Sob! Very disappointed in my baby bok choy planting.
I put the seeds in I think around December -- maybe late November,
just before I left for 2 weeks in Morocco. Dammit - next time I will
keep better records.
Anyway, they grew fine, except that I didn't thin soon enough --
a continuing fault in my gardening.
They were still small when they suddenly went to seed.
This, in the middle of "winter" here in So. Calif.
This when my mesclun, planted months earlier, was still
(Our "winter" has been unusually weird. Usually the weather
here is very stable, but due to YOU KNOW WHAT there
have been spells of heat followed by spells of cold, and
finally some rain).
Here are my q. to this Honorable Body:
Do any of you have experience with baby bok choy?
Especially people with similar climates.
Are you supposed to actually pick the little plants when they are
still so small?
What could have caused them to bolt so suddenly?
Is "baby bok choy" really different from the veggies one
buys at the farmers markets? If so, how?
Any wisdom appreciated.
It is likely that the stress of being too closely planted combined with
the fluctuating temperatures caused them to bolt. Cool followed
by hot can trigger bolting.
Cabbage-y greens tend to be vulnerable to bolting after temperature
fluctuations, with some stages of growth being particularly susceptible
("seven leaf stage" pops into my head, but I couldn't quickly verify
The mesclun mix (depending on what what in it) might be more
day-length sensitive when it comes to bolting.
Not a similar climate, but I only grow this as a fall crop. And I never
grow it sown directly in the ground, but always start it as transplants.
I set the plants into a 4x8 foot bed no closer than 10" in each direction.
(If I tried to grow this as a spring crop it would inevitably bolt.
And attract flea beetles in masses and swarms of cabbage butterflies
bent on reproduction.)
No, they will form substantial plants, though smaller than bok choy,
with flatter, greener stems and more oval leaves. As in this picture:
Which links to:
Stress from crowding.. Cool weather followed by hot weather.
Add in water stress, too.
Baby bok choy I rarely see at markets here. It is not the same as
the large, white-stemmed bok choy. The shape, texture, and color
of the leaves and stems are distinctly different. Bok choy has a
sharper flavor, and baby bok choy more delicate and slightly sweeter.
(At least, the varieties I grow do.)
Baby bok choy I might steam whole leaves and small heads and serve
with oyster sauce.
I usually slice the stems of bok choy for stir-fry and add the chopped
greens to the dish at the last minute, or use the green parts in soup.
My mesclun is in my kitchen greenhouse window. I planted it heavily
in a window box; but I'm wondering if I should just leave them and
take snips when they're about 4" high or should I thin them out? I
never grown them this way. They look very heavily; but definitely
Transplants are just far more successful. The seeds sprout in optimal
conditions (no competition from weeds and no pests). I've actually
compared direct seeding to seeding in pots at the same time. For
anything in the cabbage family, transplanting works better.
Last fall I grew a red-leafed bok choy, which was truly lovely...thick
pale green stems and burgundy leaves.
All last season I grew extra dwarf bok choy with seeds I got from
Kitizawa in CA. They germinate so quickly and get to full growth so
fast, that I don't think it'd be worth the transplanting. I had pots
and pots of it growing at various stages all season long. It became
out favorite stir-fry green.
Still, it's an interesting idea and I'll give transplants a try with
This is where I got the seeds for the itty-bitty ones.
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