Mustard Growing Guide


Crop Rotation Group

Brassicas (Cabbage family) 


Fertile, well drained soil.


Full sun to partial afternoon shade.

Frost tolerant

Mustard is cool-season annual that can tolerate light frosts but not hard freezes.


None generally needed, because mustard is customarily used as a late summer/autumn cover crop to take up nitrogen left in the soil by sweet corn or other vegetables.


Cabbage, Cauliflower, Radish, Brussels Sprouts and Turnip. Mustard does an excellent job of suppressing weeds when grown in a solid mass.


Single Plants: 15cm (5") each way (minimum)
Rows: 15cm (5") with 15cm (5") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Sow in autumn to use mustard as a short-term autumn green manure. Broadcast seed into cultivated soil so that the seeds are about 5 cm (2in) apart and 1 cm (1/2 in) deep. Thin to 15 cm (6in) apart in all directions. Can be sown all year round to be used as sprouts.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.


You can gather individual leaves for cooking, which taste best after the first frost has passed. Mustard residue suppresses soil-borne nematodes, so it is an excellent green manure to grow before potatoes. Mustard can also be grown for sprouts all year indoors and during the warmer months outdoors.


Chop down the green foliage with a hoe and turn it under just before hard freezes are expected. The mustard roots and foliage will rot during the winter months.


Irrigation is often needed to get a good stand if autumn is dry.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Mustard