 12 inches before transplanting to the garden (6 to 13 mm.). After that, wait until all danger of cold weather has passed before transplanting bok choy into the vegetable garden. Plants should be spaced 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 cm) apart, and mulch should be used to keep the soil cool and wet.
When producing bok choy as a spring crop, consider planting it in partial shade and keeping it well-watered to further reduce the likelihood of bolting. Grown in smaller sizes, or “baby” variations, of bok choy might also be beneficial since they develop 10 to 14 days sooner than the standard-sized types.
It is also more susceptible to pests when grown as a spring crop, such as cabbage loopers, flea beetles, and aphids, since it is grown in the early spring. It may be important to use row covers in order to collect leaves that are free of blemishes.
When Should You Harvest Bok Choy?
The mature size of bok choy varies depending on the type grown in the garden. Standard kinds may grow to be 12 to 24 inches (30 to 61 cm) long, while baby bok choy develops to be less than 10 inches (25 cm) tall (25 cm). Harvesting bok choy, on the other hand, may begin as soon as the first use-able leaves appear.
Young, delicate plants that were culled while bok choy was being thinned may be utilized in fresh salads or stir-fried with other vegetables. Some standard-size kinds may also be harvested while they are young, resulting in plants that resemble baby bok choy plants.
It is essential to keep an eye out for early indications of blossoming in spring crops. If plants begin to bolt, pick them as soon as possible to avoid a complete loss of the crop. Fall vegetables may frequently be stored in the garden until required, and they will continue to be edible even after mild frosts and freezing temperatures. To harvest a plant, cut it at ground level with a knife using a sharp blade.
Plan to harvest bok choy in useable quantities whenever feasible, since it has a considerably shorter shelf life and is more difficult to store than other members of the cabbage family, such as broccoli and cabbage. Broccoli may be kept in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days unwashed and wrapped in a plastic bag for storage.