Ching-Chiang Pac Choi
Brassica rapa, Chinensis Group 40 days. This early, dwarf pac choi is a real performer in the home garden. Growing to only 14 inches, it is sturdier and stockier than most dwarf varieties. Smooth medium green leaves adorn thick petioles that have a wonderful mild flavor, are tender, and have very few strings. Bred to be tolerant to heat, rain, cold, and dampness. Ching-Chiang is a great variety for early spring planting.
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CULTURE: Direct sow early spring or fall. If started indoors, sow seeds 2 weeks prior to the last frost for a spring crop or July-August for a fall crop. Transplant outside and protect from flea beetle damage with a floating row cover such as Reemay. For additional culture, refer to the Chinese Cabbage culture box.
SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard: 75%. Days to maturity are calculated from date of direct seeding. Usual seed life: 3 years. Approximately 250-350 seeds per gram.
CHINESE CABBAGE CULTURE: This crop grows best in a cool environment with moist, airy, soil that provides high nutrient levels. Responds best to decreasing day length and temperatures, which makes it a good fall crop. Spring plantings can also be successful when planted at the proper time. Premature bolting is often times a result of young plants being exposed to frost.
TO DIRECT SOW: For a spring crop, sow after the danger of frost. Fall crops can be sown from early July through mid August. In very friable soil, sow 1 seed per inch, 1/4 inch deep, with rows 18-36 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 12-18 inches apart in the row. One cup of our complete fertilizer is sufficient for 10 row feet.
FOR TRANSPLANTS: For a spring crop, start plants 4-5 weeks prior to your last frost and set out after the danger of frost. Fall crops can be started from early June through mid July and set out when there are 4-5 true leaves. Sow 1/4 inch deep in a sterile seedling mix. Set transplants to a depth of the first pair of leaves. Space plants and fertilize as described above.
INSECTS: Pyrethrin can be used to reduce flea beetle and Diabrotica (cucumber beetle) infestations. Row covers provide a good physical barrier from insects.
DISEASE: Good crop rotation and a strict sanitary program drastically reduce the chance of disease.