Pechay is one of the many ways in which this vegetable is known, which is also called pak choi (British), bok choy (USA), among other names that you can find depending on the country in which you are. The truth is that it is a type of cabbage (Chinese cabbage) that has the peculiarity of not forming a head when it ripens, but only forms a cluster of leaves. One of the countries where this vegetable is most popular is the Philippines, a place where it was renamed pechay. In this post we will dedicate ourselves to seeing how we should carry out the fertilizer for pechay. Making it clear how, when and with what fertilizer to carry out the task.
If you like to include pechay in your kitchen, growing it in your own garden may be the best option. There are two causes for this statement. As a first point is that if you get pechay in a greengrocer, you will surely see its high price. And as a second point is that growing it is very simple. It is an ideal vegetable for novice gardeners.
1. Tips on Growing Pechay plant
That it is easy to grow, that’s what all gardeners say. But as simple as it may be, certain tasks must be carried out for the harvest to be a success later. Let’s see what those steps are.
- Step one: you need to find a place to plant your pak choi or pechay. The ideal place is one with a good amount of hours of sun. Note that growing can also be done in containers.
- Second step: move the soil until it is very loose. Later we will explain what type of fertilizers is good to apply in the pre-planting stage.
- Third step: with the earth duly moved, proceed to spread the pechay seeds as evenly as possible. Then cover them with a little soil. Don’t put too much soil on top of the seeds, as this will prevent them from germinating quickly.
- Step four: proceed to abundant watering, which you must repeat daily.
- Fifth step: if the germination has been very good, you can wait until the plants are about 5 cm tall to remove some plants and give more space to the others. The seedlings you remove can be transplanted elsewhere or you can give them to your neighbor. 😉
2. What do we mean by NPK values?
If organic compost is what you are always going to use on your veggies, you may not need to know what the NPK values are. But if, on the contrary, you decide to improve the development of your plants with commercial fertilizers, knowing this concept becomes essential.
NPK values are three numbers that indicate the concentration of the main nutrients in a fertilizer.
NPK values are three numbers separated by a dash that you can find on any fertilizer container. And what it indicates is the concentration of the three main nutrients. By three main nutrients we mean the following:
- Nitrogen (N): it is undoubtedly the most popular nutrient and helps to produce leaves and maintain a good green color.
- Phosphorus (P): this nutrient helps to form new roots, produce seeds, fruits and flowers. Its application also helps plants fight diseases.
- Potassium (K): helps plants develop strong stems and maintain rapid growth. It is also used to fight diseases.
Let’s look at a simple example:
“If you have a container with a kg of 10-5-15 fertilizer, its composition is: 100 g of nitrogen, 50 g of phosphorus and 150 g of potassium. The rest of the weight is completed with other less important nutrients and additives “
I hope this simple concept has been clear to you. If so, we can enter the main topic of the post, the fertilization of the pechay. 🙂
3. What is the best fertilizer for pechay
Just as we said that the cultivation of pechay in general can be classified as simple, the same goes for fertilization. There are not many secrets when it comes to selecting a fertilizer to apply.
Useful fertilizers for this vegetable are conventional ones that are always good to have on hand in your garden. We will see below what are those organic and commercial fertilizers that you can apply for the cultivation of bok choy.
From what I see you are interested in growing vegetables, so I can conclude that the following articles may interest you. 😉
3.1 Organic fertilizer for pechay
Although they may not have as noticeable an effect as commercial fertilizers, the truth is that using organic fertilizers has many benefits. Among them we can mention that by improving the microbial activity, it favors the retention of nitrients, improves the water absorption capacity, helps to use organic waste.
With these advantages and added that they will always be cheaper than commercial ones, choosing to apply organic is a good option.
Among the organic fertilizers that will be useful when you grow pechay we can mention compost, manure and worms.
Compost, manure and worm castings are organic fertilizers par excellence, being able to provide a good amount of nutrients to your crop.
These three fertilizers, in addition to being very easy to obtain, have the advantage of being a very good source of the three main nutrients. One of the care that you should have when applying them is that they are correctly fermented. Applying one of these fresh fertilizers can cause a lot of problems for your plants.
3.2 Commercial fertilizer
If you want to give your plants an extra help, with some commercial fertilizers, what you should look for is a balanced mixture. When we talk about a balanced mix, what we mean is that fertilizers with the three NPK numbers equal.
The balanced mix most used by gardeners to fertilize their pechay crops is 14-14-14. It is a very common fertilizer so you will have no problem getting it from the nearest nursery. On the other hand, you can buy it without thinking twice, since it will be useful in many of your garden plants.
In case you have a large Chinese cabbage crop, I can recommend the following doses of nutrients per hectare. For an approximate production of about 60-70 Tons / Hectare:
- Nitrogen N: 220-260 kg per hectare.
- Phosphorus P2O5: 70-90 kg per hectare.
- Potassium K2O: 230-360 kg per hectare.
We will see below that it is better not to use only organic fertilizer or only commercial fertilizer. It is neither one nor the other, it is best to have a mixed fertilization plan, thus taking advantage of both types of fertilizers.
4. How and when to fertilize your pechay plant
It is good to start with fertilizing the soil even before planting. You can take advantage of the moment when you are moving the soil (second step of section N ° 1) to incorporate some organic fertilizer. Whether it’s compost, manure, or worm castings, be sure to mix it evenly with the soil.
As a reference dose of these organic fertilizers, you can make a 4/1 mix of soil and compost. Although this dose may vary depending on the characteristics of the soil. If it is very rich in organic matter, the dose may decrease (eg 5/1) and otherwise it may increase (3/1).
After sowing, you can allow the seedlings to develop a few inches before another dose of fertilizer. Then you can take advantage of the fifth step in the cultivation (see section N ° 1), when the plates measure about 5 cm, and together with the thinning, start with the application of commercial fertilizers.
Depending on the fertilizer you have purchased, the dosage may vary. Better to buy one in a 14-14-14 mix granular format. Read the instructions carefully to see what the correct dose is. The regularity of application should be every 15 days. You should stop fertilizing a couple of weeks before harvest.
5. Pechay planting – Video tutorial
We are already finishing with this post, you will have verified using fertilizer for pechay and growing it is not something complex. Anyway, we have searched for a video on YouTube (from Real Organic channel) with some extra tips on this topic. I hope you find it useful to see it.
In case you are interested in delving a little more into the subject of this post, here are two links with good information.:
Cover Image Source – Wikipedia