Planting time for kai lan and yu choy?

jimster(z7a MA)April 2, 2006

This is my first year to grow kai lan and yu choy. I'm in Massachusetts. What is the right time for planting them?

My best information seems to say that kai lan is best grown in cool weather, i.e. spring and fall, while yu choy can be grown during the heat of summer. Is that correct? Does it depend on which varieties are used? Some of the information indicates that different varieties of each green do well at different times.

Jim

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Violet_Z6(6a)

Your assessments are correct. Kai lan/gai lan/Brassica oleracea is in the broccoli family so treat it as such. So they are a cool weather crop so plant for the fall or early spring.

Yu Choy is also in the Brassica family but will not tolerate temps that are too cold. I wouldn't necessarily grow it in full sun in 90-100 degree weather either - at least not without afternoon shade.

Yes, different varieties will do better in different environments. But as a general rule, both should do well in spring and fall.

Check with your state's Extension Service. Each county should have it's own Cooperative Extension Office which provides free publications and information for the asking. They can also tell you the average last frost date for your area and ideal planting times for specific crops and varieties in your area. (Broccoli, for instance.)

The following two images are excerpts from the Vegetable Planting and Planning Calendar for Missouri (download the pdf complete with spring and fall planting dates, how much to plant per person, etc. Just call up the office in your county. Look under the "Government" section (usually blue pages) of your phone book under "Extension". They will have valuable vegetable/gardening tables available specifically for your area from data they've collected from growing those crops in your state.

Experiment, keep a journal, let us know how it goes.

Violet

    Bookmark   April 2, 2006 at 6:35PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Thanks for the good info, Violet.

Jim

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 5:57PM
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reefisher(z10SoCal)

Kai lan is not easily confused with any other asian veggie and culture is like broccoli. Yu choy is a little more complicated. There are many varieties of mustard in China that are called Yu choy or similiar and have various climate ranges but essentially cool season crops. In Cantonese Yu choy is often called Choy Sum which is essentially means vegatable heart. It inculdes the heart of bok choy that is bolting in the warmer days of spring. But even this veggie has some climate variables dependent on varieties, which seem to become more numerous all the time. I have at the present time two types of "Yu Choy" growing in my garden. A 45 day type and an 80 day type. The first bolted when the temps went from 50 degree nights to 38 degree nights. That would not be a problem since you harvest when the flowers just open. But in this case the plants were not lush, but were a bit stringy. Even though I've grown many types of mustards, bok choys and gai lon. The only thing I am sure of in my garden is from late august to the end of may it is worth planting and hope for the best.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 10:47PM
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gw:annie-lee

Being that you are in Massachusetts, my experience with these two veggies in Maryland may be of some helps. I can start my kai lan very early in the spring and they will continue to grow and produce the whole growing season. But for yu choy, if I start them in early spring, they quickly bolted. I have no problem with yu choy if I sow them in early fall. It seems that yu choi, or others like chinese cabage, if you start at warm temp, and if the temp is steady or going down, then it will do well, but not the other way around, temp-wise.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2006 at 2:52PM
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fliptx(Houston 9)

Has anyone grown any of the "heat tolerant" varieties of Kai Lan? I'm looking at one called South Sea and another called Blue Star, which the site says can be grown year round in subtropical and tropical climates.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 1:46PM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

I haven't tried those particular varieties, but I suggest you try them both and report back. I have a feeling you won't be sorry. ;)

    Bookmark   April 13, 2006 at 2:25PM
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Violet_Z6(6a)

Posted by: jimster z7a MA (My Page) on Thu, Apr 13, 06 at 16:29 fliptx,

If you love broccoli, you will absolutely love gai lan. Its heads are insignificant. It is grown for the stems, which are about pencil thick or a little more. When steamed and dressed with a little oyster sauce, they are brilliant green, tender and very tasty. They look especially nice when presented by stacking them like a pile of logs, then cutting the pile at two inch intervals.

Jim

RE: Planting time for kai lan and yu choy?

I'm in Los Angeles ,using above the ground and planted chinese brocoli 2 weeeks(2weeks of October) ago 3inches high 4-5 leaves and now they are growing flowers. Is this bolted plant ?. will I continue to grow them or raise the white flag and change them into choi sum. I have healthy seedling of choi sum waiting to be planted anytime. if my chinese brocoli bolted is it still useful ? SOS

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    Bookmark   April 14, 2006 at 1:50PM
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Farmington

fliptx,

If you love broccoli, you will absolutely love gai lan. Its heads are insignificant. It is grown for the stems, which are about pencil thick or a little more. When steamed and dressed with a little oyster sauce, they are brilliant green, tender and very tasty. They look especially nice when presented by stacking them like a pile of logs, then cutting the pile at two inch intervals.

Jim

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 7:25PM
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