How to Grow Baby Bok Choy (Pak Choi) Greens Indoors
Eating more fresh, locally produced food can give your body a real health boost. However, depending on the season and your location, fresh, locally grown vegetables may not be readily available in supermarkets. One way to overcome this problem is to grow edible greens, such as baby bok choy (also known as baby pak choi), indoors at home. Provided that you have a sunny windowsill (or grow lights designed for indoor use during darker winter months), growing bok choy indoors as baby leaves or micro-greens is easy. Unlike many other baby greens and microgreens, bok choy does not require much warmth to produce a good crop. To learn how to grow baby bok choy indoors in containers, read the step-by-step growing instructions below.
- Sowing seeds. Pick a container for your bok choy microgreen "plantation". Rectangular take-out containers are great for this purpose – just make sure you punch some drainage holes in the bottom of the container. Fill the container with moist potting mix. Next, sow organic bok choy (pak choi) seeds by broadcasting them evenly across the soil surface.
- Growing environment. Place the take-out container near a sunny kitchen counter or windowsill, but avoid exposing your indoor micro bok choy garden to too much direct sunlight and heat. Bok choy is a cool season crop that prefers temperatures of about 60-70°F (about 15-20°C).
- Watering the soil. Grown indoors in containers, baby bok choy greens depend on you to supply water. Check the moisture level of the soil daily and add water as needed. The soil should stay moist but not soaked. Many experienced micro-gardeners use "bottom-watering" to keep their indoor microgreen gardens damp. This involves placing a watering tray under the container in which the microgreens are growing. The soil will absorb water from the tray through the drainage holes punched in the bottom of the container. You can remove the water tray once the soil feels moist. Repeat the procedure as needed.
- Harvesting baby bok choy. Harvest your baby bok choy greens or microgreens when they reach a size that suits your needs. It usually takes about 10 days for bok choy seedlings to reach a few inches in height. Harvest bok choy baby greens or microgreens by clipping them off close to the soil, and rinse and use the greens immediately. With their mild, slightly mustardy flavor, these crisp greens are ideal for salads. Their attractive roundish leaves also make them a beautiful garnish to savory dishes.
- Starting the next crop. Once you've harvested and eaten your greens, start a new baby bok choy crop or try growing other microgreens indoors. If you liked the mild flavor and crunchy texture of micro-sized bok choy, you might also want to try growing baby tatsoi greens indoors. Tatsoi has a mild mustard flavor that is very similar to bok choy. Other edible seedlings that are easy to grow indoors include broccoli microgreens, sunflower shoots, snow pea shoots, garden cress, and garland-chrysanthemum.