New World Little Gardens

bokchoy pattern
bok choy

Bok Choy

Brassica rapa var. chinensis

Bok choy, sometimes called Chinese cabbage, grows fast and trouble-free. It’s delicious raw and steamed or in stir-fries.

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Getting started

  • Put the soil tablet on a saucer and pour 50ml of water over it.
  • Put on gloves and mix the water into the soil with your hands to make a wet mixture. Watch the soil expand.
  • Use most of your soil to fill up the pot to around 2cm below the top.
  • Now place your seed mat on top of the soil (take care not to press down too hard).
  • Now use the rest of your soil mixture to cover the seed mat.
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done!

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the pot on a clean saucer in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun.
  • Check the soil in the morning, and before bed. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.
  • Within 1 week you should see a little plant appear from the soil. That means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden.
  • If more than one little plant grows, you can thin your bok choy seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one and removing the others. You can eat the picked seedlings like microgreens.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • When your bok choy is about as tall as your finger (in approx. 3 weeks), it’s ready to shift into the garden or pot.
  • Get your bok choy used to life outside: You can harden off your bok choy seedling by putting it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever.

Planting best practice

  • Bok choy will grow best in a sheltered spot with rich soil.
  • Pots make good bok choy homes too. 
  • It likes some sun but prefers partial sun, and will appreciate afternoon shade during very hot summers.

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • Bok choy is thirsty. Water it regularly, especially if it’s growing in a pot. You want the soil to stay moist but not wringing wet.
  • If left in dry soil, it will wilt or bolt to seed.

Harvest time

  • After about 1 month, you can start harvesting the leaves from your bok choy one by one.
  • Or wait another couple of weeks, until the plant is about 15cm tall, to harvest the whole plant.

Watch out

  • Slugs and snails will nibble on baby bok choy, so create your own pest protection, lay out bait or pick off these slimy pests.
  • In warmer weather, keep an eye out for the Cabbage White Butterfly: it will lay eggs on your bok choy, and the hungry caterpillars will munch your plant down to the ground.
  • If you spot White Cabbage Butterflies, protect your plants with an insect mesh (an old net curtain is ideal for this!)

Bok Choy in your gardens