April 21, 2024

Mustard growing season and growing tips

Mustard is a delicious, healthy condiment that can be used in many different recipes, but it can be hard to find fresh mustard seeds outside of the winter months

If you’re like most people, you love adding mustard to your favorite dishes, but you don’t always have time to run to the store when you need it. 

Follow this mustard growing tips allows you to grow your own fresh mustard all year round.

Mustard growing season

The mustard growing season typically runs from late spring to early fall. You can start growing mustard indoors or outdoors, depending on your climate.

If you’re growing mustard in a colder climate, it’s best to start the seeds indoors about six weeks before the last frost date.

(Find out more: The temperature frost point for plants)

Growing mustard greens in pots

Mustard greens are a cool weather crop and can be grown in pots throughout the growing season.

1. Potting mix

If you are growing mustard greens in pots, be sure to use a potting mix that drains well. You can either make your own potting mix or purchase one at a garden center.

To make your own potting mix, combine equal parts of sand, peat moss, and perlite.

2. Sowing mustard seeds

Mustard greens can be grown from seed or transplants. If you are growing mustard greens from seed, sow the seeds in the potting mix. Space the mustard seeds 1/2 inch apart in the potting mix.

3. Transplanting mustard greens

If you are growing mustard greens from transplants, transplant the mustard greens into the potting mix.

4. Fertilizing mustard greens

Mustard greens are a heavy feeder and will need to be fertilized every two weeks. Use a water-soluble fertilizer and follow the directions on the package.

5. Watering mustard greens

Water mustard greens when the potting mix is dry to the touch. Do not over water mustard greens.

6. Harvesting mustard greens

Mustard greens can be harvested when they are 4-6 inches tall. mustard greens can be harvested as baby greens or allowed to grow to full size.

Growing mustard tips

One important factor to consider when growing mustard is the length of the growing season. Most mustards require at least 100 days from planting to harvest, so make sure you choose a variety that will be able to mature in your climate.

These are a few tips to help you successfully grow mustard:

Soil requirement

Soil requirements for mustard are average to light soil that is well drained. Add compost or other organic matter to the soil to help improve drainage and increase nutrients. Mustard prefers a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.8 (1).

Sun requirement

Mustard plants need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day to produce good yields. Make sure to plant mustard in a location that receives full sun.

Watering mustard

Water mustard plants regularly, making sure the soil stays moist but not waterlogged. Too much water can lead to root rot.

Best fertilizer for mustard

Fertilize mustard plants every 4-6 weeks with a balanced fertilizer. You can also side dress mustard plants with compost or manure during the growing season. A balanced fertilizer should be used on mustard plants every 4-6 weeks would be advisable.

Mustard cultivation

Mustard is a cool weather crop that can be planted in the early spring or late summer/early fall. The best time to plant mustard is approximately 4-6 weeks before the first average frost date in your area.

Mustard prefers loose, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.8. mustard will not tolerate wet or soggy conditions.

Mustard germination

Mustard seeds typically take 3-10 days to germinate, depending on the variety. Make sure to sow mustard seeds in a location that receives full sun and has well-drained soil.

Mustard will germinate in soil temperatures as low as 40 degrees F. Sow mustard seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, spacing the seeds about 2 inches apart. Thin mustard plants to 12-18 inches apart when they are 4-6 inches tall.

Mustard plant varieties

Mustard plant varieties come in many different shapes and sizes. Some mustard plants can grow quite tall, while others remain compact and bushy. The type of mustard plant that you choose to grow will determine the mustard growing season.

Mustard plants are generally categorized into three different types: annual mustard, biennial mustard, and perennial mustard.

1. Annual mustard

Annual mustard plants complete their life cycle in one growing season. This means that they will flower, set seed, and die all within the span of a few months.

Annual mustard plants are often grown as cover crops or green manure crops. They can be planted in the spring or fall and will typically germinate within 10 days.

Annual mustard plants are not often grown for their mustard seeds, but some varieties may produce a small mustard seed harvest.

2. Biennial mustard

Biennial mustard plants take two growing seasons to complete their life cycle. This means that they will flower and set seed in their second year of growth.

Biennial mustard plants are typically grown for their mustard seeds.

3. Perennial mustard

Perennial mustard plants can live for many years, and they typically flower and produce seed in their second year of growth.

Perennial mustard plants are not often grown for their mustard seeds, but some fvarieties may produce a small mustard seed harvest.

Mustard Greens Companion Plants

Mustard greens make great companions for a variety of plants. They are known to repel certain pests, and their nitrogen-rich leaves can act as a natural fertilizer for other plants.

Some good companion plants for mustard greens include:

When planting mustard greens, be sure to give them plenty of room to grow. They can reach up to two feet in height, and their leaves can get quite large.

Mustard greens also have a tendency to bolt (go to seed), so you’ll want to plant them in succession if you want a continuous supply of greens throughout the growing season.

Harvest mustard greens

Mustard greens can be harvested any time during the growing season. To harvest, cut the leaves from the plant using a sharp knife. Be sure to leave enough leaves on the plant so that it can continue to grow.

Mustard greens are best when they are young and tender. If the leaves are tough or bitter, they can be cooked for a longer period of time to make them more palatable.

Mustard greens can be grown any time during the year, but they will be most flavorful during the cooler months.

How to store

Once mustard greens are harvested, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. They can also be frozen for long-term storage.

To freeze mustard greens, wash the leaves and remove any tough stems. Blanch the leaves in boiling water for two minutes, then cool them in an ice water bath. Once the leaves are cooled, drain them and pat them dry. Place the leaves in a freezer-safe bag, and be sure to remove as much air from the bag as possible. Label the bag with the date, and store in the freezer for up to a year.

How to Use Mustard Greens and Seeds

To use frozen mustard greens, thaw the leaves in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, the leaves can be used in any recipe that calls for fresh mustard greens.

You can also use mustard seeds in this way, toast the seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant. Once toasted, the mustard seeds can be used in any recipe that calls for mustard seeds.

Mustard greens are a type of leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassica family. This family also includes cabbage, broccoli, and kale. Mustard greens are available year-round, but they are in season in the spring.

Common pest and disease

Mustard growing season can be affected by a number of pests and diseases. The most common pest is the mustard weevil, which can cause significant damage to mustard crops.

Other common pests include the mustard borer and the mustard fly. Diseases that can affect mustard crops include black rot, downy mildew, and white rust.

Good mustard growing practices can help to minimize the impact of pests and diseases. These practices include crop rotation, using resistant mustard varieties, and proper irrigation and drainage.

Final Thoughts

The process of growing mustard is a lengthy one, but the wait is worth it when you get to enjoy the delicious end result. I hope that this post has given you a better understanding of what goes into growing this tasty crop and that you will consider giving mustard a try next time you are in the market for some fresh produce.