Mustard greens are a cool-season vegetable suitable for use in salads or used as a cooked green similar to spinach. Mustard is often grown from seed started indoors, then later transplanted out into the garden in late spring. It grows well and produces an abundant crop of edible leaves until summer heat causes it to bolt and complete its life cycle. Plant mustard green seeds six to eight weeks before the last spring frost in your area to ensure that you have an abundant harvest before summer.
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Things you need
- Potting mixture
- Plastic bag
Fill 2- to 3-inch diameter pots with a moist potting mixture. Leave a ½-inch space between the rim of the pot and the top of the potting mix.
Sow two mustard seeds in each pot to a depth of ½ to 1 inch. Cover the pot with a plastic bag and place it in a 12.8 to 18.3 degrees C room to germinate.
Remove the plastic bag once sprouts appear, approximately seven to 10 days after sowing. Place the pots in a warm, sunny windowsill.
Water the potting mix when the surface begins to feel dry. Water until the excess moisture begins draining from the bottom of the pot.
Transplant the mustard to a full-sun, well-draining garden bed when the plants have four to six leaves, usually within five to six weeks of planting. Plant seedlings at the same depth in the garden they were at in their nursery pots. Space plants 3 inches apart in the row with rows spaced 12 inches apart.
Prepare a well-draining, full-sun garden bed by laying a 2-inch layer of compost over it. Till the compost into the top 8 inches of soil to add drainage and nutrients.
Sow seeds ½ to 1 inch deep in the garden bed. Sow two to three seeds per planting hole, spacing each hole 3 inches apart in rows that are spaced 12 inches apart.
Water the seed bed with a fine mist when the soil surface feels dry. Avoid using a sharp spray as this may wash away the seeds.
Thin the seedlings once they have produced four leaves. Pluck out the weaker seedling in each planting hole, leaving the healthiest-looking seedling to grow.
Tips and warnings
- Direct sow seeds in spring when soil temperatures are at least 4.44 degrees C. For a fall crop, direct sow in late summer when average daytime temperatures are below 23.9C.
- In areas with cold spring starting seeds indoors is best for a long enough growing season. Direct sow in areas that have mild winters and springs.
- Mustard seeds do not germinate in temperatures above 26.7 degrees C. Existing plants tend to go to seed when temperatures are over 26.7 degrees C.
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