Chinese cabbage makes a tasty, milder alternative to cabbage to be used in soups and Asian cuisine. A cruciferous vegetable associated with cabbage and broccoli, its closest relative is mustard. Chinese cabbage is cylindrical, while cabbage has heavier, round heads. Chinese cabbages fall in two major groups: leafy types more often referred to as bok choy and heading types, that are possibly the most familiar type of Chinese cabbage. A cool season crop suitable for temperatures between 55 to 70 degrees F, Chinese cabbage is a fall crop for direct seeding in the soil and avoiding intense summer heat.
Till the soil to a depth of 10 or more inches using a rototiller, deciding on a place that get full sun. Add approximately 4 inches of organic material, like compost with high nitrogen levels, and after that till the amendments into the soil. The humus improves water retention, while also supplying nutrients for growing Chinese cabbage. You may also work a timed-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer into the soil before planting.
Create rows for planting the Oriental cabbage seeds spaced 18 inches apart for upright, michihli cabbage varieties and 36 inches apart for propagating, wong bok varieties. Moisten the seedbed to support seed germination.
Sow seeds 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep in the planting rows, leaving 10 inches of space for upright varieties and 18 inches between spreading Chinese cabbage. Plant two to three seeds in each area to make sure a seed germinates in that space. After seedlings emerge, you may thin the plants to the proper spacing, leaving only the best plant each 10 to 18 inches in the rows.
Water the soil as required to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soaked, which helps to keep soil cool to get these vegetables. After seedlings emerge, water in the morning in order that moist foliage will dry through the day.
Keep the area around the seeded rows free of weeds. Weed control decreases competition for sunlight and soil nutrients, but you must take care not to remove emerging seedlings.