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Karl Linney, referring the Chinese plant Pak Choi (bok-choi, or literally "horse's ear") to the cruciferous family, considered it a cabbage. Modern scientists attribute it more to a variety of turnips. But according to tradition, this early vegetable culture is called Chinese cabbage, though not simple, but leafy.
Description of Chinese Bok Choy Kale
Chinese kale (Brassica chinensis), and in English bok choy, or pak choy, turnip cabbage looks like a leaf beet or salad. In her taste, bitterness is felt, as in arugula.
This is a two-year-old precocious and cold-resistant plant that produces a flower arrow in the second season. Its roots are poorly developed and they are located close to the surface. Large leaves on thick petioles are collected in a rosette. Depending on the species, the plants are dark green with white stalks, completely light green or red-violet on green legs.
Composition and nutritional value of bok choy
Chinese cabbage, also called celery or mustard, is known as a low-calorie product, because 100 grams of it contains only 13 kcal. Its composition is dominated by water with the inclusion of a small amount of proteins and carbohydrates. In addition, cabbage is replete with fiber - a reliable remedy for toxins, toxins and excess cholesterol.
The Chinese product is also rich in vitamin C, retaining the elasticity of blood vessels and skin. To replenish its daily norm, just over 100 grams of delicate leaves are enough. And to get a sufficient dose of vitamin K, which is responsible for blood coagulation, 200 grams of this product is enough. Pak-choi is also a leader among all types of cabbage in terms of vitamin A. It is known that a lack of vitamins A and C leads to the manifestation of "night blindness" - poor vision in twilight. This plant is also rich in vitamins PP and group B, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, iron and other trace elements.
The special value of this vegetable can be attributed to the presence of amino acids in it, especially lysine, without which normal functioning of the heart and digestive organs is impossible. And thanks to folic acid, which helps prevent abnormal abnormalities in the development of the fetus, Chinese cabbage is desirable for feeding future mothers.
How to grow bok choy
The use of bok choy in traditional medicine
Ancient Eastern healers used cabbage juice to treat hard-healing wounds. Especially effective was mixing it with egg white. And fresh cabbage leaves were used to treat burns. Ancient Tibetan monks used bok-choi-based drugs as a medicine against inflammation and cancer.
In modern oriental medicine, various products, which include mustard cabbage, contribute to increasing immunity, normalizing metabolism. This is facilitated by more than 70 antioxidants and ascorbic acid in their composition. They also serve to normalize the ratio of platelets to red blood cells.
A low-calorie product is useful in dietary nutrition. It is used to slow the aging of the body, with stress and disorders of the nervous system. It is an effective means of preventing breast and colon cancer.
A unique combination of trace elements helps to normalize pressuremaintaining bone strength. For medicinal purposes, it is sufficient to regularly use Chinese cabbage, cooked in different ways, as a complement to various dishes. It is healthy and very tasty, as with proper cooking, the product has a pleasant sweet taste and has a delicate, crispy structure.
Chinese bok choy cabbage in cooking
Celery cabbage leaves have a light mustard flavor and bright aroma. They are suitable for a wide range of dishes. They can be subjected to all types of cooking, included in recipes for soups, side dishes, salads, casseroles. Like most types of cabbage, this variety is salted and pickled.
Chinese cabbage gets along well in cooking with meat, fish, vegetables, etc. Its combination is not desirable only with legumes, nuts, dairy products and fruits. A famous Chinese dish called Shanghai Pak-choi is made from boiled cabbage leaves, fried tofu and oyster mushroom. It still has greens and garlic. The secret to the proper and healthy preparation of a vegetable is that its heat treatment should not be long.
About contraindications to the use of bok-choi
A healthy Chinese vegetable has a number of contraindications:
- Fresh bokchoy can cause malfunctioning of the thyroid gland, reducing the absorption of iodine by the body. This happens due to the presence of a special enzyme in it. During heat treatment, it is completely destroyed. In moderate amounts and after appropriate preparation, mustard cabbage does not harm those who suffer from dysfunctions of the thyroid gland.
- Due to the presence of vitamin K in cabbage, which improves blood coagulation, you can not use it together with drugs to dilute it. The product enhances the action of drugs many times, can provoke bleeding even with minor injuries.
- Glucosinolates contained in kale in small quantities inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and in large quantities they become toxic and lead to the opposite effect. Therefore, such a product should not be abused by those who once have had cancer.
- Excessive enthusiasm for diabetics with this cabbage can provoke a coma (against the background of developing hypothyroidism).
- The product is also harmful to those who are allergic to cabbage.
Useful properties of bok choy cabbage
Features of growing bok choy
Bok-choi is a fairly unpretentious plant, characterized by high germination and early maturity. Grow it even by an inexperienced gardener.
Technology and landing dates
Pak-choi does not require special conditions for growing. The plant feels best on sandy and loamy soils with a slightly acid reaction. The section for kale should be changed every year, you should not plant it after other varieties of cabbage. If cucumbers previously grew in the garden, then Chinese cabbage that replaced them will develop here better.
The cultivation of kale seedlings begins in mid-spring and consists of the following steps:
- Seeds are placed in peat pots into which humus can be added.
- It is best to place them on the sunny side.
- Water the pots 2 times a week and only with warm water.
- After 3 weeks, when the seedlings will already have 3 leaves, you should add the earth.
- And after the formation of the fifth leaf, seedlings together with a glass can be transplanted to a permanent place.
It is important to observe the following rules:
- The plot should be shaded. Resettlement of seedlings is best done in the evening or in cloudy weather. Kale is not afraid of short-term frosts, but at high temperature (more than 25 degrees), burns appear on the leaves. Yes, and cruciferous fleas - the main enemies of these plants - they are affected more often under such conditions.
- Aisles should be up to a third of a meter, and between holes should be left up to 20 cm.
- Lower the sprouts into the ground to a depth of 3 cm.
- In the first week after transplantation, young plants will have to be sprayed at least 2 times a day.
You can also sow seeds directly into the open ground. They do this at the beginning of summer, when spring frosts are no longer terrible. The night temperature at this time should not fall below 10 degrees.
Bok-Choi Care Rules
Starting from the second week after transplanting seedlings in open ground, its watering is reduced. If the soil dries under the plantings, then watering is carried out based on: at least 15 liters of water per square meter of cabbage beds. And this water should be warm.
To increase productivity, vegetables are sprinkled a few weeks before harvest. And shortly before this, powder ash is applied to the surface of the soil. Then after hilling, it will be a useful top dressing for plants. Besides Superphosphate and potash fertilizers are used for top dressing. Each of them needs 20 grams per square meter of cabbage beds.
The introduction of nitrogenous fertilizers, although it will lead to increased growth of the vegetable crop, will adversely affect its taste characteristics. Therefore, these dressings must be discarded.
Mandatory weeding of vegetable beds from weeds. Mulching with compost or grass also contributes to the productivity of such plantings. This measure allows you to better save moisture in the soil in the midst of summer heat.
Disease Prevention and Pest Protection
Kale suffers primarily from cruciferous fleas. To avoid their disastrous invasion, it is necessary to loosen the soil and water the plants abundantly. This is especially true in the hot summer. It is also useful to mulch plantings with tobacco infusions and wood ash.
To get rid of pests, spraying the affected cabbage beds with solutions of laundry soap, from tomato leaves and garlic is practiced. It is also useful to use for this vinegar water, tincture of dandelion roots, garlic arrows and wormwood leaves. These drugs can not only be sprayed, but also watered a vegetable crop. To avoid burns, do this in the early morning and evening. Kinmix is also used. which is diluted with water according to the attached instructions.
Often plants are affected by cabbage whitewash, they can be harmed by snails and slugs. Bait from bran and alcohol helps fight these parasites. The use of the drug "Rodax" is also effective. But it is preferable to carry out such sprayings as little as possible. It is better to collect the eggs and the pests themselves by hand.
Pak-choi cabbage is quite resistant to many diseases that affect other types of cabbage. With proper plant care, these problems can be avoided in most cases.
How to make bok choy
Harvesting and storage
Selective harvesting of early kale starts at the end of spring or early summer. And her readiness for harvesting occurs a month after landing in open ground. In many respects, these terms depend on weather conditions. When harvesting, only leaf sockets are cut at a height of a couple of centimeters from the ground. Under favorable conditions, a new crop of cabbage can be expected in a month. The last crop is harvested before the autumn rains, after which the roots of the plants are removed.
Kale is very tender. Its leaves are used for salads and heat treatment immediately after collection. They are not stored in the refrigerator for long. You can freeze or dry a healthy food product. Pickling and pickling are also practiced.
Domestic gardeners are already interested in growing healthy Chinese kale. In many ways, it is healthier than traditional varieties of cabbage. And given the ease of cultivation, the ability to harvest several crops and the early ripening of an Asian vegetable crop, there is hope for its popularization in our country.