Harvesting bok choy and choy sum seeds?

josmoOctober 24, 2009

Good morning

I started growing Asian greens some months ago and left a few to become mother plants. Now both my bok choy and choy sum are carrying numerous seed pods but I don't know when I should harvest the seeds in the pods. The pods have been on the plants for several weeks now and don't seem to be getting any bigger. However they are still green. I cut a few off to dry in the sun. When I cracked them open, some of the seeds are still green. Does this mean they're not yet fully developed? Should I leave the pods on the plant until it starts to turn brown?



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Correct. The seeds are not ready and planting would not work.

Think about how nature would do it if no humans were around. It takes time to fully form seeds from plants. The outer sheath will turn brown and dry. Eventually, the pod will split open and the seeds will fall to the ground and they'll germinate when environmental conditions are ideal.

What you need to do is to allow the seeds to fully mature. Wait for the seed pod stems to turn brown and dry.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2009 at 8:56PM
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Thank you for your advice! I shall leave them on the plant until they dry out. I was given some choy sum and bok choy seeds but the germination rate was really poor so I'm hoping the fresh seed will work better. Joe.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 3:24AM
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Hi Joe,

Do you know if your plants are hybrid seeds or not? I ask because if you were given hybrid seeds then you should not expect to get the same plant that those seeds produced. Why? Because two parent plants were crossed to produce that seed and those parents are often known only to the seed company. It's a matter of genetics. Therefore you should only save seed from non-hybrid plants. This way, you'll know you're growing the same plant you harvested the seeds from.

Some good info about hybrids and saving your own seeds:

Saving Vegetable Seeds: University of Minnesota

Hybrid Varieties And Saving Seed: Texas A&M University

Saving Seed: Colorado State University

    Bookmark   October 25, 2009 at 7:09PM
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Hi Violet

I don't know if I received hybrid seeds. They were given to me by an ex-neighbour. So far it appears the seeds are producing the plants I'm expecting ie. choy sum and baby bok choy (with the greenish not whitish stems). It's my first time growing Chinese vegies so don't know a great deal about them.

I have noticed that the seeds are producing two species of choy sum, I think: one has fine furry hairs on the leaves (top and underside) which are rather prickly. The other is the one with the yellow flowers that is commonly sold. I've been discarding the first species as I wasn't keen on eating prickly leaves.

Thanks for the links. The info is very useful!

Assuming that the few mature seeds (brown not green) that I've planted develop into seedlings, I'll find out then if they are hybrids of some sort.


    Bookmark   October 26, 2009 at 2:11AM
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