I love watching the wee small seedlings turn into robust plants right before our very eyes. Here is a great shot of the mustard greens right outside my door. Mustard Greens are very hardy and thrive well in cooler weather. I like to call it my fall "staple" crop because I do not have to worry about it dying as the weather turns cooler. Once you water and establish the plant, they are pretty easy to grow. These beautiful greens can be planted every seven to 21 days through early November to give you a continued fresh supply right on into winter. Mustard greens are ready to harvest in 35 to 60 days from planting, depending on the weather. This particular variety (pictured at left) is called "old fashioned". It is an heirloom mustard green introduced before 1940. I also grew the Florida Broadleaf mustard green for comparison.
Growing Mustard Greens: I am very much a minimalist when growing mustard greens, which means, I throw the seed right onto the ground, run a shallow amount of dirt over top of the seeds and give it a good watering. That's it! They really are NOT that fickle, which is why I like them so much!
Varieties of Mustard Greens: Mizuna, Early Mustard, Horned mustard, New Star, Florida Broadleaf, Old Fashioned, Even Star Tender, Chinese thick stemmed, Southern Giant Curled, Red Giant, Tatsoi,
Harvesting Mustard Greens: When harvesting these tasty greens, look for leaves with a rich green color. Avoid any mustard greens that are wilted or yellowish. The smaller the leaves, the more tender they will be.
Storing Mustard Greens: Wrap unwashed mustard greens tightly and store in the refrigerator's crisper drawer for up to one week. Wash mustard greens thoroughly before cooking as they tend to hold on to sand and dirt and no one wants sand in their greens at the dinner table!
There are many different greens that you can grow this fall but none of them pack the growing power and nutrition like Mustard Greens. If you are a novice gardener, pick up a pack of mustard seeds and give it a whirl. I promise you will NOT be disappointed! Happy gardening!