Bok Choy and Tatsoi are two green veges that are really easy to grow and are very versatile for many dishes. Great as a side dish, boiled or steamed and can be added to stir fries, soups or stews. The new sweet green leaves can go into salads and I have added leaves to quiches and made rice or potato patties with chopped Bok Choy and spring onions that go down a treat!
The best time to sow Bok Choy and tatsoi is at the end of winter, but you can continually sow until early autumn. The seeds are fine which makes them tricky to sow. To make it easier, mix them with a bit of sand and soil and sprinkle them on a prepared seed tray or pot, as described for lettuces. This way you’ll have a better chance of evenly spreading the seeds out and not clumping them. It will hopefully save you some separation work later on.
Water them in with a spray bottle and keep them moist but not wet. Once the seedlings reach about 3-4 cms and have 3-5 leaves, you can transplant them carefully to your vege patch. I intersperse them with the eggplants, capsicum and lettuces, about 20 cm apart, as they enjoy the compost rich soil and moisture. After they are more established, you can add Seasol to the watering can, so the Bok Choy and Tatsoi leaves will grow faster and more robustly.
The leaves can be picked after 30 days and used as you need them when they are fresh and crunchy. You can also wait a bit longer and harvest the whole plant, once it forms a heart at around 45 days. You can you keep sowing more seeds every 2-4 weeks, so you have new seedlings to plant out. I tend to pick the leaves continuously, planting the new seedlings around the mature plants, so we extend the harvest time and always have some fresh leaves on hand all through spring to autumn.
I save my coffee grounds and make ‘walls’ around each plant to deter the snails as they too love these juicy leaves. Small swimming pools (bowls) of undrunk beer also work well, as the snails dive in and drown ….Good bi-product from our parties!