How to Grow & Harvest Mustard Plants


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I’m thrilled that Amy from A Nest for All Seasons is sharing some of her gardening secrets today.  Aside from being a master gardener and amazing photographer, Amy has one of the sweetest souls I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and I’m so lucky to call her a friend.  Her creativity is amazing, and you’re going to love her gardening tips and ideas.  Whether you have a dedicated herb garden or just the wish to grow herbs on the side, Amy’s sharing a fun plant that will also spice up your kitchen– mustard!

I am so excited to be joining my friend Carrie to share one of my favorite summer plants to harvest.  It might seem strange to you — it might LOOK strange to you, but MUSTARD (yes mustard!) is an easy-to-grow, hard working plant in the garden that will work wonders in the kitchen as well.

Plant mustard by seed and before you know it, you will have plants taller than your kiddos!

Back to the beginning though…


When mustard starts to grow in the spring, you will want to keep cutting those mustard greens as long as temperatures stay mild.  They have a bit of a spicy kick and serve as the PERFECT low calorie, low effort, easy cutting green for smoothies all spring long.  They can also be cooked up the way you would spinach as a side dish or accompaniment to pasta dishes.  Just imagine spinach, but with a kick and easier to grow (OH and there is a bonus come fall…)


Once your plants start to flower, the leaves are done for.  Let the plant bolt, flower and set seed.
 You don’t have to worry about it — just leave it be until the plant starts to turn yellow, 
fall over on its garden friends and the seedpods are brown and brittle.
Collect your bunches of mustard and haul them up to the porch to dry a little further.  I use our DIY dehydrator, but hanging them from the rafters of a dry barn or porch works just as well!
If you are working in a smaller space, you can snip off the seedpods (see that little brown bugger in my hand there?) and let them dry on a flat screen or VERY dry glass bowl.  The seedpods will pop right open with a little pressure from your thumb when they are “ripe”.

When you get to that point, you are ready to make some mustard!  Crack open the pods into a bowl of water, allowing the seeds to drop to the bottom and the other bits to float to the top.

Skim the little bits off the top, then pour through a towel lined colander.

You might have to do this one or two times to get the seeds seperated, but it is easy work while you are waiting for the pasta water to boil on the stove.

Once the seeds are separated, let them dry a little while longer until they rattle around freely in a glass jar.  (I stick ours in our DIY dehydrator for a few hours).

The next step?  Grind baby!  You now have ground mustard which can be added to a variety of recipes and added to water and other seasonings for your own favorite variety of squeeze bottle mustard!
I love a good sweet and tart mustard with some salty soy, local honey and a JOLT of vinegar – YUM!
Now go grab a 79 cent pack of mustard seed and get planting!

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