Mibuna Mustard Greens: How To Grow Mibuna Greens
By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
A close relative of mizuna, mibuna mustard, also known as Japanese mibuna (Brassica rapa var japonica ‘Mibuna’), is a highly nutritious Asian green with a mild, mustardy flavor. The long, slender, spear-shaped greens can be lightly cooked or added to salads, soups, and stir-fries.
Growing mibuna is easy and, although the plants tolerate a certain amount of summer heat, Japanese mibuna prefers chilly weather. Once planted, mibuna greens thrive even when they’re neglected. Wondering how to grow mibuna greens? Read on for more information.
Tips on Growing Mibuna
Plant mibuna mustard seeds directly in the soil as soon as the ground can be worked in spring or about the time of the last frost in your region. Alternatively, plant Japanese mibuna seeds indoors ahead of time, about three weeks before the last frost.
For repeat crops throughout the season, continue to plant a few seeds every few weeks from spring through late summer. These greens do well in semi-shade. They prefer fertile, well-drained soil, so you may want to dig in a little well-rotted manure or compost before planting.
Grow mibuna mustard as a cut-and-come-again plant, which means you can cut or handpick four or five harvests of small leaves from a single plant. If this is your intent, allow only 3 to 4 inches (7.6-10 cm.) between plants.
Begin harvesting small mibuna green leaves when they’re 3 to 4 inches (10 cm.) tall. In warm weather, you may be able to harvest as soon as three weeks after planting. If you prefer, you can wait and harvest larger leaves or full plants. If you want to grow Japanese mibuna as larger, single plants, thin young plants to a distance of 12 inches (30 cm.).
Water Japanese mustard as needed to keep the soil evenly moist, especially during the heat of summer. Even moisture will prevent the greens from turning bitter and will also help prevent bolting during warm weather. Apply a thin layer of mulch around the plants to keep the soil moist and cool.
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How to Grow Mizuna
Mizuna is one of those strange oriental vegetables which arrived in the West in the last 20 years or so. The name for this leafy green comes from the Japanese mizu, for “water,” and nu, for “mustard plant.” Mizuna greens are decorative, adaptable, very vigorous and cold tolerant and have a very long growing season.
Mizuna can be grown to use either as mature plants or as a seedling crop. The first cut of seedlings can sometimes be made two or three weeks after sowing. Where mature plants are grown, forming clumps about 22cm (9") high, keep cutting regularly to produce a continuous crop of small young leaves. Nutritionally mizuna is an excellent source of antioxidants, folic acid, and vitamins A and C.
We find Mizuna to be an extemely reliable and very prolific salad crop. It looks rather like Rocket with a much milder taste and bolt resistant. Fantastic salad filler.
Mustard Seeds - Mibuna
Although not as tenacious as mizuna, the mibuna produces a slightly stronger and more complex culinary mustard profile. Mibuna greens are a hardy cool weather crop best sown direct 4-6 weeks before final frost date, or can be started indoors for transplanting. Sow 5-6 seeds 1/2 inch deep and 4 inches apart in fertile, well-drained soil in full sun-part shade. Seeds germinate in 3-7 days, thinning to 1 plant every 12 inch once true leaves establish. Like lettuce, harvest large outer leaves while allowing smaller leaves to mature.
- 2 g - Approximately 1,060 Seeds
- 1 oz - Approximately 8,500 Seeds
- 4 oz - Approximately 34,000 Seeds
- 1 lb - Approximately 132,000 Seeds
- 5 lb - Approximately 660,000 Seeds
- 25 lb - Approximately 3,300,000 Seeds
Mountain Valley Seed Company Brand - Independently Family Owned & Operated Small Seed Company - Premium Quality Seeds
Brassica rapa var. japonica
Germination: 4-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 65-75ºF.
Seed Sowing Depth: ¼" deep
Starting Indoors: Start 3-4 weeks before planting outside . Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot, thinning to one per cell/pot. Provide 65-75ºF soil temperatures. Transplant 6-8” apart.
Sowing Outdoors: Starting in spring, around last frost when soil temperature reaches at least 60-65ºF. Sow 1” apart, thin to 6-8”, for mature leaves. Sow in late summer for fall harvest.
How much does a packet plant: 10 foot single row
Harvest: Mature greens- cut at 12-18", Baby greens - cut at 3-6"
Tips: Plant in fertile, well drained soil. Work in compost or well rotted manure into your soil before planting. Provide adequate, even moisture for the best growth, especially from the middle to end of summer. Mulching helps retain moisture.
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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