tatsoi questions

TJG911(z5b CT)November 16, 2004

hi. i grew tatsoi this past spring and it was wonderful. i would like to grow it again but i had many reasons why it was not worth it - after i cut the leaves it never regrew so i pulled it. it took 45 days to get just a few leaves off 6 or 8 plants. i figured it was not worth growing as it takes too long if it is just a 1 time crop because it's too late and hot to use that space.

so is tatsoi a cut and come again green?

i read here that i should leave 1/3 of the leaves and not cut all. is that correct?

does it require constant moisture like radishes?

does tatsoi tolerate the heat of summer (85-90 fairly humid too here in connecticut)? in the catalog (johhny's of maine) it stated it would.

thanks for the info. if tatsoi is like swiss chard then i'd love to grow it again but if it's a 1 time crop then it has too many drawbacks.


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Sounds like you've done your research. Do you just need someone to nod their head in agreement? Trust your research.

Tatsoi is in the cabbage family, does better in spring and fall (cooler temperatures). There may be some hybrids that do a little better than normal in hot temperatures but best to be in shade during the heat of summer.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2004 at 4:33PM
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Tatsoi can be used as a cut and come again vegetable but, unlike Swiss chard, the leaves will remain rather small all through the growing season.You might need more than 6 plants for frequent pickings.

Here is a link that might be useful: tatsoi

    Bookmark   November 16, 2004 at 5:23PM
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TJG911(z5b CT)

my experience growing it was negative. i thought that was clear. my experience was NOT cut and come again - it did not regrow leaves after i cut them...YET i read here it is cut and come again so i was cconfused. so that is why i asked. i assumed i did something wrong. it was hot and i may have failed to water them throughly. that is why i asked about radishes, i know they require constant moisture. i may have watered the tatsoi like chard which may be wrong. rose-marie, you indicate that it will regrow but are you saying the 1st cutting will have larger leaves than subsequent cuttings? if yes then will all subsequent cuttings be the same size or does EACH cutting result in subsequently smaller leaves?

the reason i am asking such specific questions is i want to know about care and yield. i plant intensively and don't waste space, either by planting too little or too much. i hoped that tatsoi was like swiss chard where i can continually harvest it from 1st picking to late october, i grow 12-15 chard plants and pick leaves about 3" to 6" in size. now if i need 8 plants or 18 then so be it. i often plant too much of something and then struggle to keep up at the expense of other things that are ripening.

i really liked the flavor in stir fry so i hated to not grow it again. i am/was hoping that i was at fault not that the plant required a new seeding every week allocating a 10' row each time then wait 45 days to get 1 picking!

thanks for any further info.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 1:33PM
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Like all Chinese cabbages, Tatsoi needs a rich soil and plenty of moisture all through the growing season. They do better in cool weather but my experience (subtropical climate...) is that Tatsoi and Mizuna are the last one to bolt when the real hot weather hits.
Tatsoi can be harvested on a cut and come again basis, using the largest leaves on the outside and leaving the smaller ones towards the centre to develop further. It is a good idea to give the plants a good drink of water and/or liquid fertilizer after each picking.
But the leaves will be smaller than on Swiss Chard so you will need more plants.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2004 at 2:52PM
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adrianag(AL z7)

I used to grow tatsoi for a commercial salad mix. In my experience, if you cut the whole plant, except the new leaves in the center you coouold usually get two cuttings before you would need to replant. So, suceession planting is best.

If you want really large leaves you need to wait a long time for the plants to mature, then harvest the large outer leaves.

If large leaves are not important, just flavor, you can grow the plant to the baby stage (4-6 leaves) and harvest the entire plant at about 3-4 weeks.

It's a very pretty ornamental in the garden, so you might consider incorporating it into your landscape with lots of plants for show and for harvesting. Space the intial planting very densely, then harvest entire plants, leaving the final survivors to grow to maturity at about 12" spacing.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 2:44AM
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You mentioned "it was hot and i may have failed to water them throughly."

Again, tatsoi is in the cabbage family and does better in cooler weather (spring and fall). Most vegetables prefer regular watering, but don't overwater. Think of it as the roots need 1/3 oxygen, 1/3 water, 1/3 nutrients. It sounds like you grew them in weather that was too hot and with not enough water which would make it twice as likely not to want to grow because it's environment was not conducive to thriving. I know I wouldn't do too well out in the heat of the desert for two months with a bit of water every once in a while....


    Bookmark   November 18, 2004 at 4:46AM
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Ruth_10(z5b MO)

I planted tatsoi for the first time this year, so I'm not speaking from a huge experience base here, but this was my observation: I made an early spring planting, which rapidly went to seed as summer came on. The tatsoi reseeded itself, however, and the fall plants have been spectacular. My guess, Tom, is that the hot summer weather didn't help much with respect to cut-and-come again techniques.


    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 10:03PM
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npthaskell(coastal oregon)

The main attraction of tatsoi is the spoon-like leaf. I once gave my Mom a small scoop of ice cream on a tatsoi leaf. Kids of all ages love it.

There are now some crosses between tatsoi and other oriental brassicas. While tatsoi grows near the soil, these crosses grow upright, so that they are easier to clean and you may be able to grow more plants in a small area.

I have tried "misome", "Qing-Tah Tsai", and "yukina savoy"; the first two are from Evergreen and the latter is from Johnny's. Yukina savoy is supposed to have larger leaves than tatsoi (I never grew them at the same time, so I can't say). The leaves of Qing-Tah Tsai are larger yet, but less crinkled, with less curling in of the leaf margins. I have yet to try "choho" from Kitazawa, but the pictures look somewhat like Qing-Tah Tsai.

"Vitamin Green" and "Summer Fest Komatsuna" (both from Johnny's) have smooth slightly spoon shaped leaves, and represent Brassica's attempt to imitate swiss chard. Their larger leaves weakly resemble tatsoi.

Here is a link that might be useful: Evergreen Seeds

    Bookmark   November 24, 2004 at 2:38AM
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MDsalads(z7 MD)

I just had a bunch of tatsoi for dinner. I've grown it every year for 12 years now and it is one of my most reliable greens. I got the seeds from Ornamental Edibles. Never had any trouble getting it to come back, sometimes its even a weed. It loves nitrogen and cool weather keeps its enemies, the bugs and weeds at bay. I have it under a low tunnel, just hoops of 10 foot conduit and construction plastic. Snow didn't kill it last year. Keep trying to find the right seed is my advice. I bought a half pound in 1992 and just ran out. I am going to try to nurse this bunch along and get the seed off it. Works just as good in the Pacific Northwest as on the Eastern Shore.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2004 at 8:26PM
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I planted some Tatsoi and it didn't do much during the summer but did great during the late summer/fall/winter...it even out lasted turnip greens and made it until the temps were sub zero.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2005 at 3:45AM
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carolb_w_fl(zone 9/10)

Definitely a cool weather lover here!

Also, I harvest as Solanum suggests, only the outer, mature leaves ( & I do the same w/ almost all my greens).

I had only 2 or 3 HUGE plants last year that grew all through the winter & sprouted multiple side shoots/heads.They were in separate containers, interplanted w/ some Egyptian onions & herbs.I let 1 plant flower (MASSES of yellow blooms that the bees went crazy for) & harvested a great quantity of seeds for this year's crop.

This year, I let a large number of volunteer seedlings grow together in 1 container & have been harvesting entire small plants as a means of thinning - these are definitely not as big as last years' & aphids seem to be more of a problem.I think the competition for nutrients is the reason.It seems to be quite a heavy feeder.

Still delicious & mostly carefree tho = )


    Bookmark   January 23, 2005 at 11:13AM
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everettFL(8/ N. Fl.)

I think there's a key difference between tatsoi and swiss chard: when mature, tatsoi grow to a dome-shaped head with larger leaves at the base and smaller at the top... very pretty by the way. Swiss chard will keep growing leaves of a similar large size for a very long time. Like Adrianna, I have used tatsoi occasionally as a baby green in salad mixes, and have generally been disappointed with its growth and re-growth compared to other asian greens. Some one just mentioned Kommatsuna and Vitamin Green... these are two much better asian equivalents of chard, in that they will grow large leaves for probably as long as chard does, and I find the flavors very similar to tatsoi. I have in fact grown kommatsuna for bunched greens to sell alongside swiss chard, and the leaves will actually be larger... I'd recommend it over vitamin green (which has more delicate leaves).

    Bookmark   February 10, 2005 at 11:43AM
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Tatsoi and Swiss Chard are completely different botanical families. Their needs are not identical.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2006 at 11:15AM
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Was thinking of planting some tatsoi here in central florida. Will try it in window boxes so I can control any bugs or keep it shaded. Anyone in Florida plant it here?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2014 at 9:33PM
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