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Growing Chinese cabbage, also Wong bok, wong nga pak, napa cabbage

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P P P P P        

(Best months for growing Chinese cabbage in Australia - tropical regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow direct in the garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 20°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Harvest whole head or you can take a few leaves at a time.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile, coriander), lettuce, potatoes
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chilli, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Chinese Cabbage (commons.wikimedia.org - Sous Chef Photos - CC-BY-2.0)

Large oval shape with crinkly light green leaves and white stems. Wider at the base. Grows easily from seeds. Prefers cooler weather. Best grown fast with plenty of fertiliser and water.

Watch for slugs and snails.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Chinese cabbage

Use in stir-fry . Has a milder flavour than regular cabbage.
Shred the inner leaves and stems to use in coleslaw salad.

Your comments and tips

31 Aug 18, Jane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have some wombok growing at different stages. My biggest three have lage, widespread leaves but all the pics of wombok I can find show me long, compact vegies. Since I don't know what the wombok should look like I don't know if this is how it should be? Should I let them keep growing in hope that a long central core shapes itself?Or is this the way it's meant to look? To confuse things more, I googled wombok images/Chinese cabbage and found a host of different pics but not one that looks like mine. Thanx in advance.
02 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The seeds could be mixed up in the packet or wrong seeds sent. I bought bok choy and end up with Chinese cabbage from an internet seed seller. I have very rich soil (too much filter press applied) and the Chinese cabbage never really developed a head. Huge plants and leaves - no head.
07 Sep 18, Jane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks Mike. I'll have to google 'filter press'. I bought mine from an internet seller too - same thing!
10 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Filter press or mill mud is the last pieces/bits of fiber and dirt etc from the process of squashing the juice out of sugar cane. Now days at our local sugar mill they put the fire ash in with it. Very high in P. It doesn't seem much but it has something in it that gives gardens a big lift. It is becoming very expensive (cost of truck to deliver it) compared to fertilisers etc. $120 for a 10 tonne truck load. Down side is you can have a lot of weed seed in it.
11 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Should be very high in K.
15 Sep 14, paulo peterson (USA - Zone 13b climate)
I live in Hawaii tropical climate I am a student at university of Hawaii I want to be a organic farmer some day I am thinking to use bone meal so how I should use?
02 Sep 13, Terry Moloney (Australia - temperate climate)
Mine have all gone to seed. Is it possible to eat the leaves although the cabbage has not formed, all I have is a tall stalk with large leaves?
26 Oct 12, Lisa (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi. Can u eat all of the Wong Bok? Including the middle not so green bit?? Thank you
14 Nov 12, Brian Larsson (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Yes, certainly. There are several Chinese recipes using all of the cabbage. Google 'Chinese cabbage in cream sauce', especially the HongkongTaste.com. It can also be chopped or julienned and used in stir fried vegetable dishes as a crunchy celery substitute.
01 Sep 12, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
HELP ! I bought some 5 wks ago, already growing a little, gave them water etc, cold climate, but took them in at night to avoid frost. 5 weeks later 12" tall and with flowers. Gone to seed ? Meaning ? What do I do ? thanks
Showing 1 - 10 of 14 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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