Chinese cabbage is often sold as Chinese leaves. It is fast growing and can be ready for cutting in as little as six or seven weeks. There are three main types of Chinese cabbage: tall cylindrical, hearted or barrel shaped and loose headed. The green heads can be cooked like cabbage, stir-fried or served raw in salad.
Sow February to September
9" between Plants
9" between rows
Chinese cabbage needs a deep, moisture-retentive soil and a firm bed on an open sunny site; it benefits from some shade in summer. Add manure and fertiliser before sowing.
Acidic soils should be limed if necessary as this crop is very susceptible to clubroot disease – a fungal organism suppressed by alkaline conditions.
Water before the onset of drought, to keep the soil moist and prevent ‘bolting’.
Harvest ‘cut and come again’ crops, from seedlings to semi-mature plants, using scissors or a sharp knife. Plants that are harvested once the root has established will re-sprout several times then finally ‘bolt’. When this happens, harvest the flower heads before they start to open, as you would broccoli.
Most cultivars form hearts well, but some might need binding. Tie up the heads of hearting varieties with soft twine or raffia when they reach maturity. Protect maturing plants with cloches, from autumn onwards, to stop moisture from rotting the heart.
Mature heads can be cut and stored in a frost-free shed or refrigerator. Remove the head and leave the stump to produce more, smaller heads or ‘cut and come again’ leaves.
Keep soil weed free.
ie: Spinach and Chard
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