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How to Harvest Chinese Cabbage

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Chinese cabbage, also known as celery cabbage and Wong Bok, has been cultivated in China since 500 A.D. Its name is a bit misleading because the crop looks more like turnips and swedes than cabbage. It prefers cool seasons, and grows best in fall and winter. Chinese cabbage matures faster than regular cabbage and may take as little as 60 to 65 days from seeding to harvest. The three varieties are Jade Pagoda Hybrid, China Pride Hybrid and Blues Hybrid.

Expect the Chinese cabbage to form heads that weigh 1-3 pounds. They will have long leaves that are dark green in color. The inner leaves look like lettuce.

Wait for the heads to become compact and firm. This is an indication that the vegetable is ready to harvest.

Use a pair of pruning shears or garden clippers to cut the Chinese cabbage plant. Make sure to go as close to the ground as possible, and cut the entire plant. Cut the cabbage before it goes to seed, which happens relatively quickly once the warm summer days begin. If the weather is dry, it will happen even faster.

Harvest the plant before the seedstalks form. This occurs about 50 to 80 days after sowing, or between the beginning of summer and the first frost in late fall.

Use the cabbage as greens if the first fall frost arrives before the heads have formed. You won't be able to use the entire plant, but you can still harvest them.


Things You Will Need

  • Pruning shears or garden clippers

About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.