Mustard leaves are an easy vegetable to grow and provide good yields with multiple harvests. Although it is best grown during cooler periods, there are varieties, like Mizuna, which provide good harvest even in the hotter months and ideal for a country like Singapore.
I have been able to grow the Mustard Green variety in my balcony in a pot in the months of June and July with good results. It’s probably because of the unusually cooler weather we are experiencing at the moment (at least it is for June/July which typically ranges between 32-35 degrees).
My usual cycle is to start preparation of my seedlings in October so I can transplant them by November and get a good harvest right up to February or March.
Preparing Your Seeds
To prepare your seedlings, use a seedling tray or an egg carton filled with a light potting mix - we find peat with a combination of perlite and vermiculate works well. A light potting mix will allow the sensitive roots to penetrate well.
Sow between 3-4 seeds per section in the seedling tray or egg carton. Give it a good spray of water.
Now cover the tray for between 2-3 days to allow the seeds to germinate.
Uncover and check after this period. Your seeds would have germinated.
Place them in an area with natural light (not direct sunlight) and water once to twice a day.
Let them grow to about 8-10cm before transplanting them into a planter.
- When transplanting your Mustard leaves into a pot, fill the bottom 1/3 of your pot with a layer of substrate followed by organic compost.
- Mustard leaves don’t have dense roots so it is fine to grow them in a pot (about 20cm in height). You can plant 2-3 seedlings in each pot.
- Mustard leaves grow quite well on their own with a good compost. However, if you do see slow growth or small leaves, use an organic based fertiliser like liquid fish or chicken manure.
When harvesting mustard leaves, pick your leaves from the bottom. This will allow the plant to grow tall and not branch out.
Although you can find mustard leaves easily in the markets, the advantage of growing it yourself is being able to control what goes into the growing process. Growing your greens organically does sometimes provide uneven leaves but since the plant gives such abundance produce, just pick and choose the leaves you want to harvest.