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The Chinese Cabbage Wong Bok produces large, barrel shaped heads, with a crisp light green leaves. The head grows typically up to 2.5Kg. High suitable for amateur use.
Fast growing and ready for harvest in 10 weeks.
How to Successfully Grow Chinese Cabbage
The Chinese cabbage, or Napa cabbage as it is sometimes called, is known for producing large barrel shaped heads of crisp, light green leaves. Like all Chinese cabbage, this is a relatively fast growing plant, taking just 10 weeks from sowing to harvest. Napa cabbage, which originates from the Beijing region of China, is sweeter and milder than regular forms of cabbage and is much more versatile. It is often referred to as a cabbage lettuce and can be eaten raw in salads, used in stir fries and soups or cooked in the usual way. Yields can be quite heavy with plants weighing up to 2.5kg being typical.
Seeds should be sown thinly in trays or pots under cover during late April or early May or they can be sown direct to prepared outdoor seed beds between June and August. Sow the seeds about 1cm deep and keep the soil or compost damp. After germination and when the seedlings are about 3cm-4cm high, transplant them into individual 9cm pots or modular trays. Outdoor seedlings can be thinned to 30cm apart for medium size plants or 45cm apart if larger plants are required. Keep seedlings well-watered during warm, dry spells.
Growing in beds outdoors
Planting beds should be well prepared in advance, incorporating plenty of organic matter. Chinese cabbage prefer a rich, well-drained soil and a sunny position but are liable to bolt in conditions of extreme heat, so some form of shading may be necessary during particularly hot spells. Plants that have been grown under cover should be hardened off before planting out into their permanent outdoor positions.
Watering is the main routine task and keeping the areas around plants free of weeds will help to keep down the likelihood of attack from pests and diseases. Remove any leaves at the base of the plants, which are showing signs of yellowing.
Harvesting & storage
Plants can be harvested at around 8-12 weeks after sowing. Cut the whole cabbage head at ground level and complete all harvesting before the first frosts of autumn. The Wong Bok variety is one of the best for storing and can be kept refrigerated for several weeks. They can also be blanched and frozen for up to 4 months.
Pest & diseases
Birds can be a nuisance when the young seedlings first appear and slugs and snails are likely to attack the young seedlings as they grow. Preventative measures include placing netting over the seedlings to deter birds and the usual beer traps, sawdust and eggshells for the slugs and snails. Being a member of the brassica family, the Chinese cabbage is also prone to attack by the cabbage root fly and caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly. Growing plants under insect-proof mesh or fine netting is one remedy for areas, which are known to be prone to attack by insect pests.
Some possible fungal, bacterial and viral diseases include club root, downy mildew, powdery mildew and various mosaic viruses. Be vigilant and remove infected plants when the problem is first seen. Generally, there are no chemical remedies, which are considered suitable for use on edible plants.
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