Have you ever considered growing mustard plants? Mustards are best as fall crops, however, if you’re planning to grow seeds to grind them into spicy condiments, it would be best to do it in spring.
How to Grow Mustard Plants
The seed germination of Mustard is fast and sure. Therefore, it won’t be difficult, simply scatter your seeds and pat them in with your hand or the back of your rake. Two weeks later you’ll see them grown and ready to be transplanted. Thin your plants to a hand’s distance apart.
Warm Weather-grown mustard greens would develop a very strong flavor. It soon settles down once it’s cooler in the fall. You can regrow them after summer harvest and within two weeks new leaves will appear from the center. Temperatures below -7°C usually kill the plants, but Mustard greens have no problem with light frosts. Chop the old plants and mix chopped roots and greens into your soil before the temperature reaches below -7°C. Doing this would help you avoid nematodes and several common soil diseases.
How to Grow Mustard Cover Crop
If you want your weeds gone, it’s best to grow mustard in late summer. They’ll smother weeds as they grow and suppress them from growing. You can chop your mustard greens using a sharp lawn edger and put them in the soil using a digging fork. This will help kill nematodes and pathogenic fungi. Use your chopped mustard like green manure. Waiting two weeks after turning them under then planting lettuce would give you a productive crop with few weeds.
Growing them as a part of your rotation of crops to suppress weeds and soil diseases is a good way to go. Plant them in spring and turn them under in the summer. Choose Caliente, IdaGold, or Kodiak of the mustard varieties if you only plan to use them as a cover crop.
How to Grow Mustard Plants from Seeds
Adventuresome garden cooks who want to experience natural spices at their best may want to grow mustard seeds, which have endless uses in the kitchen. You can toast and crack them for a crunchy, big-flavor garnish, grind a few with mortar and pestle to season sauces, or soak them in water for a day before blending with olive oil, vinegar and various other spices to make your own mustard.
There are various ways to use mustard seeds in the kitchen. That is why those who want to experience natural spices want to grow them. Toasting the seeds and cracking them is great for garnish. You can use the seeds you’ve grinded with a mortar and pestle to season your sauces. Or you can make your own mustard sauce with them.
Growing your mustard seeds for eating will need you to stake your plants after they’ve bloomed and set your seeds. Dry them tan, then gather in a paper bag to let them dry until crispy. Crunch them then gather the seeds that fall from the bottom.