Good enough to eat

Macclesfield Express - - LEISURE -

●● Chi­nese cabbage

You can sow all types of ori­en­tal greens now to har­vest in the sum­mer, but Chi­nese cabbage takes some beat­ing if har­vested young, when the leaves are smaller and ten­der. Chi­nese cab­bages are ei­ther tall and cylin­dri­cal or bar­relshaped, and the lat­ter are more suited to our UK cli­mate.

They have a mild flavour and crunchy tex­ture and can be used in­stead of ice­berg lettuce.

Sow small amounts at two or three-week in­ter­vals for a con­tin­u­ous crop and wa­ter them reg­u­larly to keep the growth strong.

Chi­nese cabbage will bolt if trans­planted from a seedbed, so sow them di­rectly into their fi­nal rest­ing places and thin them out later.

They need spac­ing of 30-38cm each way to pro­duce heads and should be planted in soil which has had plenty of com­post added be­fore plant­ing. You should be able to start har­vest­ing from Au­gust.

Chi­nese cabbage isn’t very frost-hardy, so cover later sow­ings with cloches or gar­den fleece.

Good va­ri­eties in­clude ‘Ka­sumi’ and ‘Early Jade Pagoda’.

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