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.
✦ 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.
✦ 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.