Sunday, May 26, 2019

Mustard greens

baby Giant Red Mustard on right in middle

May 25, 2019

Many think of mustard as the yellow condiment you put on burgers and hot dogs.  There are many varieties of mustard that are grown for their leaves.  Mustard leaves get stronger as the weather gets hotter.  They definitely have a "bite" similar to arugula. 

Mustards come in different heights, colors and leave types.  They are a great add to salads, cooked and in cooking.  Mustard greens are chock full of antioxidants, manganese, calcium, potassium, vitamins A, C and K, and folate.  Nutritional info

Giant Red Mustard
Mustard greens can be cultivated in the spring or for fall.  They produce well throughout the summer and overwinter down to 0 F.  Ideal sowing times are March-May for spring/summer harvests and July-August for fall/winter harvests.   They prefer rich soil and should be kept moist until sprouted.  

Sow seeds on the soil, then rake in.  Seeds will sprout in 3-4 days.  Harvesting can begin as soon as 10 days.  You can also buy them as bedding plants in the spring.  If you do want mustard seed, they will be ready in 8-10 weeks.  In summer months, they appreciate some afternoon shade.

You can basically use as you would arugula.  You can also eat the new leaves in salads or sauté or steam the larger leaves.  You can harvest the outer leaves when they are 3-4” long for cooking or salads.  Store at 32 degrees F and high humidity in the frig for the longest life.

For any that I don't eat fresh, I blanche and freeze to add to a steamed veggie side dish or to soups and roasts.  You do need to blanche mustard and other greens to maintain the taste.  Freezing the extras for winter

FMy favorite varieties to grow are Giant Red, Ruby Streaks and Golden Streaks.  Ruby and Golden Streaks are striking in salads.

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