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Chinese Cabbage

Chinese cabbage

Pe-tsai is the heading form of this Oriental vegetable, crisp and clean like lettuce in texture but with the mature flavor of cabbage. Chinese cabbage is an easy crop to grow providing that it's planted early summer.


Chinese cabbage is generally grown as a cool season annual and does best when the average daily temperature is between 55 - 70F. Cold nighttime temperature below 40 degrees will cause plants to bolt as well, so wait to plant until the weather has settled. Long days will also cause premature bolting so early summer and late summer plantings are most successful. Our selections at the trial grounds are extensively screened for bolting resistance. Sow indoors in March or April 1/2 inch deep in small pots and transplant out when the plants have between 8 - 10 leaves. Transplant at 12 inches between plants and 24 inches between rows. Cover the rows with Reemay to discourage flea beatles and root maggots.

Chinese cabbage requires fertile, well-drained soil with a pH in the range of 5.5 - 7. One half cup of a complete organic fertilizer worked in around each plant will be adequate for their growth, development and nutritional needs.


Rotenone or pyrethrin applications can be used to reduce the insect populations on the plants. Row covers that provide a physical barrier work best.


A good crop rotation and a strict sanitary program will drastically reduce the chance of disease.


Harvest by cutting the head at ground level and removing the outer leaves. If harvested before heavy frosts, the heads will store for up to 60 days if kept at 33F and 100% humidity. spring sowings must be cut as soon as they have properly headed or they will bolt.

Chinese Cabbage Types

China Express
65 - 80 days from planting to harvest. Good bolt resistance, excellent uniformity with the mild, sweet and tender crispness of the finest "Napa" cabbage. The stocky, broad, barrel-shaped heads are a tightly-packed 4-5 pounds after trimming. The plants are vigorous, mid-season maturing and will stand in the field until the freezes become severe.
55 days from planting to harvest. The earliest bolt-resistant variety of the "Napa" cabbage available. Solid and crisp like iceberg head lettuce, Nerva forms its tight heads 2 - 3 weeks ahead of China Express. Leaves are thicker than average.

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