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Mizuna, also known as Japanese Mustard, has deep green, serrated leaves with a mildly spicy kick. Most people describe it as a little milder than arugula, with more of a juicy crunch. It’s great in salads, as well as quickly wilted in a stir-fry or atop soups like ramen or udon. In Japan, the leaves are also served pickled.
Mizuna can be direct-seeded in spring or fall, and takes about 40 days to mature. It can also be seeded in summer, but will bolt more quickly in heat. It does best in full sun, but will tolerate part shade.
|Avg. Seeds / Packet
|spring or fall
|Direct Seed Spacing
|Soil Temp. Range
|Days to Sprout
|Days to harvest
|full sun/ part shade
Greens come in different varieties ranging in color, texture, and shape of leaves. These varying types of greens come from different regions of the world, including Asia, Africa, and the Southeastern US. Most greens grow best in moist, rich soil. To prepare the soil for planting, spread compost over the planting area, about 3” thick. Carefully turn the compost into the ground with a digging fork, loosening the soil.
With a few exceptions like molokhia, amaranth, and summer spinach, all other varieties of greens (sold by Sow True Seed) thrive in cooler temperatures and do not grow well in summer. Aim to start seeds about four weeks before the last frost. Fall plantings can tolerate frost, which actually contributes to a sweeter flavor to the greens.
Plant seeds just under the soil, about a half an inch apart. Once the seedlings sprout and grow their first leaves, thin them to about 8-12” apart. Your baby greens are delicious, eat your thinnings!
Keep soil moist as they grow, at least an inch of water per week. Greens can be eaten at any stage, for cut and come again harvesting, pull a few leaves at a time from the outside of your plants and allow the main plants to continue to grow. When the plants are fully mature, you should cut the whole head at the base with a sharp knife.
Your spring plantings will likely get bitter and/or bolt in the heat of summer, so harvest before that time and use the garden space for something else.
Pollination, insect; Life Cycle, annual; Isolation Distance, ½ mile
Mizuna will not cross with other Brassicae besides Brassica rapa. The seed pods mature from the bottom upwards and shatter easily, so it's best to cut the whole plant just before maturity and hand to dry in a cool, dry place. When whole plant is crispy-dry, thresh the seeds and winnow to clean.