wikiHow to Grow Mustard Greens

Two Parts:Planting Mustard GreensGrowing and Harvesting Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are a spinach-like plant that is used for salads, and left to seed in order to create mustard powder and condiments.[1] They can be sharp or mild in flavor. As a cool weather plant, mustard greens are ideal to start from seed and grow throughout the cool weather.

Part 1
Planting Mustard Greens

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    Decide if your zone will be warm enough for mustard greens. This plant is hardy and can last the winter in Zones 7 and higher. Cooler climates may be able to plant the seeds early each spring and harvest them through the fall.
    • Check your hardiness zone at www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/.
    • Start seeds about four weeks before the last frost.
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    Purchase your seeds. If your local gardening center doesn’t have them, you may need to order them from a seed company by catalog or online. When you purchase the seeds, make sure to choose a type of seed that does well in containers if you want them for a container garden.
    • Try seeds like Tokyo Bekana and Komatsuna for a change from traditional mustard greens. They are ideally suited to a salad base.
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    Use a soil with a pH between 6 and 6.5 or potting mix. Plant in loose soil in a large container at least one foot (0.3m) deep or garden soil loosened at least one foot below the surface. Amend the soil with compost before planting to improve soil quality.[2]
    • Order a soil composition test if you are unsure about the pH of your garden soil. Most potting mixes will work well without testing them.
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    Sew seeds in a bed or container approximately one foot apart. Sew three seeds together and then thin them, keeping only the strongest plant. Plant seeds one-fourth to one inch (five mm to one cm) deep.
    • Plant one to two groups of seeds per pot. The plants are fairly compact at full height.
    • You can also plant them in a border bed, in window boxes, along sidewalks or in flower beds.[3]
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    Plant seeds in February if you can cover and protect them with a cloche. Mustard greens can survive frosts, and light frosts can make them taste sweeter.
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    Continue to plant short rows nearby every three weeks to ensure continuous harvest. Seeds germinate in seven to 10 days. If your summer is very hot, take a break during the hottest part of the season and plant again in the fall.

Part 2
Growing and Harvesting Mustard Greens

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    Place your container or bed in full sun to increase germination. Shade them if it gets too hot, since mustard greens are known to bolt in hot weather.
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    Keep the soil moist. You may need to water containers every day or every other day. If they dry out, they are likely to go to seed.
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    Weed your soil continuously. These greens don’t compete well with other plants.
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    Move your plants to a cooler spot if the weather gets hot. The plants will bolt in dry or very hot weather.
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    Harvest by snipping off several outer leaves off of a plant. Don’t snip off all the leaves at once. The larger the leaves, the more bitter the flavor.
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    Pick all your mustard greens and refrigerate them if you are expecting a hard freeze.

Tips

  • Mustard greens are excellent companions to pansies. Grow them beside these flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Potting soil
  • Seeds
  • Compost
  • Trowel
  • Kitchen shears
  • Water
  • Cloche
  • Medium to large pots
  • Garden beds/flower beds/window boxes

Article Info

Categories: Growing Vegetables