This guide contains information on mustard grown for greens and on
condiment mustard. General information on condiment mustard types and varieties is at the end of
this guide while specific comments on condiment mustard production are identified seperately in
the sections below.
MUSTARD VARIETIES FOR GREENS
Brassica juncea and Brassica rapa subsp. perviridis mustards used for greens are Fordhook Fancy,
Green Wave (long standing), Osaka
Purple, Florida Broadleaf (most popular variety in the South), Tendergreen II
(a smooth, round leaf hybrid), Tendergreen, and Southern Giant Curled (curled type used in
processing). Very many other excellent varieties and types are available with different leaf
textures and colors. Consult seed catalogues for various conventional and other ethnic types.
Other greens grown and marketed in similar manner (but not necessarily
related botanically) are:
Mache or Corn Salad (smooth-leaf types Valerianella locusta;
hairy-leaf types Valerianella erocarpa): Blonde Shell-Leaved, Corn Salad, Large Dutch (all smooth-leaf
Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), a close relative to rhubarb, also called
dock, sour dock, sour grass: Garden Sorrel.
Cress, several species: Curly-cress and Peppergrass, also known as garden cress or land
cress (Lepidium sativum); Watercress
(Nasturtium officinale); Upland Cress, also known as creasy salad or creasy greens (Barbarea verna). For more information,
see Upland Cress from North Carolina State University.
Black Mustard (Brassica nigra), is less common. It may be used
for greens or its seed is used for flavoring pickles or salads.
Mesclun (mescalun, mescaline, mesculine) mix greens: An increasingly popular mix of greens includes lettuces such as:
Batavian, butterhead, looseleaf,
romaine, and miners lettuce mixed with other greens such as arugula, chicory, corn
salad, dandelion, mache, travissio, kale, tat-soi, chard,
endive, escarole, mizuna, mustard tips, radicchio, sorrel, spinach, edible
chrysanthemum, nasturtium leaves, orach, parsley, watercress, plantain, and purslane, along with
herbs such as basils,
borage, chervil, chives, fennel, and salad burnet; and blossoms of borage,
calendula, nasturtium, violas, and violets.
Mechanical harvesters for mixed plantings of salad greens are now available. See Harvesting and Handling section, below.
VARIETIES FOR CONDIMENT MUSTARD
Three types of condiment mustard, yellow (known in Europe as white),
brown, and Oriental are grown in the U.S.A. The most common, about 90% of the crop, is yellow
(Brassica hirta). A number of varieties and proprietary selections exist.
Tilney is used to make the standard yellow mustards to flavor American
hot dogs. Other varieties such as Trico, White Mustard, Yellow/White Mustard, Ochre Kirby and
Gisilba are also widely used to make yellow or white mustards with varying degrees of pungency and color.
Brown and Oriental mustards are Brassica juncea. Seed of varieties of
brown mustard such as Common Brown, Blaze, and Forge, are used in hot,
stone-ground and "French"-style mustard. Oriental mustard varieties are Lethbridge 22-A and
Domo. Seed coat color of these varieties differ. Common Brown has a distinctive brown seed
coat while Forge and Lethbridge 22-A have tan seedcoats or mixtures of tan and brown. Other
varieties reported are Cutlass, French Brown and Burgogne.
Much of the condiment mustard seed used in the U.S. is imported from the
prairie provinces of Canada. U.S. production is mainly in North Dakota. Mustards are considered
an excellent rotation for wheat. Other production guidelines are outlined in the various
For more information on condiment mustards see: The Mustard Book by Jan
Roberts-Dominguez. Macmillan Publishing Co. 1993.
Before planting Crucifer crops, consider the following important
1. No crucifer crop, or related weed has been present in the field for
at least 3 years, 4 years preferable. Crucifer crops include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale,
kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, all mustards, turnips, rutabagas, radishes etc.
Cruciferous weeds include wild radish, wild mustards etc. Also, crucifer plant waste should not
have been dumped on these fields. This is no minimize problems from diseases such as
Rhizoctonia and Fusarium root rots and Sclerotinia stem rot and white mold.
2. Soil pH should be 6.5 or higher. Soil pH over 6.8 is necessary to
manage club root. The application of 1500 lb/acre of hydrated lime, 6 weeks prior to planting is
recommended for soils with pH less than 7.5 for club root control.
3. Arrange to keep transplanted and direct-seeded fields separate to
minimize spread of certain diseases that are more prevalent in transplanted fields.
Mustard greens may be grown on a variety of soils but do best on a
well-drained, loam soil well supplied with organic matter. Sandy loams are preferred for early crops.
Adjust soil pH to 6.0 - 6.8 for maximum yields.
Condiment mustards, which are generally not irrigated, should be planted
on soils with good water-holding capacity without being water-logged, and at locations which have
a high probability of spring rains to avoid risk of moisture stress.
Mustards germinate quickly when soils reach 45 F or warmer.
Use certified, or hot-water treated seed and fungicide treat seed to
protect against several serious seed-borne diseases and assist in obtaining good stands. Hot water seed treatments are very specific (122 F
exactly, for 25 to 30 minutes; the wet seed then quickly cooled and dried). The seed treatments are
best done by the seed company, and can usually be provided upon request.
Mustards seeds of the species B. juncea (brown mustard) number
approximately 250,000 per pound, while those of B. rapa perviridis (spinach mustard) number about
240,000 per pound.
Mustard greens: Approximately 3 to 4 lb of seed per acre are used,
depending on variety and use. A common problem is planting too thick a stand. Spacing may be 4-6
inches in the row and 1 to 2 feet between rows.
If seeding for spring crop, seed as early as possible for the variety
being used. For a fall crop, seed from early July through August. Plantings should be made at 1 to 3 week
intervals depending on variety and use. Harvest date is approximately 50 days from seeding.
Mustard and turnip greens will maintain good quality for about 3 weeks.
Collard greens can be harvested repeatedly for two to three months.
Condiment mustard is usually spring planted as early as possible for the
variety being used (generally March or April). Five to 7 pounds of seed are generally used per
acre when planting with grain drills. Plant 1/2 to 1 inch deep for rapid emergence.
Large seed, an important quality factor in brown mustard, is influenced
by growing conditions
and plant populations. Choose the lowest plant populations commensurate with
suitable yields, and moisture conditions should not be limiting for best seed quality.
Greens may be planted in beds 70 to 80 inches wide accomodating 4 to 6
multiple rows per bed,
or in single or double rows (double rows spaced 10 to 20 inches apart).
Condiment mustard is planted at spacings of 6-8 inches between rows.
This spacing allows for early row closure which minimizes weed problems and allows for high seed
The following are general recommendations only. It is advisable to use
a soil test for each field
that is to be planted. More complete fertilizer and liming recommendations
for mustards and other cole crops
may be found in Broccoli.
Nitrogen: 100-120 (N) lb/acre. Sidedress one half the N at planting,
and one half at 25 days.
With condiment mustard produced in eastern Oregon, and based on
information from Idaho, use
50-75 lb N/acre following green manure; OR 75-95 lb/acre on fallow ground; OR
lb/acre following wheat if the residue was removed; OR 140-150 lb/acre
following grain where
residue was plowed down.
Apply all P and K at planting:
Phosphorus: 80-120 (P2O5) lb/acre
Potassium: 60-120 (K2O) lb/acre
Sulfur: 20-25 lb S/acre. Sulfur influences pungency of condiment
Boron: 1-2 lb B/acre, broadcast only. Do not band boron.
Maintain uniform soil moisture for tender growth and optimum nutrient
Soil type does not affect the amount of total water needed, but does
dictate frequency of water application. Lighter soils need more frequent water applications, but less
water applied per application.
HARVESTING, HANDLING, AND STORAGE
The University of California-Davis has a file on Minimal
Processing of Fresh Vegetables that discusses film wrapping and other topics.
Yields of mustard greens for fresh market are approximately 150
Mustard greens are usually harvested by machine for processing and hand
harvested for fresh market. If mustard greens are harvested for fresh market, it is necessary to
remove any diseased or badly damaged leaves, and wash and cool the product as soon after harvest
Specialty leaf lettuces, spinach, and mustards for bag mixes have usually been harvested
by hand, but harvesters for this use are now available. Three are:
Storage is not recommended, but if necessary the leaves may be held for
up to 3 weeks at 32 F
with 90-95% relative humidity.
Green Crop Harvester, made in England. Sole US distributors are C. and
K. Anderson, Fresh Herb Co., 4114 Oxford Rd., Longmont, CO. The cost is $20,000 (1998 prices)
for a 4-foot wide model which hold the greens upright by chain-driven
sweeps and cuts the greens with a reciprocating knife (like a hedge trimmer).
A picture of the machine can be seen in Johnny's Select Seeds 1998 catalogue,
- Quick Cut harvester, an Italian, battery-powered, walk-behind machine with
a 39", 48" or 54"-wide head and a band-saw cutter. Cost is $11,000. Sold by
Ferrari Tractor CIE, PO Box 1045, Gridley, CA 95948; and
by David Washburn and Meg Anderson of Red Cardinal Farm, 9694 75th St.
North, Stillwater, MN 55082.
- Enha Pro, a human-powered machine designed by Norbert Hufnagl, Field of
Dreams, 117 Fredon Springdale Rd., Newton, NJ 07860.
Cost is $2,429 for a two-head unit and $2,966 for a three-head unit.
Mustard seed used for condiment mustard is harvested by combining after
the seed pods are dry,
and seed has reached about 12-15 % moisture but before the pods begin to
split. Seed must be
further cleaned and packaged or stored in bulk for processing.
Mustard greens are commonly packaged in 23 to 24-lb bushel baskets,
crates, and cartons, 24
packages each; 30 to 35-lb (1.4 bushel and 1.6 bushel) wirebound crates; or,
cartons, 12-24 bunches.
DISEASE CONTROL FOR MUSTARD
THE FUNGICIDES LISTED BELOW ARE FOR INFORMATION ONLY AND ARE REVISED ONLY
ANNUALLY. BECAUSE OF CONSTANTLY CHANGING LABELS, LAWS, AND
REGULATIONS, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY CAN ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR
THE CONSEQUENCES OF USE OF CHEMICALS SUGGESTED HERE. IN ALL CASES,
READ AND FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS AND PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS ON
THE SPECIFIC PESTICIDE PRODUCT LABEL.
USE PESTICIDES SAFELY!
Wear protective clothing and safety devices as recommended on the label.
Bathe or shower after
Read the pesticide label--even if you've used the pesticide before. Follow
closely the instructions
on the label (and any other directions you have).
Be cautious when you apply pesticides. Know your legal responsibility as a
You may be liable for injury or damage resulting from pesticide use.
Note that Oregon law requires reporting of agricultural pesticide applications to the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture under its PURS program.
The Pacific Northwest Disease Control Handbook has no control entries for this
rotations, field selection, sanitation, spacings, fertilizer and irrigation
practices can reduce the
risk of many diseases. Fields can be tested for presence of harmful
nematodes. Using seed from
reputable sources reduces risk from "seed-borne" diseases.
Fungicides registered for use on mustard, but not evaluated by University
personnel in the Pacific Northwest,
include Aliette, Microthiol Special, Telone, and Terraclor. Check labels for
rates, restrictions, and diseases controlled.
Return to: | Beginning of This File | Index to Vegetable Production Guides |