Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pak Choi that grows in the dark (ok, shade)

This was my first attempt to grow a Chinese cabbage, so I wasn't expecting much. I started the seeds at the end of October and planted them out the first week of November...15 of them...in the (almost) full shade. See, the problem with winter is the low sun angle. My narrow backyard is almost completely shaded from November to February, due its orientation. You guessed it: north of the house. We're talking only a few minutes of sun. But these little babies grew anyway! I harvested the first one a couple of days ago. It weighed 12 ounces. No caterpillars, no aphids, only a little dirt. And, it was great tasting!
Here is one of pak choi shown during it teenage days.

I think this might be a miracle - really. Where did I get this miracle seed? I'm looking at the packet now. Baby Pak Choi Green Fortune from Renee's Garden. I remember now. It was an impulse buy at OSH. I flip it over. Renee always puts a lot of information on the back. Hmm...heat-resistant...ready to eat in record time...F-1! What!? I've been trying to grow open pollinated varieties in my garden, but this hybrid has mysteriously snuck in. Wonder if an OP pak choi would grow as well? Guess there's only one way to find out.

6 comments:

tina said...

I'm going to have to remember this one and order some seeds right away. My garden gets a lot of shade all year round. I have a different variety of Chinese cabbage that is doing well but not as well as this. Looks great!

Daphne said...

You can always try a side by side trial of the pak choi. I've found that many of the hybrid brassicas grow better than the OP ones, but not always. I let some hybrid brassicas, onions, and carrots in the garden because of their vigor, but try to keep the rest of the garden OP.

Pushing up Daisies said...

I live in sweden, and i just tried ordering the only organically grown non-hybrid pak choi seed i could find, but they were out of it (i did get all the stuff i picked out just to reach the minimum order though - doh!). Where do you usually order organic seed from?
Oh, and great blog! Slightly painful to read when we still have snow up to our knees though...

Jackie said...

Tina, I hope Green Fortune does well for you!

Daphne, thanks for making me feel better about letting a hybrid into the garden :)

Pushing up Daisies, (love the name by the way) I have found organically grown seed at Peaceful Valley Farm (groworganic.com). But I'm not sure about their shipping policies for Sweden. Sorry to cause you pain in your snow-covered land! (At least you get a gardening break, though...I feel like I have to be growing year-round since it's possible.)

JP said...

I'll try this one, too. I love Pac choi, but it loves to bolt, so a shade tolerant variety would be grand.

Pushing up Daisies said...

Ha, i never thought of the pressure of an all year season! I'll try to cherish my winter-break from hereon. And thanks for the tip, i'll try Peaceful Valley.