Mustard greens are a very easy to grow and quick to mature vegetable green that can be used in salads when the leaves are young and tender or cooked as they mature. It is this same plant that when left to go to seed produces the mustard we all know and love.
There are several varieties available for the home garden with the main difference between them being the color of their frilly leaves which can vary from light to deep green and red. Raw mustard greens have a peppery tang similar to radish roots.
Usual practice is to direct sow to the garden. Sowing thickly allows for plenty of young greens to be harvested and in the process be actually thinning them too.
Mustard is not heat tolerant
and will bolt to seed as soon as hot weather arrives. In most areas fall plantings usually grow and taste better because
they are maturing under cooler conditions.
Crop rotation is important with all members of the Brassicaceae family mainly to help reduce common pests infestations. There are 3 species of cabbage worms, imported cabbage worms, cabbage loppers and diamond back moth worms, that are the main problem in many areas.
If you find yourself with an oversupply of mustard greens they will can and freeze very well.
|Veggie Garden Dairy|
|Also Known As|
|Botanical||Family - Brassicaceae, Genus - Brassica, Species - B. juncea|
|Plant Type||Cool season - annual - leafy vegetable|
|Planting Position||Sunny position but welcomes shade in the hottest part of the season - requiring a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily.|
|Seed Viability||4 years|
|Germination||5-8 days at 40-80 F (4-27 C)|
|Growing Temp||50-70 F (10-21 C)|
|Seed to Transplant||Direct sow for best results|
|Planting Method||Direct sow|
|When to Plant||Spring and again in mid-summer for fall-winter harvest|
|Time to Plant||As soon as 2 - 4 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area but not before soil temperatures are consistently 40 F (4 C) and above.|
|Seed Sowing||Direct sowing mustard seed (best method) - 1/2 inch (12 mm) deep - 1 inches (25 mm) apart in rows 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) apart|
|Plant Spacing||Transplant or thin seedlings 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) apart in rows 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) apart|
|Soil Conditions||Well drained - High organic matter - Low to medium fertility|
|Fertilizer||Low fertilizer needs, 2-3 quarts per 100 sq feet (2.2-3.3 liters per 9.3 square meters) preplanting of All-Purpose 5-5-5 Organic Fertilizer , same rate for each side dressing.|
|When to Fertilize||2 weeks before planting|
|Days to Harvest||35-65 days - depending on conditions and variety.|