Brown mustard is an oriental plant with an exquisite taste. It is the main ingredient for mustard sauce, and gourmets will surely appreciate mustard leaves. It is also a popular ingredient in Indian and Far Eastern cuisine, representing a key feature in these tasty dishes. Its cultivation is very simple, with low requirements, and care consist of watering and looking after it to make sure it develops properly.
The polytunnel will protect the crop against parasites, which are the main problem with its cultivation. The plant has a strong aroma, which attracts pests and becomes a nuisance in open field production. They can damage and even devour the crop. Thanks to the cover, the chance of an insect invasion that could feed on them is reduced.
This time in the Krosagro crops under cover guide, we will explain how to plant, cultivate and collect mustard.
What is brown mustard ?
It is a deciduous plant with an intense aroma, spicy taste and a large amount of health properties. It can be used in any dish, both raw and after a cooking process. In addition, high concentrations of vitamins A, C and K, numerous micronutrients. Folic acid and sulforaphane are more reasons to find a spot in the tunnel for this particular plant.
Conditions for growing mustard
Soil for its cultivation is not really relevant as brown mustard can grow on every type, although sandy – loamy will be the optimal substrate.
The plant needs a sunny place for proper development, but it also works well in the shades. This makes it possible to plant it close to a higher crop that will shadow it when growing up. This represents an opportunity to fill empty spaces and get a crop from those unused areas.
The plant will grow at both low and high temperatures. Optimal growth occurs with heat in the open, when temperatures reach 17 to 20 ° C. While in a garden tunnel, if soil and air are monitored, it is possible to cultivate it throughout the year.
Mustard from seedlings grow even faster than seeds placed straight into the ground. It is worth mentioning that the growing period of this plant is three weeks. So if the soil is not deprived of its elements, you can repeat the cultivation process. Although mustard grows quickly, leaf growth is much slower. Thanks to the short maturation period, brown mustard is an ideal forecrop and aftercrop. To prepare seedling, 6 grains are sown in each multi tray. When they rise, they tend to be weak. After 2-3 weeks, the plant should be strong enough to be permanently placed inside the polytunnel.
Sowing and spacing:
The seeds are sown at a depth of 0.5 cm and with a spacing of 30 cm, and the same distance between the rows. You can reduce the spacing if the crops are taken straight from garden, then half of the distance mentioned above will be enough. In open field cultivation, the whole process begins in the second half of April while this can be implemented in March under cover.
Brown mustard can be harvested directly from the plot, cutting off the leaves from the main stem. The plant then begins to release new shoots. It is important to leave at least 5 cm of stem, from which the next leaf will develop. Of course, you can wait for it to fully develop and then collect the whole plant, but the first option is a much better solution, bearing in mind that we then avail of a permanent source of fresh mustard.