Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.)

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Origin

The first use of the term “Chinese cabbage” appears to have been in the 18th century. It is unclear how this cabbage was introduced to China, but it is thought to have come from Europe or India.

Consumption 

While Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.) is not as widely consumed as other types of cabbage, it is a popular vegetable in China, Korea, and Japan. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and is often used in salads, soups, and stir-fries.

chinese cabbage
chinese cabbage

Nutritional value 

Chinese cabbage is a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium. It also contains some fiber and protein. Chinese cabbage is a good source of vitamins A and C, two nutrients that are important for immunity. Vitamin A helps produce white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infection, while vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the severity of colds and flu.

In addition to its vitamin content, Chinese cabbage is a good source of fiber and antioxidants, both of which offer potential health benefits.

Varieties 

There are two main types of Chinese cabbage: the Pekinensis and the Chinensis. The Pekinensis is the most common type, and is also known as Napa cabbage or celery cabbage. It has a white or light green stalk and crisp, slightly sweet leaves. The Chinensis, on the other hand, is also known as Bok choy or pak choi. It has a white stalk and dark green, leafy greens.

Location

Best location to grow Chinese cabbage is in cool weather with average rainfall. It can tolerate some frost, but too much cold will damage the leaves.

Soil and substrates 

The best soil for Chinese cabbage is deep, loamy, and well-drained. The pH should be 6.0 to 7.0.

Nutrient requirements 

Chinese cabbage requires high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Apply a balanced fertilizer before planting, and side-dress with nitrogen every four to six weeks.

Chinese cabbage needs consistent moisture to prevent the leaves from becoming tough and bitter. Water the plants deeply and regularly during dry periods.

Chinese cabbage cut in half
Chinese cabbage cut in half

Sowing 

Chinese cabbage can be started from seed or transplants.

If you are starting from seed, sow the seeds indoors four to six weeks before the last frost date. Transplant the seedlings into the garden when they are four to six inches tall.

If you are using transplants, plant them in the garden two to three weeks before the last frost date.

Spacing 

Chinese cabbage should be spaced 12 to 18 inches apart in the garden.

Harvesting 

Chinese cabbage is ready to harvest 50 to 70 days after planting.

To harvest, cut the entire head of cabbage from the plant.

You can also cut individual leaves as needed.

Plant care 

Chinese cabbage is a cool-weather crop that can tolerate some frost. It should be grown in full sun to partial shade.

Chinese cabbage needs consistent moisture to prevent the leaves from becoming tough and bitter. Water the plants deeply and regularly during dry periods.

Apply a balanced fertilizer before planting, and side-dress with nitrogen every four to six weeks.

Pests and diseases  

Chinese cabbage is susceptible to the same pests and diseases as other types of cabbage. These include aphids, caterpillars, root maggots, and whiteflies.

To prevent pests and diseases, rotate your crops yearly and choose disease-resistant varieties when possible.

If you do notice pests or diseases, treat them immediately with the appropriate insecticide or fungicide.

Yield  

One head of Chinese cabbage will provide four to six servings.

Harvesting 

Chinese cabbage is ready to harvest 50 to 70 days after planting. To harvest, cut the entire head of cabbage from the plant. You can also cut individual leaves as needed.

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