Growing Bigger Yu Choy

jimster(z7a MA)September 13, 2007

I like to eat yu choy. I tried growing it this year, planting it at the beginning of June. It grew kind of slowly and didn't get to the expected size before flowering.

I planted it again in August. This time it grew extremely slowly and is now flowering before attaining usable size.

I would like to grow yu choy to the size of what I can buy in Asian grocery stores. Any suggestions?


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jimster(z7a MA)

BTW, it's not only yu choy that to bolts prematurely. It seems that every mustard I plant does this, even when planted for fall harvest.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 12:13PM
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Jim, my experience with yu choy is that it likes a sandy loam with lots and lots of compost. I first scatter the seeds carefully five or so inches between, and then cover them lightly with a thin layer of grass clippings (they hold the seeds in place so that watering or wind will not sweep them into clumps). I also water them twice a day, as they get woody if they do not get enough water. Weather that is too hot or too cold will make them bolt. Once the secondary leaves appear, I fertilize them with fish emulsion and compost tea regularly. I have a bunch of seeds which has had several generations to adapt to the northeast. Would you like to have some?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:02PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Thanks for the detailed info on how you grow yu choy. No problem here with soil. It's close to what you describe. I'll follow your cultural methods. I certainly would like to have some of your seeds. That may improve my results. I'll be in touch via e-mail.

It has been frustrating because I expected mustard to be one of the easiest crops to raise.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 10:45PM
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Jim, Not being computer savvy, I need instructions on how to give you my e-mail address. Thanks.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2007 at 11:34PM
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When is the best time to grow yu choy? I start mine in early August. They are just 5 inches tall. This is the only batch I grow show some promising.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:48AM
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(Hey, I used to know a guy named Luong!)

Just an observation, Jim, and I haven't grown yu choy. The Asian leaf veggies that I've grown seem to like the soil rich, rich, rich and with consistent soil moisture. That seems to be what Gardentrekker is saying.

Honestly, I'm not sure if you could have it too rich. May result in disease problems, I suppose.

just my 2 or 3 cents . . .


    Bookmark   September 21, 2007 at 8:22PM
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The secret to tender and healthy yu choy is to have them grow very fast. The way I do it is of course, as I mentioned, rich soil with lots of humus. Sprinkle seeds sparsely (5 or so inches if you don't want to transplant, or 2 or 3 inches apart if you intend to) on top of the soil. Sprinkle fine cut grass (if you have it), and water very gently twice a day. The seeds will germinate as quickly as four or five days if conditions are good. At this stage, it is okay to let them be in partial sun, in fact it is better (use burlap tenting if the weather is very hot and dry). If your soil prep is correct, the primary leaves will look large and healthy (you will see some that are smaller), and within a few days the secondary leaves will appear. Transplant (if you wish) when they are around three inches tall into a raised bed. The best day to transplant is on an overcast or somewhat rainy day, or else in the evening when there is no more sun. (My transplanted ones tend to be more robust). Water twice a day, morning and late afternoon, and fertilize with a high nitrogen mix ( I make a compost tea with manure). The best days to fertilize is on rainy days (it seems to me) or in the late afternoon. When ready to harvest, cut the center stalk and allow the lower nodes to sprout side stalks. Water immediately after you cut any. If they weather is too hot or too cold, they will start to blossom. Once they start, even if you harvest the center stalk, the sides would start to blossom also. Otherwise, you will have the most tender luscious greens for your table.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2007 at 11:55PM
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p.s. the blossoms are edible and they make the plant so beautiful. It is only when there is a long thin stalk and then blossoms that they become tough.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 12:03AM
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pps. If you have very healthy plants that have not bolted too early, keep a clump for seed. Treat them as well as you do the ones you harvest, only let these go on to form pods. When the pods start to turn yellow, pull them by the whole plant, bundle and place them upside down in a box to sun dry till the pods are totally dry, then break the pods (should open very easily if dry), gather the seeds and let them dry for several more days. I have found that my home-collected seeds are much more vigorous that any I have ever bought.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2007 at 1:31AM
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Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:11PM
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This thread has been so helpful to me! My boyfriend and I have had several lovely meals out of our patch; I am definitely going to try to save some seeds from this round!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 11:29AM
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I've been able to get the stems to exceed 1 inch in diameter, up to about 1ft tall by harvest by keeping a sprinkler on, and having overall really good soil. I usually get rid of the flea beetles with any kind of natural insecticide dust.

I really mix in lots of horse manure, mulch, and compost. I will then add other nutrients like azomite and miracle gro, and they seem to take a long time before the bolt.

The most important thing is to give them is room to grow as they will bolt early or grow very weak if you grow too many of them in a small area. I will grow them thicker, but eventually thin them out to about 3 plants per square foot, usually taking out the earlier bolting ones while the latest bolting ones can be used to produce even more stems.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 1:17AM
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it need rich soil, recently I used urine diluted with water(at least 10 to 1), it grew very well. But do not use too often. It is easily to get burned.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 6:53AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have always like them, never knowing what the name was. I like the mustard flavor, nice green color and the yellow flowers. needless to say, that i buy them from Asian market and have never grown them. Maybe nest spring, if I can find the seeds

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 8:21AM
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