How to plant tah tsai

Brassica narinosa or Brassica rapa var. rosularis

Tah tsai, taasai or tatsoi, is a vegetable widely grown in Japan, China and other countries in Southeast Asia. Its dark green leaves are much appreciated when cooked or braised, but can also be eaten raw in salads.


This is a vegetable that grows best in mild weather, and cannot stand high temperatures. Thus, it should be cultivated in autumn and spring in regions of temperate climate, and in autumn and winter in regions of subtropical climate. Although it can withstand light frosts, the occurrence of frosts or low temperatures in the spring can induce the plants to flower early.


Cultivate preferably with direct sunlight, but can be grown in partial shade, especially in regions with warmer weather.


Cultivate in well-drained, fertile soil, rich in organic matter, with a pH between 5.5 and 7.


Irrigate to keep the soil moist, but not soaked.


Tah tsai seeds can be sown at the final location of the garden, at a depth of approximately 0.5 cm.

The recommended spacing between the plants can be from 15 to 25 cm, depending on when the harvest is expected, that is, if the plants are harvested only when they are well developed, a larger spacing is ideal. If plants are harvested early, a smaller spacing increases productivity per area.

This vegetable can be easily grown in pots and planters.


Remove invasive plants that are competing for nutrients and resources.


Harvesting tah tsai can be done at any time during the life cycle of plants. Each plant can be cut and harvested whole or the leaves can be harvested individually when necessary. However, if it is desirable that the harvested plants have large leaves, it is necessary to wait for the plant to develop well before harvesting (45 to 50 days under ideal growing conditions). When individual leaf harvests are carried out, it is usually not possible to obtain large leaves continuously.

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