When Is The Best Time To Pick Mustard?


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I feel a bit uncomfortable calling mustard a vegetable - probably because I only see it used as a sauce to put on food and have never eaten it before. However, it is a brassica (a family that includes bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, choy sum, kohlrabi, napa cabbage, rutabaga and turnip - all Wikipedia links) so it really is a vegetable. Anyway, I had some seeds lying around from Suttons (the store where the Queen of England - and many other places - buys her gardening supplies*) and I decided to grow them.

They came up very easily and almost one month later, they are looking great! Do I wait for them to flower? Are the current leaves an acceptable choice for a salad?

The following photograph was taken yesterday.

*Suttons are "royal warrant" holders, but for some reason I cannot imagine the queen walking around their plant nursery.
 

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People usually take them very young, as in mustard and cress. You usually only see cress in the shop as you need to plant them separately, one grows faster than the other, but I can't remember which, also the cress in shops is often seedling leaves of something like rape rather than true cress.
From the photo it looks like it is already getting a bit big, you could try some and grow some on for seed for next year. I once tried growing various flavours of 'cress' using garlic mustard (a common wild flower) and rocket. I was thinking it might be a viable sideline growing them and had got about a kilo of seed of each from the previous year when I was taken seriously ill for a bit and missed the planting window.
 
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Good to know! Would be interesting to know if anybody here has had a go at making their own mustard at home. If the leaves are too big to eat, seemingly, then perhaps using the plant for a condiment is in order instead.
 
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The condiment is made from the seeds.

The greens are indeed edible, look for recipes from the southern United States. Note that mustard is closer to horseradish than cabbage in flavor.
Yes, I knew that it was made from the seeds. Could have phrased myself better, apologies. I meant that I was going to it wait for the plant to produce seeds.

I do like the taste of horseradish so it's no problem.
 
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Meadowlark

Gardner, Angler, Adjunct Professor, and Rancher
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Mustard greens, as we call them in East Texas, are a staple across much of the southern U.S. Picked young and tender as mentioned is preferred round here. I personally don't care for the older mature leaves, but to each their own. It would be interesting to see someone make actual mustard from the seeds.
 
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