Tatsoi growing is a wonderful way to produce a leafy green in the tropics. This Asian green is popular for its tasty and healthy broad leaves. Tatsoi (Brassica rapa) originates from Japan, where it has been cultivated since 500 A.D. It belongs to the cabbage family of Brassicas.
Tatsoi is often referred to by other names. These include spinach mustard, spoon mustard and rosette bok choy.
Tatsoi Growing Tips
Location and Soil
Position your plants in full sun. It will thrive in well-drained, sandy soils rich in nitrogen. It does well outdoors in raised beds.
Time needed: 4 minutes.
How to grow tatsoi from seed.
Plant your tatsoi seeds during the tropical ‘dry season’.
- Sow Seeds
Plant seeds approx. 1cm deep and space them 3cm apart.
- Sun and water
Position your tatsoi in full sun and make sure you water regularly. It needs approx. 1 inch (2.5cm) each week.
Seeds will germinate in just 4 to 8 days.
- Thin Out
Thin out your seedlings until they are 25cm apart.
Once leaves are 10cm long you can start harvesting them. Cut off leaves at the base with scissors.
Tatsoi Growing Tips
Apply a rich compost or nitrogen rich fertiliser to the soil prior to planting. You can apply a natural liquid fertiliser such as fish emulsion every month for the best results.
Remove damaged foliage from the plant as they appear. Leaves can still be harvested as you need them. However, the mustard flavour of tatsoi descends into bitterness as the plant reaches flowering.
Water regularly, keeping soil moist but not waterlogged. Try to avoid watering the leaves as best you can, but this is not always possible. Mulch around your plants to keep the soil wet and save water.
Pests and Diseases when Growing Tatsoi
Mildew and fungus can be a problem. One tip is to space your plants far enough apart so they are not touching each other and to allow air flow between plants.
Common pests include slugs, cabbage worms, and flea beetles. Remove these bugs when you see them and if you need to, spray regularly with white oil.
Regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address these pests. White oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home.
Health Benefits of Tatsoi Growing
The best thing about growing tatsoi is having this tasty vegetable to eat. Indeed, tatsoi is rich in beta carotene, and Vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron. It is an excellent source of micronutrients and is versatile like more popular leafy greens. It has earned the nickname ‘vitamin green’.
Leafy green such as this are excellent for weight loss. They are low in sugar and carbohydrate and are filling at the same time.
Tatsoi plants are an excellent source of dietary fibre. This non-digestible fibre promotes healthy bowel movements.
The high levels of Vitamin A helps you maintain a strong immune system.
Tatsoi is full of disease-fighting antioxidants that reduce damage to cells in your body.
Tatsoi contains prebiotics that pass through the gastrointestinal tract and remain undigested until they reach the colon. The prebiotics act as food for healthy gut bacteria.