I’ve always loved Pak Choy. Mum never had to tell me “Eat your vegetables” when she cooked it ~ unlike lettuce and kale.
Todate I have always allowed a few to bolt and re-seed themselves (with the help of those darling Bees) so there is no need to buy seeds anymore. Last night was chilly by Florida standards (38°F), so this morning the Bees were active and the Pak Choy blooms were open wide.
Watch a bee in action ~ creating more seeds and thus new crops…
Pak Choy growers, do leave 1 (if not more) plant to grow without uprooting, it will give you seeds to re-grow and share.
IF you are a Pak Choy grower or a grower-to-be, you can get a constant supply IF you grow it naturally and not as a full plant harvester (i.e. pulling the entire plant out of the soil). Yes you will get Pak Choy Babies sprouting from the mama plant IF you only cut the outer leaves and allow the mama to Bolt & Flower.
Then you will go from This:
to This (which brings you pollinators):
To see things in the Seed, that is Genius ~ Lao Tzu (老子)
Depending on your grow-zone, it can be biennial or perennial but 1 thing is for sure, you trust Mother Nature and grow it her way and you’ll never have to buy Pak Choy seeds again… only once!
BUT … you can start it without seeds too. (More of that in another post.)
In the Permaculture way of food-crop planting, there’s the “let it sow; let it grow” motto to plants you love. It’s amazing, especially to a novice food grower like myself, how Mother Nature links each & every loop of the cycle of reproduction.
Pak-choy nectar ~ tastes gooood…
my pollinating assistant
and the mother plant seems happy to keep reproducing …
Mama Pak-Choy (白菜妈妈)
& her seeds just keep germinating
… and in Mandarin it is Bai Cai (白菜), literally translated to mean White Vegetable.
I just love this juicy crunchy vegetable. You can just saute it with olive oil and garlic or add it to soups or even use it in pasta dishes. I grow them so that I can get them to the table within 10 minutes from harvest ~ nice & crunchy.
In case you too are growing them, you might be interested to know that you can get more than what you expect.
Pak Choy’s flowers
Their flowers attracts bees, get pollinated and become seeds. Save the seeds which comes in little pods & you can plant them elsewhere, in pots, window troughs, etc.
Pak Choy and her babies
Do not pull up the whole plant when harvesting. Look carefully at the stems; there are babies there. With a sharp vegetable knife, cut only the leaves you need for cooking, leaving 1″ pieces of the leaf stem on the stalk (these act as “baby cots”) and let the parent plant continue growing.
Parent & Babies
You will end up with more Pak Choy in the same area. The parent will eventually die when it chooses to and the “babies” will become independent plants producing more seeds and “babies” of their own. If you grow them this way you will have a long term Pak Choy supply.