Just like a tiny garden oasis, a pot can be the perfect home for your mustard greens. From selecting the right variety to harvesting your bountiful greens, we’ll guide you through every step of the process.

1. Pick a suitable mustard greens variety for the pot

When growing mustard greens in a pot, it’s important to select a variety that will thrive in a confined space. Look for compact or dwarf varieties such as Red Giant or Osaka Purple. These varieties have smaller leaves and a more upright growth habit, making them ideal for container gardening.

Consider the size of your pot and the amount of sunlight your growing area receives. Mustard greens prefer full sun, so choose a variety that can tolerate bright light conditions.

Consider the flavor and texture of the greens. Some varieties have a spicier taste, while others are milder. Select a variety that aligns with your culinary preferences.

2. Choose the best time to grow mustard greens

  1. Temperature: Mustard greens prefer cool season temperatures between 45°F and 75°F. We can grow them in the fall and spring in cold-winter areas. They can tolerate light frost, which actually makes the leaves sweeter
  2. Frost Protection: If you live in an area with mild winters, consider using frost protection measures such as row covers or cloches to extend the growing season for mustard greens.
  3. Daylight Hours: Mustard greens require at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Ensure that the pot receives adequate sunlight throughout the day.
  4. Planting Schedule: Start planting mustard greens in the pot three to four weeks before the last frost date. This will give them enough time to establish and grow before the weather gets too warm.

3. Find out how long it will take to grow mustard greens

To determine how long it will take for you to grow mustard greens in a pot, you need to consider factors such as the variety of mustard greens, growing conditions, and desired harvest size.

You can harvest mustard greens as microgreens after the first set of true leaves appears, which can take about 4 weeks. Baby leaf varieties are ready for harvest at around 21 days, while full-size greens can be harvested after about 45 days.

4. Pick the right pot to grow mustard greens

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a pot for your mustard greens:

  1. Size: Mustard greens require enough space for their roots to grow and spread. Choose a pot that’s at least 12 inches deep to accommodate the root system.
  2. Drainage: Ensure that the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and root rot. Good drainage is crucial for the health of the plants.
  3. Material: Opt for a pot made of a durable material like plastic or terracotta. Plastic pots are lightweight and retain moisture well, while terracotta pots provide better airflow to the roots.
  4. Number of plants: Consider the number of mustard greens you want to grow in the pot. Leave enough space between plants to allow for proper air circulation and prevent overcrowding.

5. Prepare the pot for planting

  1. Fill the pot with soil: Use a well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic matter. Fill the pot to about 1 inch below the rim, leaving enough space for watering.
  2. Add fertilizer: Before planting, incorporate a balanced slow-release fertilizer into the soil according to the package instructions. This will provide essential nutrients for the growth of your mustard greens.
  3. Water the soil: Thoroughly water the soil in the pot to ensure it is evenly moist.

6. Plant the mustard greens seeds in the pot

Fill the pot with a well-draining potting mix, leaving about an inch of space at the top.

Make small holes in the soil, about half an inch deep and two inches apart.

Place one or two mustard greens seeds in each hole.

Gently cover the seeds with soil and lightly press down to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

7. Plant the mustard greens seedlings in the pot

Gently remove the seedlings from their containers and loosen the roots if they’re root-bound. Place the seedlings in the pot, spacing them about 6 inches apart to allow for proper airflow and growth. Press the soil gently around the seedlings to secure them in place.

Water the seedlings thoroughly after planting, making sure the soil is evenly moist. Place the pot in a sunny location, providing at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Monitor the moisture levels and water as needed to keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged.

8. Provide the required sunlight

Here are four key points to consider when providing the required sunlight for your mustard greens:

  1. Sun Exposure: Mustard greens require a full sun location, preferably 6 to 8 hours of sun per day. Place your pot in a spot that receives the maximum amount of sunlight.
  2. Temperature Considerations: Mustard greens can grow in as little as 4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day. However, temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit can cause the greens to develop a strong flavor. Ensure that the temperature remains within the optimal range for healthy growth.
  3. Frost Protection: Mustard greens have good cold weather tolerance but can’t withstand a true freeze. Curly-leaved varieties handle frost better, but true freezes will kill the greens. Take necessary measures to protect the plants during colder temperatures.

9. Provide the required water to the plant

Watering your mustard greens regularly is essential for their healthy growth. They require about 1 to 2 inches of water per week, including rain.

It’s important to water them at the roots and avoid wetting the leaves to prevent any potential fungal issues.

Keep in mind that mustard greens prefer moist soil, but we should avoid overwatering.

10. Thin the mustard greens seedlings

You should thin out the mustard greens seedlings to promote healthier growth. Here are four steps to follow:

  1. Wait for the mustard greens seedlings to develop their first true leaves, which usually occurs when they’re about 2-3 inches tall.
  2. Carefully remove the weaker seedlings, leaving only the strongest and healthiest ones. This will allow the remaining plants to have more space, nutrients, and sunlight.
  3. Space the seedlings about 4-6 inches apart to give them enough room to grow and prevent overcrowding.
  4. Be gentle when thinning to avoid damaging the roots of the remaining seedlings. You can use scissors or simply pinch off the unwanted seedlings at the base.

Thinning the mustard greens seedlings will promote better air circulation, reduce competition for resources, and result in stronger, more vigorous plants.

11. Provide nutrients to the mustard greens

Add compost when preparing the soil for planting mustard greens. This gives a good supply of nutrients to the plant.

Once the mustard green plants develop true leaves, you can start adding organic fertilizer. Use one that is rich in nitrogen as that will promote leafy growth.

Add compost along with the fertilizer to give a boost of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and micronutrients to the plant.

12. Harvest and store the mustard greens

To harvest and store your mustard greens, start by gently cutting the leaves from the base of the plant. Here are four important steps to follow:

  1. Harvesting: Begin by selecting the outer leaves of the plant, as they’re the oldest and ready for harvest. Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut the leaves close to the stem, leaving the center leaves intact for continued growth. Avoid tearing or damaging the leaves during the process.
  2. Washing: Once harvested, rinse the mustard greens under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently shake off excess water or pat dry with a clean towel.
  3. Storing: To store mustard greens, wrap them loosely in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag or container. Store them in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer, where they can stay fresh for up to a week.
  4. Freezing: If you have an abundance of mustard greens, you can also freeze them for longer storage. Blanch the greens in boiling water for a minute, then transfer them to an ice bath to cool. Once cooled, drain well and pack them into freezer-safe containers or bags. Label and date them before placing them in the freezer, where they can be stored for up to six months.

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