Pechay or Chinese cabbage has green leaves around 5 to 9 cm long. It is split into two categories based on its ability to create tight, compact heads of interior leaves: headed and loose-headed. The crop is thought to have developed in China as a cross between the Chinensis type from the south and the turnip from the north.
- Pechay scientific name
- Pechay benefits
- Is pechay easy to grow?
- Growing pechay
Pechay scientific name
The Brassica rapa belongs to the mustard family and is known by various common names. Chinese cabbage, celery cabbage, Napa cabbage, and bok choy are among them. In particular, Chinese cabbages with broad leaves and compact heads belong to this category.
The Chinese cabbage can refer to two groups of leaf vegetables: the Pekinensis Group (napa cabbage) and the Chinensis Group (bok choy).
Both of these vegetables are turnip cultivars or subspecies. They belong to the same genus as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
The Nappa cabbage is a Chinese cabbage variety that originated around Beijing and is commonly used in East Asian cuisine. Since the twentieth century, it has also become a common crop in Europe, the Americas, and Australia. As a result, it is known as “Chinese cabbage” in many parts. It’s also known as “wombok” in Australia.
Instead of heads, Chinensis, commonly known as bok choy, have green leaf blades with paler bulbous bases, forming a cluster resembling mustard greens. It has a flavor similar to spinach and water chestnuts, but it’s sweeter and has a gently spicy undertone. In addition, the taste of the green leaves is stronger than that of the white bulb.
Leafy greens, such as pechay, also known as Chinese cabbage or bok choy, are a vital part of a balanced diet, whether served in a salad or blended into a green smoothie. Like other leafy green vegetables, Chinese cabbage is low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals, and other essential plant elements that help you stay healthy.
High in folic acid
Folate is a B vitamin that aids in the conversion of carbohydrates from food into energy that can be used by your cells. DNA, the molecular structure found in all of your cells, is also required for your body to function.
Folate is essential for pregnant women because of its involvement in fetal development; they should strive for 400 to 800 mcg of folate every day.
Rich in vitamin K
Vitamin K, a family of fat-soluble vitamins that aid in blood clotting, is particularly abundant in Chinese cabbage. Vitamin K deficiency raises the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. Adults, thankfully, rarely have deficits. Vitamin K is great in leafy greens, and you can also find it in small levels in other foods.
Good source of calcium
To keep your bones strong, you need enough calcium in your diet. Calcium, like vitamin D, aids the body in the production and maintenance of new bone while also regulating the breakdown of the existing bone. Your bones are in danger of fracture if your body breaks down bone quicker than it generates.
If you’re under the age of 50, you should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day; if you’re 50 or older, you should get 1,200 milligrams. Because estrogen protects heart health, you need additional calcium after 50 to compensate for diminishing estrogen levels. A 2-cup dose of cabbage offers around 10% of the daily calcium requirement.
Fiber is a nutrient that Americans don’t get enough of, and plant foods like Chinese cabbage provide it. The daily fiber consumption recommendation is 25 to 30 grams, but most people only get half of that. Getting enough fruits and vegetables in your diet is an excellent approach to meeting your fiber needs.
Fiber is good for your digestive system, encourages good blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and helps keep your blood pressure in check. A 2-cup portion of Chinese cabbage has about 2 grams of fiber, contributing to your daily fiber intake. In addition, pechay helps you get the recommended 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
Is pechay easy to grow?
Yes, pechay is a simple plant to grow. The pechay is one of the quickest-growing vegetables. Other vegetables, such as eggplant, tomato, squash, and okra, take 60 to 180 days to mature.
Even though pechay is an easy plant to grow, there are a few more things to consider. It will not be able to reach its full potential without the assistance of these factors. Sunlight, water, and fertilizer are only a few of them. Plants will not grow as quickly without them. It is also up to the gardener to decide how they will care for the plants.
Home gardens are an excellent approach to improving food security and nutrition. Growers don’t have to wait long for abundant harvests because there are a variety of crops that you could harvest in as little as a month.
When to plant pechay
The Chinese cabbage can be grown all year round at low to mid-elevations. However, production is highest on sandy to clay loam soil with a pH of 5.5-6.5 during the dry season.
How fast does pechay grow?
You can observe tiny buds emerging out of the dirt in just 3-4 days if you’re planting pechay from seeds. When the plants are 30 days old, clip the stems at the soil level with a pair of scissors to collect the pechay.
Does pechay need full sun?
Although these plants can thrive in partial shade, they require at least 4 hours of direct sunlight to develop quicker and healthier. If you put them on the back patio, the plants will only get about 1 hour of direct sunlight. It would be better if I moved them to my front yard to receive more direct sunshine. The plants began to grow faster and healthier in this location.
How to plant pechay in the backyard
Having a pechay garden in the backyard is exciting since it allows you to spend time with your family while cultivating it. In addition, that pechay can provide nourishment and bring the family closer together. So, here’s how to make a pechay garden in your backyard in a few easy steps.
1. Getting the vegetable plot ready
Choose a good area in the backyard of your home where the pechay can thrive. The position should have been aligned with the sun so that it could obtain some sunlight to eat.
A good and open space will be better because it will receive more sunshine. Also, search for a location with no trees, as trees have large roots that make it challenging to prepare the soil. Also, trees may shade your pechay vegetable, obstructing the sun, so stay away from the trees.
2. Germinating pechay seeds
Fill the seed box with soil and set it aside. Loam soil will suffice; you can also use sand soil if you choose, but loam soil is highly suggested. After that, get your pechay seeds and begin placing them in the seedbox. Allow a few centimeters between seeds so that they do not become crowded as they grow.
Cover the seeds with a thin layer of dirt and then water them. The seeds will germinate quickly, usually in three days or more. We can start transplanting after two weeks.
3. Transplant the seeds to the garden plot
Once your seeds are two weeks old, you can now transplant your seedlings from the seedbox.
First, water the plants inside the seedbox. This will keep the soil moist and make moving the seedlings easier.
If you want, get a trowel or bolo and slowly cultivate the soil. Make every effort to avoid injuring the seedlings. Then, once you have some seedlings, start digging a shallow, deep hole on the plot, about 2 inches deep, and plant the pechay seedlings now. After that, cover the seedling with soil and water it.
4. Taking care of the pechay
Watering the pechay will aid in its growth. Once a day, early in the morning, water the pechay. Why do it only once a day? We don’t want bacteria and diseases to spread or build on the soil. Thus we don’t want it to get too wet.
Diseases can form when the soil is overly wet; water the pechay once daily to avoid this. However, if the weather is too hot and the earth appears to be dry, you can water the pechay twice a day.
You can begin harvesting the pechay in your backyard after 30 days. However, if you want to get some bigger, leave it for another 35 to 40 days. It’s even bigger and better this time.
Harvesting the vegetable can be done by uprooting them. However, you can get a few leaves per pechay and eat them. The vegetable can continue to produce good leaves for a few more days or weeks.
How to plant pechay in pots
If you live in the city or lack space, you can plant them in pots or containers. Here’s how you can do it:
- Distribute the seeds on a seed tray, lightly cover them with compost, and water them.
- Transplant them into a pot or container with at least 4 inches of space between each plant once they have four or five leaves.
- You can also thin them out by removing any of the plants that are too close together to allow them to grow larger.
- Then, instead of tossing it away, you can grow the pechay you thinned out in containers, raised beds, or anywhere else in your garden.
How to plant pechay without seeds
It’s simple to grow pechay from cuttings. First, remove the base, which should be around one to two inches long. Next, fill a shallow jar or glass halfway with water and place it on the pechay foundation. Make it a habit to change the water every other day.
After a few days, new leaves should emerge from the middle, and roots should emerge from the bottom. You can transplant the pechay into a pot once more leaves appear, and the roots get longer. The pechay would take a few months to mature sufficiently to harvest, but the good news is that you can clip the leaves off the stem and allow the pechay to grow new leaves.
Gardening has long been a popular pastime among many people since it relieves stress and offers joy, particularly during harvest season.
Like the pechay, growing vegetables in pots instead of growing them in the ground is a terrific option, especially if you live in the city or lack space. Containers can be just what you need if you’re short on space, have bad soil, or can’t or don’t want to bed down to the ground.