Seeds - Hon Tsai Tai (Sprouting Broccoli) OG
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Description: Dark green leaves with purple veins and stems have petite florets. Best-harvested right before the bright yellow blossoms open. Similar to broccoli raab in culture and use, with a sweeter flavor and delicate texture. Young flowering shoots add a sweet, mild mustard flavor to fresh salads, lightly steamed, in stir-fries, or in cream-based pasta dishes. Best-grown in mid to late summer when the shorter days encourage the stems to elongate.
Pack Size: 1/32 ounce
Latin Name: Brassica rapa var. chinensis
Alternative Names: Chinese Broccoli
Main Uses: Leafy green, Chinese vegetable
Zone Hardiness: Reseeding Annual
Exposure: Full sun to part shade
Height: 25 to 55 cm (10 - 22 in.)
Flower Color: Yellow
Flowering Time: Late summer
Certified Organic: USDA Certified Organic
Germination: 3 - 7 days.
Sowing Indoors: Hon Tsai Tai can be grown as a sprouting green, with nutritious, tender shoots. Start anytime under lights, using shallow sprouting trays.
Outdoors, Hon Tsai Tai does best in the mid-summer season, once light levels are decreasing. Sow in early to mid July.
Planting Depth: Approximately 1/2" deep.
Spacing: Plant 10 - 12 seeds per foot, with 2" between seedlings and rows 18 - 24" apart.
Planting Out: Does best when direct-seeded. Young seedlings can tolerate some light frost, but plants are also ideally sown in mid-summer.
Growing Tips: Use floating row cover to protect against flea beetles. Cover at time of sowing.
Growing in Containers: Hon Tsai Tai can be grown in large pots.
Fertilizing (Containers): Use a composty soil and apply an organic all-purpose or fish-based fertilizer every two weeks.
Watering (Containers): Water deeply when top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Check every day or two during very hot weather.
Growing in Mixed Planters: Hon Tsai Tai does best on its own, or as part of a grouping of summer leafy greens.
Fertilizing (Garden): Add quality compost to your garden bed before planting.
Watering (Garden): Water young plants daily to get the established, then water only as required.
Pruning: Harvest young plants with sharp scissors.
Harvesting: Harvest as a young green to thin crop, then allow some plants to mature to just before flowering. Leaves, shoots and flowers are all edible and tasty!
Special Requirements for Cold Climate Gardeners: Hon Tsai Tai is a fast-maturing crop. Sow successive crops to ensure on-going supply.
Pest/Disease Issues: Flea Beetles are a common pest on all brassica-type plants. Floating row covers are the most assured method of preventing Flea Beetle damage.
Suitability for Indoors: Well-suited as an indoor sprouting green, but not for growing to mature size.
What about Grow Lights? Fluorescent grow lights are useful if growing Arugula indoors during the winter months.
General Indoor Care: Fresh seed can be sown in fall under lights. Plan for multiple sows through the winter, to ensure steady supply of the most tender leaves.
Indoor Container Suggestions: Hon Tsai Tai can be grown indoors in 4" to 6" pots, provided good drainage holes. If space permits, this green can be grown in open nursery flats (perhaps mixed with other leafy greens or herbs grown as micro greens).
Winter Fertilizing: Grow in a potting soil amended with 25% quality compost. No additional fertilizing required.
Winter Watering: Water as soil feels dry to the touch. Check on plants every 1 - 2 days.
Special Instructions: Hon Tsai Tai can be harvested at various stages of maturity, including just before the yellow flowers open. However, once the plant has gone to seed, it is no longer tender and tasty.