Pak choi, or as it's otherwise known, Bok Choi Canton White, is a petite dwarfing green, growing to 20cm. It has vivid white succulent petioles and broad dark green round leaves. Canton Pak Choi has a sweet and milder flavour compared to other varieties; a Chinese cabbage classic, use it in everything from soups to stir-fries and salads. Try adding thinly sliced pak choi to any noodle dish or vegetable soup.
- Pack size: 100 seeds
- Time to germination: 7 - 10 days
- When to sow: Year-round
- When to plant out: March - October
- Spacing: 20-30cm
- Soil preference: Moist, well-drained
- Light preference: Full sun, part shade
- When to harvest: Year-round
How to grow Canton White Pak Choi from seed
Pak choi is tolerant of cold, wet conditions and should not be let to dry out. A full sun position with some shade in the summer months is ideal.
Start Pak Choi Canton White seeds off indoors any time. Sow two seeds shallowly in 3cm biodegradable pots and keep moist and at room temperature. Once a few leaves have developed, the plant has put on some weight, and it less prone to damage from high winds, plant out, pot and all in the garden.
Plant your Canton directly from March by dropping two seeds at a depth of around 0.5 to 1cm. Thin the weaker seedling. Keep your pak choi plants well-watered, especially before drought conditions occur.
To ensure a continuous harvest, sow in succession every couple of weeks. Harvest the whole head with a sharp knife, cutting just above soil level. Unlike some other oriental greens, this plant won’t regrow.
What to feed your pak choi plants
All plants enjoy a full diet of major and minor nutrients and trace elements for strong growth and good immunity. Amend the area before transplanting with a good mix of rotten farmyard manure and fish, blood and bone meal. Add some volcanic rock dust and kelp powder to give them a rich, balanced and diverse diet, released over the season for strong organic growth. Stronger, healthier plants are also less attractive to attacking insects.
Keeping pests away
Garden pests enjoy pak choi seedlings, and as such, we recommend starting indoors and under lights to ensure a compact, healthy seedling that is large and sturdy enough to survive an encounter with a slug or pigeon.
The other pest worth a mention is the cabbage white butterfly caterpillar which can decimate your crop. If you have a healthy resident bird population, these are less of a problem. Limit infestations through physical exclusion, or scatter plant single pak choi plants in different garden areas.
Bacillus thuringiensis is a natural soil born bacteria that is 100% safe for insects, bees, fish and other aquatic organisms and mammals, including humans. It is, however, deadly to caterpillars. Dilute in water and spray onto the underside of your Canton White Pak Choi leaves. While this organic remedy works effectively, we recommend avoiding planting pak choi in blocks and rows to keep this easy-going veg low maintenance.
Grow Sow Greener is a regenerative gardening company advocating back to the roots tried and tested methods. We don’t recommend the use of or sell any extremely profitable pesticides, herbicides or inorganic fertilisers. They are detrimental to the health of your entire garden ecosystem, from microbe to mammal.
Instead, encourage birds, hedgehogs and toads to take up residence, all voracious predators of snails and slugs. Also, provide a water source, shelter and winter food for birds. When ordering Pak Choi Canton White seeds from Grow Sow Greener, you will receive free sunflower seeds lose in the pack. Throw a handful into a sunny corner to attract beneficial insects during the summer months, whilst their seed heads provide a great source of food for your overwintering feathered friends.