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​How to Grow ​​​​Mustard

Mustard seeds, both white and brown, are nearly globular, finely pitted, odorless when whole, and pungent-tasting.


GROWING GUIDE

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Growing Notes

  • Harvest young foliage when it reaches 6-8 inches long, about 45 days after sowing. Pick the lower leaves or harvest the entire plant at once before the foliage becomes too tough.
  • For a fall harvest, pick after a light frost, as the frost improves the flavor.
  • Stop picking once plants flower, as the leaves will become bitter-tasting. Flowers are also edible.

SEEDS

START

Direct

GERMINATION

7-10 days 

SEED LIFE

2 years

PLANTING

SOIL

pH 6.0, well Drained

SUNLIGHT

Full Sun

SEEDS

 1" apart in rows 6-8" apart

SEEDLINGS

3-6 feet in height and 18-24" across

DAYS OF HARVEST

30-40 days

Maintaining

Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space, and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or using mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating. Avoid disturbing the soil around the plants when weeding.


Keep plants well-watered during dry periods to promote rapid, uninterrupted growth. Plants require about 2 inches of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you require adding water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.


Monitor for pests and diseases.

​HARVESTING GUIDE

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The easiest way to harvest mustard seed is to pull up the entire plant and hang it upside down in a paper bag to dry. After the two weeks, the pods should be dry. Simply shake the bag and the seeds will fall out of the pods and drop to the bottom of the bag.

Saving Seeds

To save mustard green seeds, you can remove the dry pods individually, cut off the entire branch, or you can pull up the plant.


A close-up horizontal image of dried pods ready for harvest.


Carefully separate the pods from the flower stalk and set them on a drop cloth or in a shoebox or bucket. Some seeds will drop out of the pods on their own.


For the others, you can rub the dry pods between your thumb and forefinger to release them. If you have a huge batch, you can set them out on a clean sheet or tarp and walk over them with clean-soled shoes until the pods pop open and release their contents.


Remove large pieces of chaff and debris by hand, and separate the rest by winnowing. A close-up horizontal image of small round dark brown seeds on a white background. Discard the stalks or spent plants, whichever you cut for the harvest, and the chaff.


Store the seeds in a small craft paper envelope, a jar with a screw-on lid, or a plastic storage container. Be sure to label the storage container with the date of collection and the variety.


Place them in a cool, dry place, and they should stay viable for up to four years.

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