Chinese Cabbage

Chinese Cabbage

Brassicas rapa var. pekinensis

  • Climate
    Cool temperatures are preferred, however warm weather varieties have been developed.
  • Location
    Full sun is preferred, but part shade is tolerated. Needs shelter from cold winds and frost.
    • Cultivation
      Chinese cabbage performs best in a deep, well drained soil that is high in organic matter. This type of soil will retain moisture and resist compacting. Avoid both light and heavy soils. Add lime if necessary to achieve a pH between 6.5 and 7. Bind heads as they reach maturity for tender, white inner leaves. Alternatively, when 8 to 10 inches tall, blanch them by slipping a half gallon milk carton over them. Both ends should be torn out of the carton.
    • Planting
      Sow seeds 1/3 inch deep directly in the garden so that after thinning they will be 5-8 inches apart. Plant year round in tropical and subtropical climates. Plant in winter through spring in warm zones and spring through summer in cold regions.
    • Watering
      For fast growth (and better flavor) water frequently. Dry spells may cause the plants to go to seed. Try to keep the water off the leaves to reduce the risk of fungal disease.
    • Fertilizing
      Work in plenty of manure. Poultry manure is especially good.
    • Pests and Diseases
      See Brassicas.
    • Harvesting
      Plants mature in 2-3 months and should be cropped when weather is dry. Timing is essential as the appearance of seed stalks will cause the heads to split. To avoid splitting the heads cut them when they feel solid. When ready, the heads should be cut just above soil level. Overgrown heads are worthless. They will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

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