If you don’t like the flavor of cabbage, you have to try Chinese cabbage! It is very mild and crisp. It is a must for salads, stir-fry and wraps. Another feature is that it typically stores longer then lettuce. Another name for Chinese cabbage is Napa cabbage.
The last few years I have been growing a hybrid variety called Qingdao 65 from Botanical Interests. Unfortunately, they no longer sell this variety. Botanical Interest now sells two seed options with different maturity dates and flavor strengths:
- One Kilo Slow Bolt is a good choice for short seasons as it matures in about 55 days. This is the one with a delicate flavor.
- Michihili matures in 70 days and has a stronger flavor.
I think the most interesting choices are offered by Territorial Seed Company. Let me tell you why. . . First, they sell seeds for purple and mini and regular sized green Chinese cabbage. Here are the three choices from Territorial Seed Company:
- Ip Ssam Hong is a hybrid that has a loose head that is bright purple so it won’t get lost in your garden. It can grow up to 16 inches across. In the fall it supposedly turns vibrant red. It matures in 65 days. I think I am going to purchase this one this year. As always, I love a little color in the garden besides green!
- Soloist is a hybrid and forms a head that is approximately 2 lbs. or less so it is the right size for a meal. Matures around 45 days and is heat tolerant. I am considering this one too since I don’t get too much help from my family with eating Chinese cabbage.
- China Express has a sweet flavor and forms a dense head that is approximately 5 lbs. It matures in around 70 days or over. This hybrid is also sold by the Vermont Bean Seed Company.
There are some other choices for Chinese cabbage that are available. They range from 8” to 12” tall:
- Kaboko F1 from High Mowing Seeds is a hybrid that grows to about 8” tall and 5” wide and has a white interior. It is bolt-resistant and matures in 60 days.
- Minuet FI from Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a hybrid that grows to 9” tall and has a yellow interior. This one matures in only 48 days and is slow to bolt.
- Emiko F1 from High Mowing Seeds is a hybrid that grows to 10” tall and has creamy white interior. It is bolt-resistant and matures in 63 days.
- Rubicon F1 from Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a hybrid that grows to 11” tall and can weigh around 6 lbs. and has a creamy yellow interior. This one advertises as slow bolting. It matures in about 52 days.
- Bilko F1 from High Mowing Seeds is a hybrid that grows to 12” tall and has a creamy yellow interior. Also, Bilko is sold by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. It matures between 54 and 63 days.
Make your own informed decision by reviewing the seed catalogs!