Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage. Rather than forming dense heads, these varieties have delicious dark green leaf blades and crisp white stalks.
Cool season crop
Cousin to broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, Bok choy (Brassica rapa) is a cool weather crop. This means it can be planted in the Bay Area in February, March, and April, and again in September and October. Your microclimate may vary.
How to grow bok choy
Bok choy can be seeded directly in the ground, but starting the seeds in little pots, 2 to 4 weeks before it’s time to put them in the ground, seems to have a higher success rate in our area. Bok choy needs loose, rich soil. This makes it a good candidate for raised beds and containers, where you have more control over soil structure. Seeds should be planted 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, and they should germinate in 7 to 10 days. After seedlings are 4 inches tall, they can be very gently transplanted to their garden location. Place seedlings 6 to 10 inches apart. Plants take only 45 to 50 days to reach maturity, so this is a pretty rewarding crop.
Healthful bok choy
Nutritionally speaking, bok choy is 95% water, but a single serving (100 g) provides more than 20% of the Daily Value of vitamins A, C, and K, and all for only 13 calories! Research has shown that eating bok choy, which contains chemicals called glucosinolates, which may reduce cancer risk.
Bok choy grows quickly, requires little care, and it takes well to salads, soups, and stir-fry.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!