Mustard Seeds - Black
USDA Zones: 4 - 7
Height: 24 - 72 inches
Bloom Season: Early to late summer
Bloom Color: Yellow
Environment: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Type: Loam to heavy soils, pH 5 - 8
Average Germ Time: 14 - 21 days
Light Required: No
Depth: 1/2 inch
Sowing Rate: 5000 seeds per 600 square feet
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
Plant Spacing: 3 inches between plants,12 inches between rows
Black Mustard (Brassica Nigra) - This annual culinary herb is well-known as the old-fashioned mustard that gave the condiment its start. Quickly grown from Mustard seeds, the Mustard plant produces herb seeds which are ground and used to spice many different foods. The mustard seeds are small, hard and vary in color from dark brown to black. Black Mustard is more powerful in flavor than yellow mustard, but it is not grown commercially due to the difficulty of harvesting with equipment because of the irregularity of plant size. The plant size can vary from 24 inches to 72 inches in height, depending on the conditions where it is growing.
The Black Mustard herb plant has a sturdy stalk with wrinkled, lobed, and dark green leaves. Yellow, 4-petaled flowers appear on spikes in early summer. Both the seed and the greens of this herb plant are used. The greens can be cooked or steamed, but as the summer gets hotter, the greens get stronger with a bitter taste. Black Mustard plants are often grown in two crops during the season to keep a supply of the young greens. Black Mustard seeds come in the summer heat as the plant bolts. Black Mustard is a prolific self-sower. Harvest the seed to prevent the herb seeds from falling on the ground and producing too much growth for next season.
How To Grow Black Mustard Seeds: Start Mustard seeds directly outdoors a couple of weeks before the end of frost season. Prepare a seedbed with lot of organic matter added to the soil and cover the herb seeds with 1/2 inch of soil.