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Binomial Name: Brassica & Brassica juncea

Varieties: Southern Giant, Japanese Giant Red

Start: Seeds or seedlings

Germination: 4-7 days, 7°C to 30°C

Seed Life (viability): 4 years

Soil: Well drained

Sunlight: Full sun, part shade

Sow Seeds: 3 cm apart

Transplant Seedlings: 15 to 45 cm apart

Ave. Days to Harvest: 35 to 65

Good Companions: Cabbage, cauliflower, radish, brussels sprouts

Bad Companions:

Sowing & Planting: This cool-season green adds a peppery zing to salads and makes an attractive addition to ornamental plantings. Some varieties have contrasting white or purples stems and veins or have crinkled or savoyed leaves.

When plants bolt, harvest the flowers and seedpods for salads too. Benefits from some shading during warm weather. Prefers well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter, pH 6.0 to 7.5. Can tolerate slightly alkaline soil. Needs plentiful, consistent moisture. Mustards and mustard greens can be grown most of the year round, except during the very coldest periods of mid-winter and the very hottest periods of mid-summer.

Sow seeds 0.5 to 1 cm deep, 3 cm apart in rows 15 to 20 cm apart. Thin to 15 cm spacings for smaller varieties or up to 45 cm for large ones. Plant every 2 weeks for continuous harvest. Some plantings may bolt quickly in response to increasing temperatures and day length. High temperatures and lack of moisture increase the peppery taste.

Growing: Use floating row covers to help protect from early insect infestations. To help reduce disease, do not plant mustards or other cole crops in the same location more than once every three or four years.

Harvesting: The leaves and leaf stalks are eaten. The seeds can be ground and used as a condiment. Pick off individual leaves as they grow, or cut the entire plant at ground level. Harvest when the leaves are young and tender; in summer, the texture may become tough and the flavor strong. Harvest the entire crop when some of the plants start to go to seed.


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