A step by step guide for growing Mustard greens at Home
Today, we learn about how to grow mustard greens at home along with mustard greens care, planting methods, and harvesting techniques. So let us get into the detailed information of growing mustard greens for profit. Mustard greens are the plants which are scientifically called as Brassica Juncea and are most commonly called as Indian Mustard, leaf mustard and Chinese mustard. Mustard greens are the ones which will have green colored leaves. Few mustard greens will not be in green color. They have dark red or purple shades on them. The mustard green leaves have a texture which is flat or crumpled.
Mustard greens are the plants which are similar to spinach. The leaves of this plant have a flavor which is peppery and also a unique one. For growing mustard greens, you will have to buy the mustard green seeds and start planting them in the soil which is enriched and they uproot them and go with the replantation of seedlings which will emerge. Also ensure that you are watering them, weeding them and protecting them from the bugs which munch the plants. Once they are prepared, you can go ahead with the harvesting of leaves and if you really desire, allow the plants to harvest the mustard seeds too. In this article, we will learn how to grow mustard greens.
Mustard greens are of several varieties and they vary according to their shape of the leaves, color, and texture. The different types of mustard greens come from various regions across the world like Africa, Asia, etc. For the creation of a mix which would be very interesting, you can go ahead and choose the plantation of two to three varieties at one place. The varieties of mustard greens are Red giant, Southern Giant Curled, Ruby streaks, Golden frills, Scarlet frills, Garnet giant, and Amara, etc.
Plantation of mustard greens:
- For the purpose of growing mustard greens, you will have to buy the seeds from any gardening center present in your locality. You can also buy them online or at any department stores. As the mustard greens will grow quickly, you can go with the replantation of mustard greens for every 15 to 20 days to keep the production going. If you want to replant, you can buy more according to your requirement.
- Now, it is time for the preparation of the soil. Mustard greens will grow best in the soil which is rich and moist. For the preparation of soil for plantation of mustard greens, you will have to spread the compost all over the area of the plantation at a thickness of 4 to 6 inches. The compost has to be turned into the ground in a careful manner by making use of a digging fork which will loosen the soil.
- Growing mustard greens in pots are also possible. If you prefer to plant the mustard greens in containers, then you can plant 2-3 seeds of mustard at a depth of 1 ½ inch where the seeds are at a distance of 6 inches from each other. The pots have to be filled with loose soil and the seeds have to be sown accordingly.
- Plan your time for plantation. Mustard greens will survive in the temperatures which are cooler but they will not grow well in the months of summer. You can start the seeds about a month prior to the last frost. The plants will be resistant to frost which will generally lead to the contribution to a flavor which is sweeter to the mustard greens.
- Now you will have to start the plantation of seeds. Plantation of seeds has to be done just below the soil about a distance of about a ½ inch. Once the mustard green sprouts take place and will grow their initial leaves, in a gentle manner, unearth them and pull them to separate into clumps. The replantation of the seedlings has to be done at a distance of 12 inches from each other. The replantation of the seedlings is not that much necessary, but if you do so, it will let the mustard greens to grow more quickly and also it will make them yield more.
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Care and maintenance of your mustard greens:
- Water the mustard greens in a careful manner. The mustard greens will need at least 2 inches of water every week in order to survive. Keeping in mind the rainfall, make sure that they are receiving the water in an adequate manner. Also, make sure that you are keeping the soil in an even manner and also water it in a consistent manner.
- Mustard greens will need an adequate amount of nitrogen for growth and this is the way you can fertilize mustard greens. When your plants reach a length of 4 inches, you can go with the application of fertilizer of half cup for a row of 10 feet.
- The weeds have to be removed in a careful manner when you see them growing around your mustard green plants. When the mustard greens will not need much space to grow, the weeds will cause some sort of disturbance mainly to the seedlings which are fragile. For the removal of weeds, you will need to dig them in a soft manner by making use of your hands, making sure that the roots are also removed well.
- For the successful growth of the mustard greens, you will have to secure them from the bugs which will feed on them. The bugs are like cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, and flea beetles. The plants have to be covered with cover fabric and will be available to buy at most gardening centers available in your locality. As the insects will not be able to reach the plant below the fabric, they will not feed on it or lay any eggs for reproduction.
- Always ensure that you are monitoring the temperature and the levels of moisture in the rows which are covered. The growing areas which are enclosed will become too hot for the growth of mustard greens, so it is very essential to keep an eye on the plants in a close manner.
- Make sure that you are avoiding to make the leaves of the mustard greens wet for every time you are watering your mustard greens. This will help in the risk reduction of your mustard greens from getting downy mildew.
Harvesting Mustard greens:
The harvest of mustard greens has to be done when the leaves are tender and young. The leaves which are older will have a flavor which is better. You can now start picking the mustard green leaves after a month when they reach a length of 4 to 6 inches. You can also harvest the mustard greens by removing the outer leaves from the plants and should harvest the leaves all at a time. The leaves which are yellow in color have to be discarded if found.
Harvesting mustard seeds:
When the climatic conditions become too hot, the mustard green plants will start seeding and will grow a flower stalk which will indicate that there would be a new leaf growth. Here, in this point, you can dig up all the mustard green plants or you can simply leave them there itself for seeding to take place. Once you see the seed pod which is getting developed on the plant becoming dry, you can start the collection of seeds. Always make sure that you are collecting them prior to the splitting of the seed pod. The seeds which will spill on the soil will get dispersed and will also grow into new plants in the later stages.
Storage of mustard greens:
You will need to pick all the mustard greens which are harvested and then store them in a refrigerator. You can also freeze the mustard greens for the purpose of cooking too.
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Facts about mustard greens:
- For the supply of a mustard green meal to two people, it would take at least 10 plants of mustard greens. Mustard greens are the ones which will grow quickly. You can start picking the mustard green leaves in about a month when you see the length of the leaves is about 8 inches. When you leave them alone, the leaves would reach a complete height of 18 inches in about 1 ½ month.
- Mustard greens would be easy to grow in the months of both spring and autumn. Mustard greens will not be able to resist heat and bolts when the climatic conditions are warm at the end of the spring. The plant will start the seeds after 1 to 1 ½ month prior to the last frost at the time of spring.
- When you see that your mustard greens are turning yellow in color, then it means that there is a deficiency of nutrients. When your plants are lacking nitrogen which is important, then it will take more amount of nitrogen from the leaves which are older and this will, in turn, help the plant is continuing its growth. Nitrogen loss will turn the leaves which are older into yellow color whereas the new leaves will be green in color.
- The mustard green leaves which are turned yellow in color cannot be turned into green color again and you can remove the yellow leaves too.
- If you see that the leaves of the mustard greens are turning brown and getting wilted, then it means that you are overwatering your mustard green plant.
- The seed pods of the brown mustard will consist of up to 20 seeds whereas the seed pods of the white mustard will consist of up to 8 seeds per pod.
- If you want to use companion planting for mustard greens, you can include mint in your garden so that they will repel cabbage worms. Place the mustard greens closer to dill or fennel so that they will help in attracting the insects such as lacewings and ladybugs which will feed on aphids.
- There are many mustard plants uses. The seeds of mustard can be used as a spice. Mustard oil can also be prepared by pressing the mustard seeds and mustard green leaves are also edible.
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