Rising mustard greens: salad with spices

Mustard makes an excellent cool season crop with interesting leaves ranging from purple to light green. Mustard can be mild or spicy and peppery. It's a favorite in southern gardens. Growing mustard greens is easy and is high in antioxidants, a good source of fiber, and lots of vitamins A and C.

Mustard green is popular in a variety of dishes, from microgreens to curries to stir-fries. They have been consumed for more than 5,000 years. They were originally grown in Asia and the Mediterranean, and today countries like India, Nepal, China and Japan are the leading producers of this delicious green. Mustard is not only valued for its leaves, but can also be grown for its seeds, which are used to make the condiment mustard.

Mustard green includes a variety of types like black mustard, white mustard, brown mustard, and so much more! Other members of the mustard family are Tatsoi, Mizuna, and Bok Choy. Mustard is also related to other brassicas such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower. Growing mustard is easy and can provide nutritious leafy greens and seeds. Let's talk more about how to plant mustard greens.

Good products for growing mustard greens:

Brief instructions for care

Growing mustard greensIt's easy to grow mustard greens to add to salads. Source: soommen

Common Name (s) mustard
Scientific name Brassica juncea, B. nigra
Days to harvest 40-50 days, earlier for microgreens
light Full sun to partial shade
water Moderate
ground Fertile and well drained
fertilizer Lots of nitrogen, make sure there is enough phosphorus
Pests Aphids, cabbage worms, flea beetles, whiteflies
Diseases Downy mildew, powdery mildew, white spot

Everything about mustard greens

Mustard flowersMustard blossoms are a riot of color in full bloom. Source: Zampano

Mustard is an easy-to-grow, cool-weather, leafy green grown for its flavorful leaves, seeds, and edible tuber roots. There are several common types of mustard, including black mustard (Brassica nigra), white mustard (Sinapis alba), and brown mustard (Brassica juncea).

Brassica nigra, or black mustard, is considered invasive in some places. It produces allopathic chemicals that prevent other plants from growing where they grow. Garlic mustard or Alliaria petiolata and brown mustard Brassica juncea are also considered invasive in some places. The best way to stop their spread is to cut off any flowers that form to prevent them from sowing. You can also cut the plant at ground level and remove all plant matter.

This plant can play a role in increasing forest fires as mustard sticks in large patches. These spots can then serve as food for forest fires in habitats where fires normally do not occur. In California, gardeners have been encouraged to cook and eat wild mustard or otherwise use it for medicinal and edible purposes as part of a strategy to combat the invasive wild mustard population.

Mustard green grows in a rosette of upright leaves, often several inches tall. Some of the spicy tasting varieties are frizzy in shape. A larger mustard leaf can be used in stir-fries, while a smaller mustard leaf is better for raw food. Mustard green is also a popular micro green. They have a bulbous white taproot that is similar to other root vegetables. The roots are edible and have a strong taste.

As a cool season crop, mustard tends to shoot when the weather warms up in spring. After the plant produces tiny yellow umbel-shaped flowers, small seed pods form and turn brown. Mustard greens, which are allowed to bloom naturally in a slower life cycle than screw, produce better seeds for culinary use.

There are many varieties of mustard that are valued for their color, spicy or mild taste, or their resistance to screwing. Crimson Red is a variety with deep burgundy leaves and a medium flavor. "Red Giant" is another red variety that is extremely fast growing and productive. & # 39; Golden Frills & # 39; has a green ruffled leaf, is slow to screw and has a very spicy taste. "Southern Giant" is a large plant that is also screwed slowly. Plant mustard greens like "Bekana" for a mild taste similar to lettuce with mild frost tolerance.

plants

Mustard green grows well in cool weather, which means you can plant mustard green in both spring and fall. Plant mustard greens in spring 4 to 6 weeks before your last frost date. You can sow seeds in the garden for several weeks in the spring before the weather gets too hot. You can also sow seeds in late summer until the last frost.

Plant mustard greens in rich soil, enriched with organic matter and good drainage. You can plant mustard in containers or raised beds. When planting in the ground, make sure that the variety of mustard greens you are planting are non-invasive in your area.

You can plant mustard by sprinkling seeds on the surface of the soil and covering them lightly with additional soil, or they can be planted in holes an inch deep. You can also plant seeds indoors and transplant outdoors. They are good for containers, raised beds, or even for modified soil in the ground. Plant seeds or saplings 6 to 8 inches apart.

Mustard green care

Fresh mustard greenFresh mustard greens are a nice, peppery treat in a salad. Source: VitaminGreen

Now that you've got your mustard greens started, let's talk about how to grow your mustard greens for an epic harvest.

Sun and temperature

Grow mustard in full sun to partial shade and in temperatures between 50 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It can grow in just 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day, and you can grow mustard greens in your garden from zone 2 through 11. They grow best in 6 to 8 hours of sunlight.

Changes in temperature can stress the plant, causing it to slip, bloom, and set seeds. In weather that is hotter than 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the leaves develop a tangy and strong taste. If you are planting in a hot climate in the fall, you can protect your mustard greens with a shady cloth until temperatures are consistently cooler.

Mustard green has good cold weather tolerance. The curly varieties tolerate frost better than other types of straight-leaf mustard greens, and mild frost actually makes them taste sweeter. However, a real frost in the garden will kill your plants.

Water and moisture

Pour your mustard greens early in the morning. You should set aside two inches a week to make sure the soil doesn't dry out. The ideal way to water it is at the base of the plant, taking care to keep the mustard green plant dry, which can lead to disease. Water tubing or other drip irrigation methods work very well.

Grow mustard greens in moist soils. If you want a spicier taste, pour your mustard less. This causes the plant to secrete oils and develop a stronger, more flavorful taste. Be careful not to let it dry out completely or it will turn into seeds.

ground

Mustard greens prefer a light and fluffy mix of loamy soil rich in organic matter. They can be grown on poorer soils, but they need more watering and fertilization. Mustard works well in soils with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0.

Fertilize

If the soil in your vegetable garden is already rich, you may not need to fertilize your plants. If you are planting in poorer quality soils like sandy soils, apply a balanced fertilizer when the plants are a few inches tall and then again in the middle of your growing season. The slow release ensures that the fast growing plants have access to a steady supply of nutrients. If the leaves of the plants are yellow or show signs of deficiency, choose a liquid fertilizer to feed them faster. Mustard green requires a lot of nitrogen as well as moderate phosphorus and potassium.

clipping

Mustard plants are a year that do not need pruning. If you are growing the plant for mustard seeds, do not cut or kill the top of the plant as this will prevent the plant from developing flowers and seeds.

Harvesting and storing

Harvested mustard greenOnce ripe, mustard leaves can be quite large. Source: NatalieMaynor

Now let's talk more about harvesting and storing your mustard greens.

harvest

You can harvest mustard greens after around 40 days or 6 weeks. This can vary slightly depending on the variety, but for a sweeter taste, harvest when the plant is young and tender. If you prefer a spicier, more peppery taste, let the mustard grow to full maturity.

When you harvest mustard greens, you can cut the outer leaves to harvest so the inner leaves can continue to grow. You can also cut the entire plant at ground level for harvest. If you leave the roots intact, small leaves will eventually grow back, although this new growth will tend to be smaller and bitter. If you are harvesting during the heat of the day, you can place freshly cut greens in ice water to keep them green and prevent withering.

storage

Store fresh greens in the refrigerator in cold water for cheeky leaves. You can also keep the green in a bag with a damp paper towel for moisture. Mustard greens can keep in the refrigerator for about a week.

If you need to keep them for an extended period of time, try blanching them by boiling them quickly and then soaking them in an ice bath before freezing. This will keep most of the flavor and nutrients for later. You can also dice the leaves and dry them in the dehydrator for a nutrient-rich powder.

Additionally, mustard can be grown for its seeds. Once you have harvested the seeds from the plant, you need to separate the seeds from the chaff or dried parts of the plant. Put the seeds in a bowl in front of a fan and slowly pour them into another container. The plant matter should blow away and the seeds should fall straight into your container. You may have to repeat this process several times to remove all of the plant material. Finally, once your seeds have been separated, store them in a dry, airtight container or grind them into a mustard powder.

Troubleshooting

Frost-coated mustardMustard is tolerant of light frost conditions. Source: natural river

Now let's talk about some of the problems that can arise when growing mustard greens.

Growing problems

If your soil is bad, yours may be mustard greens Nutritional deficiency. If you notice yellowed leaves, you may need more nitrogen. Try liquid seaweed meal or liquid fish fertilizer diluted in water to give the plants a nitrogen boost. You can also add compost or well-aged manure to improve the organic matter in the soil over time.

Mustard grows best in well-drained soil. Plant your mustard greens in containers with holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain away. Make sure that your plant is watered evenly so that the leaves can grow and develop properly.

Keep the area where you grow your mustard greens weed free so that the small seedlings have room to germinate and are not outdone by weeds. Once you've planted seeds by scattering them on the surface of the soil, you will also need to thin out the seedlings to allow some plants to grow larger. Otherwise, all of your seedlings will compete for space and nutrients, and you will have a smaller harvest.

Pests

Aphids will enjoy eating your plant's leaves. You can hose them off or use neem oil or pyrethrins to get rid of them. Cabbage worms can attack plants in the cabbage family if they are planted too close together. Therefore, make sure that the plants are a reasonable distance apart and regularly look for caterpillars. You can select them by hand or use a Bt spray.

Another pest Flea beetle, chews holes in large leaves like Florida foliage. They can be prevented by using a floating row cover over your seedlings. You may also need to switch crops and plant a different family of vegetables for some seasons to get rid of flea beetles.

Whiteflies can also be a problem but can be easily killed by spraying insecticidal soap. Spinosad can also be useful against cabbage pests as it has low mammalian toxicity and can kill many insects that attack your greens.

Diseases

White spotcaused by Cercosporella brassicae causes gray or brown spots and can be carried over between wild mustard and garden mustard. Peronospora parasitica that causes Wrong mildewcreates white spots on the plant.

Sooty powdery mildew and most diseases that affect mustard green can be combated with good plant care. You should plant the seedlings in fresh sterile potting soil each time and water your plants at ground level. If possible, never water leafy vegetables from the top as this can cause disease.

There are many organic products on the market to treat these diseases. Both of the above can be treated with copper or sulfur fungicides.

Seriously ill plants that go beyond the treatment point should be removed from the garden immediately and disposed of. You shouldn't compost them as the disease can survive and infect other plants.

After all, you should plant members of the cabbage family separately so that one pest doesn't destroy your entire crop at once, and you should practice good crop rotation so that pests don't build up in your garden.

frequently asked Questions

Field of mustard greenMustard is grown in huge fields for seed production. Source: Bensheldon

Q: How long does it take to grow mustard greens?

A: Not long! You can harvest mustard greens after just 40 days.

Q: Do mustard greens grow back?

A: Yes, if you cut the leaves from the outside in. If you cut off all of the leaves, the new growth will tend to be slightly bitter.

Q: What can you not plant with mustard greens?

A: Sunflowers, soybeans, and dried beans all suffer from the same pests and diseases as mustard greens.

The green fingers behind this article:

Leave a comment