How to Grow Mustard Greens – A Beginner’s Guide

mustard greens plant growing in garden
Mustard greens, which are known botanically as Brassica Juncea, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing mustard greens as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Mustard Greens

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the mustard green seeds uring the cool temperatures of spring and fall. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when mustard greens are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Mustard Greens the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing mustard greens in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your mustard greens grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained, loam soil well supplied with organic matter. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 – 6.8.

 2′ apart in rows, keeping rows approximately 3′ apart. roughly 9″ apart in rows, keeping rows approximately 12″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about  .25-.5″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your mustard green seedlings thin plants to 9″ apart when they have 2 or 3 leaves.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Mustard Greens

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your mustard greens. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your mustard greens should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Mustard Greens

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your mustard greens do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your mustard greens begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Mustard Greens to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your mustard greens grow.

It takes approximately 10-12 days to germinate, and a total of 56 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Mustard Greens

The best time to harvest your mustard greens is when the leaves are 6 to 8 inches long. 

Mustard greens can grow up to about 15 to 18 inches long .

What Can Mustard Greens Be Used For?

Food Use: Makes delicious cooked greens, steamed, or sauteed.

Flavor Profile:  Peppery.

Can Mustard Greens Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you will ideally need a 12″+ containerfor each plant. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your mustard greens around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Mustard Greens Safe for Bees?

Yes, mustard greens are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing mustard greens is bee-friendly.

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