All About Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are a nutritional powerhouse! Rich in B Vitamins, and vitamins A and C, they are also a great source of calcium, iron, manganese, and dietary fiber.
Modern research supports mustard greens’ rich nutritional content—they’ve got more vitamin A than spinach and more vitamin C than oranges.
A serving of mustard greens also packs an entire day’s worth of vitamin K. role in heart health, vitamin K helps keep your bones healthy. Vitamin K deficiencies can lead to a higher risk of bone mineral abnormalities and osteoporosis.
Mustard greens contain a range of powerful phytonutrients. These plant-based antioxidants protect your cells from stress and damage caused by the free radicals our bodies accumulate from aging, the environment, and lifestyle behaviors.
Mustard greens are also thought to be beneficial for cardiovascular health and may help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and fight off infection.
Glucosinolates are nutrients that give the plant a bitter flavor. In addition to their antioxidant activity, studies show glucosinolates may fight cancer cells and prevent tumor formation.
They are a great addition to salads and stir-fries, and can even be used to make a flavorful soup.
Common Pests & Diseases
Mustard greens are generally quite resistant to pests and diseases but can be susceptible to a few common problems. These include:
- Aphids: These small insects can suck the sap from mustard greens, causing yellowing and wilting of the leaves.
- Downy mildew: This fungal disease causes yellow spots on the leaves and can spread rapidly if left untreated.
- Clubroot: This fungal disease causes stunted growth, wilting, and yellowing of the leaves.
- Cercospora leaf spot: This fungal disease causes small red spots on the leaves, which eventually turn brown and drop off.
If you suspect your mustard greens have any of these diseases, it is important to take action quickly to prevent the spread of the disease.
Remedies for Pests & Diseases
If you spot pests or signs of disease on your mustard greens, there are a few steps you can take to control the problem.
- Remove any affected leaves from the plant and discard them in the trash.
- Prune the plant to remove any dead or diseased branches.
- Check the plant for any eggs or larvae and remove them.
- Spray the plant with an approved insecticide to kill any remaining pests.
- Treat the plant with a fungicide to control any fungal infections.
- If the problem persists, consider consulting a professional for further advice.
There are several natural remedies you can use to control pests and diseases on your mustard greens.
- Companion planting: Planting other plants near your mustard greens can help repel pests and attract beneficial insects to your garden.
- Neem oil: This natural oil can be used to repel pests and can also be used as a fungicide.
- Diatomaceous earth: Sprinkling this powder around your plants can help kill pests like aphids and slugs.
- Garlic spray: Boil garlic cloves in water and let the mixture cool. Strain the mixture and spray it on your plants to kill pests.
- Bacillus thuringiensis: This natural bacteria can be used to target specific pests, such as caterpillars.
- Soap spray: Mix a few drops of liquid dish soap with water and spray it on your plants to kill pests.
Mustard greens are a cool-season crop that grows best in temperatures between 50-75F (10-24C). They are most commonly planted in the spring and fall, but can also be grown during the summer in cooler climates.
Mustard greens grow quickly and can be harvested as baby greens in as little as 5-7 weeks, or as full-sized plants in 8-10 weeks. Mustard greens are also prone to bolting (going to seed) in hot weather, so it is important to harvest them before they reach maturity.
What is the lowest temperature the mustard greens can survive in? Mustard greens are a cold-tolerant crop and can survive temperatures as low as 25F (-4C). However, they will not grow at temperatures below 50F (10C). If temperatures drop below 25F (-4C), it is best to cover the plants with a protective layer of mulch or fabric to help protect them from frost damage.
Mustard greens are incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of stir-fries. Here are some tasty options to try out:
Mustard greens with garlic and ginger:
Saute garlic and ginger in sesame oil, add mustard greens, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until the leaves are wilted.
Crispy mustard greens with sesame seeds:
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard greens and sesame seeds and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the leaves are crispy.
Mustard greens with mushrooms and peppers:
Saute mushrooms and peppers in oil, add mustard greens, and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Mustard greens with garlic and chili flakes:
Saute garlic and chili flakes in oil, add mustard greens, and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until the leaves are wilted.
Mustard greens with carrots and onions:
Saute carrots and onions in oil, add mustard greens, and stir-fry for 5-6 minutes until the vegetables are tender.