Other common names: Indian Mustard, Chinese Mustard, Vegetable Mustard, 芥菜
Chinese Mustard is a resilient crop that is great for beginners. Both its leaves and seeds pack a spicy kick, which make them relatively pest resilient and an interesting vegetable to grow in your edible garden. Leaves can be eaten raw in salads or added to soup, and sprouted seeds are eaten as microgreens.
Due to its shallow root system, these plants are a popular choice for container gardening and corridor gardening.
Sun and soil needs:
Chinese Mustard does best in 6 or more hours of indirect sunlight, or at least 4 hours of direct sunlight.
Plants do best in pots with loamy soil at least 10cm deep, or in true ground. These plants are vulnerable to root rot, so ensure that your pots drain well, and that your soil has plenty of organic matter to let the roots breathe. Keep your plants cool with mulch and plenty of water to encourage growth.
Sow seeds individually in a seedling tray filled with potting mix or seedling mix. Lightly mist the soil until damp, once a day. Seeds should sprout within a week.
The seedlings will be vulnerable to high heat and heavy rain and are best kept in a sheltered propagation area or a shaded space with around 4 hours of partial or direct sunlight.
Seedlings will be ready for transplanting into pots or true ground when they have developed 4 or more leaves, or roughly a week or two after germination. Leave 10-20cm between each plant to encourage more growth, better ventilation, and prevent etiolation.
Chinese Mustard is a rapid grower and will produce more leaves if fed with high nitrogen fertilisers. Plants can be fertilised once every two weeks after transplanting for a fuller crop.
Plants can be harvested for leaves and stems at any size, with younger leaves being the most tender. Most gardeners will begin harvesting from Chinese Mustard around a month after sowing.
The whole plant can be harvested once by cutting the entire plant above the roots, or multiple times by harvesting the older leaves as per the cut-and-come-again method.
|Sowing to germination
|Germination to transplanting
|Transplanting to first harvest
|Total sowing to first harvest
|A week or less
|2 to 3 weeks
|2 to 3 weeks
|A month to a month and a half
Check out our sowing and harvest planner to schedule your growing!
Chinese Mustard is grown from seeds.
Common problems & solutions:
Young plants have soft stems and can be completely eaten by slugs and snails. Grow seedlings till they are at least 10cm tall before planting them in true ground, or use DIY cloches or netting to protect young plants.
Leaf miners are fly larvae that eat the leaves from the inside, leaving white lines or patches in their wake. Manually remove damaged leaves and use fine mesh netting to stop the adult flies from laying eggs on the plant again.
Etiolation is characterised by plants growing long and skinny, with weak stems and small leaves. The plants may also sometimes look yellowish. Plants etiolate when they do not get enough sunlight, which results in slow growth and untidy forms. To prevent this, grow plants in environments with enough light for them and make sure that each plant has enough space to prevent overcrowding.