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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Growing Chinese cabbage in bags


Recognize the problem

Inadequate and unreliable rainfall adversely affects the production of Chinese cabbage, causing a reduced yield for the farmers.


Chinese cabbage has a high water requirement at all stages, from planting to harvesting. In order to supplement inadequate rainfall, regular watering is needed. Farmers therefore use container gardening with watering bottles to grow Chinese cabbage. Containers such as bags retain water better than an open field. Watering bottles also assure a constant water supply.


  • Take a strong plastic bag about 30cm wide and 45cm long from a local market
  • Make about 8 small holes, about 3 cm big, across the entire bag to allow water drainage
  • Put a 5 cm layer of dry leaves or grass as mulch into the bottom of the bag
  • Mix 3 spades of soil with 1 spade of well-rotted farmyard manure, mix and put into the plastic bag
  • Plant 1 seedling of Chinese cabbage into each plastic bag  

For watering the Chinese cabbage, prepare a 1 litre plastic bottle:
  • Make a small hole in the lid and fill the bottle with water
  • Place the bottle upside down about 5 cm deep into to the soil of the plastic bag
  • The bottle should be 10cm from the seedling
  • Put the container near the house and refill the water bottle when the water level goes down below half or the water bottle is empty

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, Malawi, Tanzania

Authors: Salma K. Msuya
Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives MAFSC
tel: +255754932284 email:
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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