Mustard Greens

Quick Reference:

Type of Harvest: Seasonal harvest

Transplant/Direct Sow: Direct sow or transplant

When to Plant: Direct sow as soon as the soil is free of ice and when soil temps are around 40°F. For indoor starts, seed indoors 6-8 weeks before the average last frost date for spring, and 8-10 weeks before the average first frost date for a fall garden.

Days to Germinate: 4-7 days

Days to Maturity: 30-60 days

Planting Depth: ½” deep

Germination Temp: 40°F

Seed Spacing: Plant 3” apart. Thin to 12-24” apart. Mustard greens encompass a variety of plants. Some, such as big red leafy mustard may require two feet of space to grow. Others, such as leafy varieties may only need one square foot of space to grow. Also, how you harvest the plant makes a difference.

Row Spacing: 2' apart - 1.5 feet for cut and come again gardens where the plants are kept smaller.

Light: Full sun 6-8 hours of full sun per day

Soil pH: 6.0-6.8 pH

Water: 2" of water per week

Soil Temperature: Minimum 40°F. These are cool weather loving plants. They grow in much the same environment as Kale.

Fertilizer: 10-20-10 N-P-K ratio

Rotation: Not needed for the mustard green, but good practice. Rotating brassica plants - mustard greens, kale and broccoli helps prevent soil-born plant diseases related to that family of plants, and is good for the bed.

Planting and Care:

Harvest Type

Mustard Greens are a seasonal harvest crop. However, you can sometime coax them to produce all year long if you keep the plant pruned and snip off any flower starts.

Transplant / Direct Sow

For spring direct sowing, sow seeds outdoors when the soil temperature is 40°F or warmer. For spring successive planting you can start mustard greens indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost date. Mustard Green plants and seedlings will tolerate frost. If you live in a colder region, use row covers to protect the winter garden; though they do well down to 20°F. Transplant seedlings when they are 3-4 inches tall and when the soil temperature is above 40°F. For a fall and winter crop, direct sow seeds 8-10 weeks before the average first frost date.


Full Sun

When to Plant:

Transplant or direct sow seeds when the soil temperature is 40°F.

Days to germinate

It takes most mustard green cultivars 4-7 days to sprout.

Days to maturity

It takes about 30 days for green leaf cutting and 60 days to reach full maturity.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds 1/2" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Germination is best when the soil is 40°F.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant seeds 3" apart and thin to 12-24". Mustard greens are a wide plant with a narrow root zone.

TIP: Don't be afraid to over-plant brassicas if you have the extra room. Your livestock will love them.

Companion Plants

Broccoli, kale, kohlrabi, peas, chard, onions, carrots, mint and herbs, all make excellent companion plants for mustard greens.

Growing conditions

Mustard greens are one of the hardiest cold-weather crops. They like a little cold weather. Start with good, well-draining soil—water with 2" of water per week, keeping the ground evenly moist. Plant in full sun. Mustard Greens, like other brassica plants will bolt if the weather becomes too hot. Start seeds indoors for fall planting.

Tip: Mustard greens are a favorite for aphids and stink bugs. You can minimize pest issues for mustard greens by installing a row cover.


Mustard greens is an excellent crop to rotate as it helps to prevent certain soil-borne plant diseases that are specific to brassica plants.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 6-10 mustard greens plants per person. Expect 3-6 pounds of mustard greens per 10 feet of row space. If you over-plant, you can share them with others or give the extra fruit to chickens and livestock as a treat.


Family Sown collections with collard green seeds: