bwhite829
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What bok choy should I use next year?

Hey all, after hesitating to try bok choi for a long time and reading everything about it here, I finally broke down and bought a head tonight to make some stir fry. Needless to say I love it and I am groing some next year. What variety works best in the hot climates of NW florida? Also, I'm guessing it grows the same season as all other brassicas? Thank you!

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soil
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we grow purple bok choy, white and a small variety. grow in the cool season( just planted ours a few weeks ago) delicious in stir fry, soups and salads. harvest the outer leaves for a continual harvest.
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bwhite829
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what do you mean harvest the outer leaves? i don't have to harvest the whole head at once?

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soil
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you can harvest the whole thing at once if you want there's nothing bad about that, but you can extend your harvest greatly by cutting off the outer leaves only. leaving the inner new growth to continue. if you have a few plants the daily harvest of outer leaves should be more than you can eat. i planted about 50 bok choys and thats enough for our family of 5, a few friend and a few neighbors all winter long.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

bwhite829
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thanks for the input. i've found that i've already got more than i can eat, but i sure am going to enjoy trying to eat it all!

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digitS'
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If you want to purchase some tasty bok choy, visit an Asian market. What you probably won't find there is a standard-size variety. It may be the part of Asia that most of the immigrants are coming from but the dwarf varieties are what I find in the markets. They are what seem to be called "Shanghai bok choy."

Inspired by that, I bought Mei Qing Choi from the very first. I have probably tried over 10 different varieties, the last 20 years. And, I will continue to try new bok choys but, likely, continue to grow Mei Qing every year also.

Apparently, the seed companies have learned that other gardeners have discovered the dwarfs and the choices have grown :) . I've enjoyed growing "Toy Choy" but those are tiny, little guys! You can't wait long for them to make much size - they will bolt.

Both very cold and hot weather will cause bok choy to bolt. Remember, you can eat them at that stage but, of course, vegetative growth has pretty much come to a stop. You really need to LOOK at your bok choy every day! They will keep quite well in the fridge so grab them - especially those ultra-dwarf types!

Steve

edited to add: I tried Lulan bok choy from New Dimension Seed Company last year. Not a lot different from Mei Qing but those plants grew real well and were especially tasty :wink: .
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

bwhite829
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I'm still kind of confused about the bolting process. My understanding is certain veggies are eaten after the bolting stage, but not sure how the process works. I would like to learn how to get my own seed in the future, but it seems more complicated.

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digitS'
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It shouldn't be very difficult to save seed from bok choy, BWhite.

Usually, I am growing a hybrid like Mei Qing or have an open-pollinated variety like Ching Chiang that I wasn't very happy with. I have saved seed from a radish and mustard greens that I've grown for many years.

You can think of broccoli and cauliflower as plants that bolt and then we eat the flower buds. Broccoli raab is another one.

Bok choy seed is small so it is even easier to save the seed than radish. The seed pods would readily break and self-sow in the garden but that's probably not what you would want. Just find a place to thoroughly dry the pods, what must be, a humid Florida climate. You might want to bring them indoors.

Steve :)
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

bwhite829
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I've got another question. As you all know I'm planning on having a small sq ft garden next year. We have very mild winters here compared to alot of the other users. How do sq ft crops stand compared to in ground crops? I know warm air rises, and was wondering if it is feasable to have a sq ft garden through our winters? I am mostly thinking about doing asian greens. A friend of mine recommended gai lan, he said it tastes better than bok choy and a quick read on an asian seed company said they can grow throughout the year just by harvesting the branches. I'm wondering if these, or asian greens(for cooking, not so much salads) in general would hold up well throughout the year? I don't think I'm worried about them holding up in summer as much as I am winter. Thanks :)

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soil
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we grow emerald gai lan, it is very good. another good asian green is white choy sum.
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DoubleDogFarm
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I'm planning on having a small sq ft garden next year. We have very mild winters here compared to alot of the other users. How do sq ft crops stand compared to in ground crops? I know warm air rises, and was wondering if it is feasable to have a sq ft garden through our winters?
Are we confused, am I or you? :lol: In ground and square foot gardening are both in ground. Square foot gardening is a particular way of spacing. I would assume the mass of the earth would be warmer than any cluster of containers.

What are yur winter lows?


Eric

bwhite829
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I thought it was a method of doing it in a raised bed, and i was assuming that it'd some how be insulated. I'm new to the gardening deal so I could very well be the confused one. The lowest of the lowes are mid to high teens, for a total of about a week I think, with a little more time in the 20's, but its mostly 30-40's, and even in the mornings thats like htat, it normally warms up to 30-40's by midday. This winter was the first time it had snowed since around 1991 around here, and even then it didn't stick and melted as soon as it hit the ground.

DoubleDogFarm
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Raised beds or in ground. https://www.autumnhillnursery.com/images/square-foot-gardening2.jpg
Same thing. Dividing up the space into 1ft squares.

With the temps dropping into the 30's I would use low tunnels, at least part of the time.

[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/DSC02306.jpg[/img]

Eric

bwhite829
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is that similar to a cold frame or whatever its called? that has a greenhouse effect on a garden doesn't it? it'll be on a patio, so I'm sure the concrete will help warm it up a little bit.

DoubleDogFarm
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The heavy duty floating row cover will help with frost protection, up to about 6 degrees.

A cold frame with glass can actually cook your plants, if you are not paying attention.

The concrete outside the box frame may actually wick away heat and make it colder. Someone else may have to chime in and agree or disagree with this. :?

Eric

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digitS'
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I am not going to disagree with you, Eric. I think you are right.

I will point out that I think you mean that a row cover will help with up to 6 degrees of frost. In other words, with outdoor temperature down to about 26°F. So, no one should expect frost protection from a row cover when the air temperature is down in the single digits.

Gai lan hasn't grown very well for me. Choy sum was a good choice, tho'!

Temperature down in the 20's might prompt bok choy to bolt when it warms up. Still there's one called "Arctic Circle Choy!"

The Asian greens are probably all a little different in their response to temperatures. I think that growing them in a Florida winter may work well for you and would be worth a try -- especially, if you would cover them during subfreezing weather.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

DoubleDogFarm
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I will point out that I think you mean that a row cover will help with up to 6 degrees of frost. In other words, with outdoor temperature down to about 26°F. So, no one should expect frost protection from a row cover when the air temperature is down in the single digits.
Steve, Yes, better said. :)

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