How to grow mustard greens
Mustards are an easy-to-grow, cool season crop – follow these quick tips to grow them in your garden.
Words: Jenny Somervell
MUSTARD GROWING TIPS
◊ They are not fussy about soil type, provided it is fertile and moisture retentive.
◊ Pests seldom bother them – they were the last to be attacked in my garden.
◊ They are best sown in early spring, or after mid-summer for winter crops. Seeds sown in early autumn can be transplanted under cover in frosty areas. These are best grown in plug trays as the plants are quite tap-rooted.
◊ Spring sowings are best used for baby leaves as plants quickly run to seed in hotter temperatures. The tiny seeds need very little covering.
◊ Plants are spaced 10-45cm apart, depending on the variety and when they are to be harvested. Average size winter varieties will need 30cm; larger spreading varieties may need up to 45cm. You can start cutting or thinning when plants are just 8cm high as seedlings, or harvest young plants at 15cm high.
◊ Keep plants evenly moist in spring and summer as drying out speeds up bolting.
◊ Plants are slower growing than Chinese cabbage or pak choi, taking up to 5 months for larger varieties to mature.