How to Grow Brassica Juncea
Brassica juncea adds fresh flavor to salad mixes.
Add a little spice and flavor to your salad garden with Brassica juncea, also known as mustard. The leaves have a spicy, fresh flavor that gives a zesty touch to fresh salads, wilted greens dishes and light stir fries. Plant this cool-season annual in fall, winter and early spring, and harvest continuously during the cool months. In summer, when the temperatures heat up, Brassica juncea plants bolt and go to seed, making them tough and not suitable for harvest. Look for cultivars like Red Giant, Osaka Purple or Southern Giant Curled for a little variety in the garden and on the plant.
Plant Brassica juncea in a spot that gets full or partial sun. Full sun is six or more hours per day and partial sun is four to six hours of sun.
Remove weeds, sod, roots and sticks from the planting area and turn over the top 6 to 8 inches of soil, using a garden fork or a tiller.
Make planting holes 1/3 inch deep and 1 inch apart, using your index finger or a dowel.
Drop one seed into each hole and cover with soil. Smooth out the area gently without compacting the soil.
Water the seeding area right after planting. Soak the soil until it is damp to at least 1/2 an inch deep.
Thin out the seedlings to a spacing of 3 inches when they grow 2 to 3 inches tall. You can add the thinned greens to your salad.
Keep the garden bed free of weeds during the growing season. Remove weeds by hand as they emerge.
Harvest Brassica juncea plants 30 to 60 days after planting. At 30 days, the greens will be smaller but more tender. The longer they remain in the ground, the bigger the plants but also the more likely they are to get tough. Remove the entire plant by by cutting the greens at the base of the stalk.
Plant Brassica juncea seeds every 14 days so you can harvest continuously throughout the growing season without depleting the crop.
If you leave the plants in the soil until they go to seed, Brassica juncea will self-sow readily. To control unwanted spread, harvest the plants before they set seed. You will notice flowers before the seeds form. At this point, remove the plants.