Mustard is a cool-season crop. Mustard matures in 30 to 50 days so time the planting for harvest when the average temperature is around 60° to 65°F (16°-18°C).
Mustard bolts easily so it is often grown for autumn harvest, but it can be grown as a spring crop where spring weather tends to stay cool.
Sow mustard seeds in the garden 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost. Start transplants indoors 4 to 6 weeks before setting them out in the garden. Transplants can be set in the garden from 5 weeks before to 2 weeks after the last frost.
Make succession plantings every 10 to 14 days in spring until the temperatures begin to rise.
Sow mustard for a fall harvest 8 weeks before the first expected fall frost.
Mustard tolerates many kinds of soil but grows best in moist, humus-rich soil. Mustard can tolerate partial shade. Mulch to keep the soil cool and moist to prevent bolting.
Mustard leaves about 4 to 5 inches (10-13cm) long have the best flavor. Begin harvesting outer leaves cut-and-come again to prolong the harvest time. The flavor is improved by a mild frost.
Mustard seed sowing dates
(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)
|The average date of the last frost||Planting dates|
|Jan. 30||Jan. 1-Feb. 10|
|Feb. 8||Jan. 10-Mar. 1|
|Feb. 18||Jan. 15-Feb. 15|
|Feb. 28||Feb. 1-Mar. 15|
|Mar. 10||Feb. 10-Mar. 20|
|Mar. 20||Feb. 20-Apr. 1|
|Mar. 30||Mar. 10-Apr. 15|
|Apr. 10||Mar. 1-Apr. 20|
|Apr. 20||Mar. 20-May 1|
|Apr. 30||Apr. 1-May 10|
|May 10||Apr. 15-June 1|
|May 20||May 1-June 30|
|May 30||May 10-June 30|
|June 10||May 20-June 30|
Mustard planting details
- Sowing depth: ¼ inch (.6 cm)
- Space between plants after thinning: 6-9 inches (15-23cm)
- Days to sprout: 5-10
- Days to harvest: 30-50
- Storage period: 1-2 weeks
- Seeds per 100 row feet: ¼ ounce (7 grams)
- Yield per 100 row feet: 100 heads
- Suggested varieties: Florida Broad Leaf (bolt resistant), Green Wave (bolt resistant), Southern Giant Curled (good choice for fall crop)
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