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How to Grow Mustard Plants

Sonia Nair Jul 7, 2019
Interested in growing some mustard plants at home? Here are some tips and guidelines for the same.
Almost all of us are familiar with mustard, the yellow-colored popular condiment. This condiment called prepared mustard, is made from mustard seeds that are derived from the mustard plants which belong to the genera Brassica and Sinapis (order Brassicales).
The use of this plant has been dated back to sixth century Greece, where people used mustard seeds as a remedy for scorpion stings. It is believed that in India, this plant has been used for thousands of years. The seeds, leaves and flowers of this plant are used for various culinary purposes.
The leaves are very popular as mustard greens and is used in food recipes like salads, soups and stews. Mustard oil is also extracted from the seeds. So, with all these uses, mustard is a versatile plant and growing them at home may not be a bad idea.

Growing Mustard Plants at Home

You know that mustard plants are grown for their leaves and seeds. While leaves can be used as salad greens or as vegetables, seeds are used in recipes. You may prepare the condiment 'prepared mustard' with the seeds.
Mustard leaves and seeds are also said to have various health benefits and is believed to have cholesterol-lowering and anti-cancer properties. As far as growing mustard plants is concerned, you may use seeds or seedlings that will be available in the local nursery.
There are many different mustard plant types, the common being the black and brown varieties. As compared to brown mustard, black mustard is found to have a strong and spicy flavor. It is also said that black mustard is less fussy to grow.
✦ Start with the mustard seeds of your choice. The soil for sowing mustard seeds should be well drained and fertile, with a pH of around six. The location for sowing the seeds must receive partial sunlight too.
✦ You may enhance the fertility of the soil by adding a small amount of a balanced fertilizer or some compost. As these plants love cool weather, springtime is the best to grow them. You have to sow the seeds just before the last frost (two to three weeks before that date).
✦ Make holes with a depth of 1/8 of an inch, in the soil. These holes must have a minimum space of three inches in between. If you are planting the seeds in rows, make sure that the rows are one foot apart. Plant the seeds in these holes. Once the seedlings grow, thin them so that individual plants will be having a space of six to seven inches in between.
✦ During their growing stage, keep these plants well watered. Water them thoroughly once in every two days. It will be better to water the soil, instead of the leaves. You may also feed the plant once in every two or three weeks, with a liquid all-purpose fertilizer.
✦ Mustard plants are not at all fussy, as all they require is proper watering and occasional feeding. They are also found to be free of pests. It will take around 45 to 60 days for the plant to get mature. But, in hot water, seeds may appear as soon as 30 to 40 days of planting.
✦ If you are growing the plants for the leaves only, you may harvest the whole plant, as you wish. Harvest of mustard greens depends on your need. For salads, young and tender leaves are used and the larger and comparatively tougher leaves can be used for cooking. Even the flowers can be used as garnish.
✦ If you want the seeds, harvest the required amount of leaves and not the whole plant. In such a case, you should not harvest the flowers. The flowers will develop to pods that will get slightly brown, as they mature. You have to harvest the pods at this stage. Otherwise the pods will break open, scattering the seeds.
✦ Remove the seeds from the pods and store them in a paper bag. Within one or two weeks, these seeds will get completely dry. You may store them in air tight containers and can be used for making prepared mustard and other such recipes.
This is only a brief overview about how to grow mustard plants at home. If you have any doubts, you may contact the local nursery or a horticulturist. So, make use of these tips and grow some mustard plants at home. From now on, you can use homemade prepared mustard with seeds from your garden.