Mustard Growing Guide

Mustard Growing Guide

Mustard is a hardy leaf vegetable with a rosette of large light or dark green curly leaves that can grow to 3 feet tall. Leaves and leaf stalks are eaten and have a peppery flavor. The seeds can be ground and used as a condiment.

  • BOTANICAL NAME:Brassica juncea
  • PLANT TYPE:Vegetable
  • SEASON:Spring Summer Fall Winter
  • USDA ZONE:4a-9b
  • LIGHT:Full Sun / Partial Shade
  • SOIL TYPE:Well Drained
  • YIELD:8 lbs. per plant
  • SQUARE FOOT GARDEN:6 plant per square foot
  • Germination Soil Temperature: 40-75°F
  • GERMINATION:5-7 days
  • MATURITY:30-40 days from first planting
  • HARVEST:As soon as 21 days
  • SEED DEPTH:¼-1/2″
  • PLANT SPACING:1-6″ (thin to 6")
  • ROW SPACING: 6-8
  • SOW INDOORS:Start your seeds indoors 2-4 weeks before last frost.
  • SOW OUTDOORS: 1–2 weeks before last frost or as soon as soil can be worked. Continue to sow seeds every two to three weeks after your first planting to enjoy fresh arugula all season long.


This leafy green is a cold weather crop that will bolt if exposed to extreme heat, so be sure to provide some shade cover if planting in temperatures that consistently surpass 75–80°F. In most climate zones, mustards perform best when planted in the early spring or late summer just before temperatures begin to drop. 


Full sun or partial shade


Mustard is not too picky and will tolerate a variety of soil conditions; however, make sure to provide good drainage. A pH between 6.0 and 7.5 is ideal. 


Water: Requires moderate levels of water, about 2 inches per week. Keeping soil moist but not soggy will help keep your plants from bolting. Avoid wetting the leaves to reduce opportunistic conditions for fungal disease.

Nutrients: Amend the soil with compost high in organic matter before planting seeds. 

Pruning: Occasionally picking younger leaves off your plants will allow them to develop larger leaves with a stronger flavor while making room for new growth

Mulching: A light mulch of straw can reduce weed growth, which is necessary to avoid competitors trying to steal your arugula’s spotlight!


  • Flea beetles
  • White Flies
  • Aphids


  • Downy Mildew
  • White Rust Sclerotinia
  • Stalk Rot
  • White Mold Leaf Spots
  • Virus Mosaic


Grows well with bush beans, carrots, mint, nasturtium, potato, onion thyme, rosemary, beets, and cucumber to name a few. Avoid planting with strawberries and other members of the brassica family


Harvest leaves when they are 2-6″ tall, keeping in mind that older leaves will have a stronger flavor than younger ones. Flowering will cause leaves to turn bitter, so harvesting is preferentially done before signs of blooming.


The Leaves are highly perishable and best used immediately after harvest, but can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Frozen, or canned for longer storage.


Leaves can be steamed or blanched, frozen or canned for later use


Usually eaten fresh with other salad greens or added whole and cooked or sautéed lightly or making a nice pot of southern style mustard greens. Yummy!


Mustard greens are rich in important plant compounds and micronutrients, specifically vitamins A, C, and K. As a result, eating them may have benefits for eye and heart health, as well as anticancer and immune-boosting properties.  Nutrition Facts  



Mustard greens contain a range of powerful phytonutrients. These plant-based antioxidants protect your cells from stress and damage caused by the free radicals our bodies accumulate from aging, the environment, and lifestyle behaviors.

Recipe Idea: Southern Style Mustard Greens

USDA Hardiness Zone Map                 Cooperative Extension Service by State

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