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How to Grow Mustard Plants

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Mustard is known as the "King of the Condiments". In addition to the seeds, which are used to make the mustard for our hot dogs, the greens are edible. People have been using mustard as greens, to spice up their food for thousands of years.

Home gardeners love this easy, fast growing, cool weather crop. As you would expect, the leaves have a sharp, mustard taste. Mustard greens are great raw, in salads, or as a cooked greens. They are nutritious, and healthy for you and your family. Mustard seeds are harvested to make the condiment that you use on hotdogs, sandwiches, and more. 

Did you know? There is a National Mustard Day.

Mustard and Your Health:

Mustard leaves are good for your health. It's low in calories and carbs, yet high in vitamins. It is high in Vitamin A and C, contains calcium and iron. It has cancer fighting beta carotene, anitoxidents.

Sowing Mustard Seeds:

Sow mustard seeds 1/4 to 1/3 inch deep, and 3" apart. Thin seedlings to 5" - 9" apart. Separate the rows, 1 foot apart.

Sow seeds early in the spring and a second crop in the early fall. They prefer cool weather, so leave the middle of the summer for the heat loving vegetables.

Maturity: 45-50 days

How to Grow Mustard:

Growing mustard plants is easy. The plants grow well in most good garden soils.

Mustard plants prefer full sun and cool weather. Grow crops spring and fall. The plants will bolt in hot weather.

Planting successive small crops, separated about a week apart, results in a continuous supply of greens.

Mustard plants should be grown quickly. Use plenty of water, and ample amounts of fertilizer, to promote fast growth of tender, green leaves. Water plants during dry periods.

Keep the plants well weeded, so weeds rob the plants of water and nutrients. It makes harvesting easier, too.

Also See:

Plant Problems

Soil Germination Temperatures

Ideal Soil pH - by vegetable


Mustard greens are eaten raw, or cooked. Harvest leaves while young and tender. Pick individual leave, or the entire plant. Leaves get tough and have a strong flavor during hot, dry weather.

Mustard seeds should be harvested  when the plants begin to yellow. You want to leave them on the plants as long as possible, but before the pods burst open and spill their seeds.

Make your own mustard - its very easy.

Insects and Pests:

Aphids and cabbage worms are common problems.

We recommend organic pesticides for use on Mustard plants and other greens.


Mildews can affect the plant. Promote fast growing, healthy plants, so they will be less susceptible to disease. Allow proper spacing to increase air circulation. Avoid watering towards evening.


 Plants grow best in cool weather.

Mustard plants will tolerate a mild frost. But, they will succumb to a hard freeze. If the plants are still productive, cover them up when frost or freeze is in the forecast.

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