Nozaki Early Chinese Cabbage
60 days. Chinese Cabbage is a vigorous grower and versatile in the kitchen - we just love it! With hybrid varieties dominating the Chinese Cabbage market, we have been trialing open-pollinated (OP) Chinese Cabbage varieties for many years and finally found one that is a winner. Nozaki Early is productive, has dense, compact heads, and is earlier and more reliably heading than other OP varieties. Planted midsummer for fall harvest, it ushers in the nourishing flavors of fall ferments and Kimchi. All plants will not form tight heads, which is natural for OP Chinese Cabbage, so plan to cook the leaves of non-heading plants. Cabbage leaves are great roasted, in soups, and as a multipurpose green. Our friend Steve Peters of Seed Revolution Now did selection work to improve this cabbage. AS[[end tab]] [[start tab]]
Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):
Nozaki Early is more likely to form a head when grown into fall. Start seeds in containers 7/1-7/15, ¼” deep, at 80-90° (can use a heating mat). Days to germination: 3-5. Grow plants at 70°. Transplant outside 8/1-8/7, 18” apart. Or, sow seeds directly outside 7/15. If sowing seeds outside, plant 3-4 seeds together in a group ¼ ” deep, spaced 18” between groups. Thin to the strongest plant in each group. Protect plants from slugs, flea beetles, deer, groundhogs, and rabbits.
Nozaki Early Chinese Cabbage heads are ready when each head feels firm when squeezed. Cut below heads with a knife. Some plants won’t form heads so cut and eat the leaves from these plants as greens before plants bolt or temperatures go below 25°. Nozaki Early stores well at 33°F. Perfect for fall & winter ferments and kimchi!
Seed Saving Instructions for gardeners:
Chinese Cabbage is difficult to save seed from, so research further before attempting. Plants are biennial and will need to be dug up in the fall, stored over winter, and replanted in spring. Chinese Cabbage is insect pollinated and will cross with all Brassica rapa including mizuna. Isolation distance: ½ mile. Minimum population size: 20-50 plants.[[end tab]]