How to Grow Bok Choy Microgreens
Bok choy (pak choi) is a great option if you want to try growing microgreens at home. You can start harvesting in just a few weeks! This is how I grow bok choy microgreens in my own garden.
One of my children's favorite veggies on the breakfast table is bok choy (or pak choi). I haven't been able to keep up with the demand lately, and now we're out! I really enjoy finding those unexpected hits in my large gallery of vegetables in the garden. It makes me feel even more motivated to grow! Bok choy microgreens is a great topping on sandwiches and works very well as a garnish on any main dish too. We recently had a handful each on toast together with a chanterelle stew. The perfect combination of fresh produce from the forest as well as the garden!
About Bok Choy
Bok Choy is a Chinese cabbage variety. It grows little leaf rosettes on sturdy white stalks with a protruding and (often white) vein. The entire cabbage is crispy and has a mild flavor. Most people usually like it for this reason too.
You can of course let the cabbage grow large if you want to, but bok choy microgreens is nothing less than a delicacy! I especially enjoy the smallest and most tender varieties, like for example Extra Dwarf Bok Choy. This is probably the smallest variety I've tried so far. Bonsai and Green Fortune are a little bit larger, but you can of course harvest them in different stages of development too.
Bok choy is like many other Chinese cabbages, a vegetable that prefers shorter days. That's why you might find it difficult to grow in the middle of summer. It will probably just bolt instead. Bok choy grows best in early spring and in fall. When it's cool and damp outside, with some limitations on daylight that is.
Perks of Bok Choy:
- grows quickly
- can be eaten fresh or cooked
- many varieties
- mild flavor
Growing Bok Choy Microgreens
It's actually really easy to grow bok choy microgreens. Just add regular soil to a shallow trough with holes in the bottom. Then, scatter the seeds on top of the soil and use just a little more to cover the seeds. Put the trough inside another trough filled with water, so that the soil can absorb water from underneath. After that, you just place the trough in a window underneath a grow light.
You need to use a grow light to keep growing indoors during winter. We generally keep the grow light on for 12-14 hours of the day (we have a timer that keeps track of the time.) Since bok choy bolts easily if it's too bright for a long time, I think you should try to do less than that in the beginning. Around 8 hours per day should be fine. You can always increase the daylight hours if you think that the leaves grow too slowly.
You can harvest bok choy in all stages of development, but I actually like them best when both the leaves and stalks have grown a little. I think that this improves the texture and makes the bok choy more crispy. It usually takes around 4-6 weeks before you can start harvesting your little leaves!
If you want to grow bok choy microgreens at home, I would recommend sowing a new trough every week. That way, you don't risk running out suddenly. Good luck!