Pak Choy was one of the vegetables most in view at Chelsea last year. The regular shape and decorative leaves help create a formal structure to vegetable planting. There are also new varieties coming on the market including one with long stems (not bolting stems) that can be eaten as pick and come again vegetables.
Growing Tips for Pak Choy
- Green Pak Choy, Bok Choy, Chinese Mustard, Celery Mustard, Mustard Cabbage and other recommendations below are available from Nickys seeds or Thompson Morgan (50% seed sale till June)
- Grow Pak Choy as an annual and use when small as cut and come again for salads stir fry etc. Green stemmed varieties withstand adverse conditions than white stemmed forms. Leaves are used raw or cooked from any stage from seedling to mature plant, flavour is sweet with a hint of mustard.
- Young flowering stems can be eaten and used like broccoli.
- Position in full sun in moist fertile soil.Â Sow direct from May onwards. Thin out as necessary so they do not crowd each other and keep moist at all times.
- Cut the heads leaving a stump to produce a new flush of leaves.
- Protect pak choi from snails and slugs.
- If you havenâ€™t room in the border grow Pak Choi in a grow bag.
Three top Varieties
Black Summer F1
Dark green Pak Choi, Oval dark green leaves above broad flat light green petioles, even when small this variety produces a thick vase shape. Very slow bolting. 45 days to maturity
Pak Choi Joi Choi F1
Vigorous white stemmed Pak Choi, forms a 12-15″ tall, broad, heavy bunch with dark green leaves and thick, flattened white petioles. Tolerant to heat and cold. Space 10-12″ apart, 50 days to maturity.
Pak Choi Mei Qing Choi F1
Baby green stem Pak Choi approx half size of Joi Choi, flat pale misty green stems form a thick, heavy base with broad, oval, rich green leaves. Compact vase shape is perfectly formed at baby size when young. Very uniform and bolt resistant.
The vertical vegetable wall was an interesting feature at Chelsea this year. With a bit of ingenuity pots and planting shelves can be created in a vertical space to grow fleshy vegetables like this Pak Choy. With the right salad and veg it looks good, will taste good and increases your growing space.
The most important feature of vertical gardening is adequate watering so I recommend a proper piped in system if you are serious. There are some good irrigation systems available that allows you to put water just where you need it. I doubt a hose pipe would get the job done as most water would escape.
If you tilt the wall 15Â° from the vertical this may improve watering and access to light.