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Black Mustard

Brassica nigra

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Black mustard is an ancient annual herb that can be grown easily and is famous as a spice and for large fields of pretty yellow flowers. Although all parts of Black mustard are edible, it is cultivated mainly for its seeds. It belongs to the same family as broccoli and cabbage. In vineyards, mustard is planted as a cover crop that sterilise the soil from plant patogens. The plant grows up to 2 m and is multi-branched. The lower leaves are toothed, deeply lobed, and are often hairy on the underside. Upper leaves on flowering stems are narrow, slightly waxy and egg-shaped. Black mustard seeds have the strongest pungent taste, but almost no aroma.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

When the leaves turn yellow and as soon as the seed pods brown, seeds may be harvested. Waiting too long will cause the pods to burst and seeds to scatter all over your garden.

Propagation

Seed
Seeds are tiny, so sow in a well prepared, flat seed bed. Sow in Spring - they prefer cool weather; Sowing depth - 1.2 cm; Germination time - 14-21 days.

Special features

Crop rotation
An excellent rotation for wheat and seed potato crops.

Geography

Origin
Southern Europe and South Asia, spreading to Western Europe in the Middle Ages. It is believed pre-historic man chewed mustard seeds with their meat. Historical records as far back as 4000 BC mention the use of mustard an oil, spice and for medicinal purposes.
Natural climate
Mediterranean

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Notes
Culinary.

Personality

Family
Brassisaceae
Flower colour
Yellow
Scent
None

Problems

Black mustard is the least fussy of the mustards, and weeds might be your worst enemy. They can however be plagued by Black Spot, Black Rot, Cabbage Aphid, Downy Mildew, Flea Beetles,
Aphids
Aphids
Aphidoidea spp.

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