Brassica rapa (37 days) Open pollinated. Chinese specialty vegetable also known as Purple-flowered Choy Sum, meaning ‘vegetable heart’ or ‘flowering stem’ in Cantonese. The flower stalks, leaf stalks and buds are deep purple, with color intensifying in cold weather. Grows vigorously in fertile soil, producing up to forty pencil-thick flowering shoots, though much skimpier on poor ground. Shoots and leaves have a pleasant mild mustardy flavor good for stir-fries, braising and soups. Also good for microgreens. Grows best in cool weather, ideal when sown in late summer for a fall crop or in fall for an early winter crop in warmer climates. Hardy to 23°. May bolt prematurely in midsummer heat. ~4,500 seeds/oz. ⑤
3205 Hon Tsai Tai
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All open-pollinated except where noted.
Days to maturity are from emergence after sowing; from transplant, subtract 20 days.
Culture: Wire hoops and row cover keep out flea beetles and are a must for pristine salad or braising mixes!
ALTS: Alternaria Leaf Spot
BL: Black Leg
BSR: Bacterial Soft Rot
DM: Downy Mildew
Major pests: Cabbage Looper, Diamondback Moth, Imported Cabbageworm Cultural controls: control cabbage-family weeds near crop fields, till under crop debris of early-season brassicas after harvest. Material controls: Spinosad, Bt.
Pest: Flea Beetle Cultural controls: floating row covers, mulch with straw, time plantings for fall harvested crops only, crop rotation, perimeter trap cropping. Material controls: Spinosad, Pyganic.
Pest: Cabbage Root Maggot Cultural controls: time planting to avoid first hatching, use row covers, control weeds.
Major diseases: Black Rot, Alternaria Leaf Spot, Blackleg, Club Root, Downy Milldew, White Mold Cultural controls: avoid transplanting plants with yellow leaves or v-shaped lesions, crop rotation, destroy crop debris after harvest, avoid overhead irrigation, control weeds, allow for good air movement. Material controls: Copper.
Note: because of a rule issued by Oregon, we cannot ship brassica packets larger than ½ oz. (14 grams) into the Willamette Valley, except those that have tested negative for Black Leg and Black Rot. Check descriptions for information.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.