How to grow pak choi

Pak choi is easy to grow and a great shade crop. Find out how to sow it in this step-by-step guide.

Do it:

Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

30 minutes

At its best:

Aug

Pak choi is a versatile leafy crop, bearing tasty, low-maintenance leaves that can be used in salads or stir fries. Harvest the young leaves on a cut-and-come-again basis to add colour to salads, or harvest the mature head to use in stir fries.

Try our pak choi, kale and asparagus pea pot.

Pak choi is easy to grow, but can be prone to bolting in hot weather so it's a good idea to grow it in partial shade and keep it well watered. Pak choi is hardier than many other leafy crops, so late sowings will crop in autumn and even winter, if given a little protection with a cloche or some fleece.

You will need

  • Pak choi seeds
  • Small pots or cells
  • Seed compost
  • Fleece

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Sow seed in moist compost in small pots or cells. You can also sow direct in the ground, but seedlings can be devoured by slugs. Thin out young seedlings to two per pot and keep them well watered.

When seedlings are 5cm tall, plant them out into a moisture-retentive soil, firming in well. Water the newly transplanted plants and keep them well watered to prevent bolting. Cover the crop with horticultural fleece to provide a barrier to airborne pests, such as flea beetles.

You can harvest the young leaves after 30 days, to add to salads. From 45 days, the plants should have developed a 'heart' and be ready to harvest for stir fries. Pak choi is most succulent and has the best flavour when eaten fresh from the plot, so only harvest what you need, when you need it.

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