How to grow mustard greens

Mustard Purple Wave.

Mustards are an easy-to-grow crop — follow these quick tips to grow them in your garden.

Words: Jenny Somervell

◊ 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.

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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.

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