How To Grow Mustard Microgreens (FAQ, Benefits, Equipment Needed)

Mustard microgreens are a popular microgreen variety to grow, and they have a subtle spicy taste that gives a great flavour to salads or sandwiches.

Mustard greens are packed with many vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin A.

They make a fabulous choice to grow inside, like most microgreens. They germinate really quickly, in as little as two days in the right conditions.

What Equipment Do You Need To Grow Mustard Microgreens?

  • Tray or container with drainage holes for soil methods
  • A second tray to put underneath to catch drainage
  • Potting soil mix with about 80% organic matter and 20% perlite
  • Mustard seeds
  • Grow mat for a soil-less method
  • Spray bottle
  • Plant label and marker to mark the planting date

How To Grow Mustard Microgreens In Soil

Prepare The Tray:

Pick any sort of shallow tray or container with drainage holes and fill it with the soil mix. Make sure that your potting mix has at least 80% organic matter.

Place a second tray under the growing tray to catch any water that drains off. This will protect your countertop or any surface that the microgreen tray is sitting on.

Place Your Seeds:

When growing microgreens, you can generally plant all the seeds quite close together which gives the microgreens their “carpet-like” appearance as they grow. You can achieve this by just sprinkling the seeds over the soil mix and very lightly pressing them into the soil.

Then, lightly spray your seed tray. You want to keep microgreens very moist until the germinate, but not so wet that the seeds are drowning.

Give Your Seeds Light:

Place your seed tray under a grow light, or in a sunny spot for about 8-10 hours a day.

Monitoring Their Growth:

Mustard microgreens can germinate in as little as two days. After that, they will take only about 1-2 weeks to grow.

Every day check the soil moisture by testing it with your fingers. The soil should not be saturated, and you don’t want your seeds sitting in a puddle. You can water your greens with the spray bottle until they start to take root.

Once the microgreens are starting to grow, you can transition to watering them from the bottom to prevent harsh watering from above that may cause them to fall over or flatten out.

To do this, just pour a bit of water into the secondary tray. The soil will soak up the water from here.

Harvesting Your Greens:

To harvest your greens, you can cut them off just above soil height. You can then store them between damp paper towels placed in a bag or container in the fridge for up to a week.

How To Grow Mustard Microgreens On A Grow Mat:

If you want to go soil-free, you can grow microgreens on a grow mat. Grow mats, usually made from hemp or another natural fibre, provide a hydroponic method of growing without soil.

Prepare The Tray:

The grow mat will need to sit on a tray, one without drainage holes.

Place Your Seeds:

You can then place the grow mat directly on the tray and then sprinkle your seeds all over the mat, just as you would with soil.

Once your seeds have been sprinkled on, spray your mat with enough water to saturate it.

Give Your Seeds Light:

Just like the soil method, place your seed tray under a grow light, or in a sunny spot for about 8-10 hours a day.

Monitor Their Growth:

Like the soil method, your seeds should be ready to harvest in a week or two.

Harvesting Your Greens:

To harvest your greens, you can cut them off just above the height of the grow mat. After this, your grow mat can be composted. The grow mats are designed to be single use, so you will need to use a new mat for your next batch of greens.

How To Grow Mustard Microgreens In Wood Shavings:

Another soil-free approach to mustard microgreens is to grow them in wood shavings.

Prepare The Tray:

You will still need a tray or shallow container, without drainage holes. Fill it with very fine wood shavings and moisten them. Once they are moist, you will be able to pack them into a somewhat flat layer.

Place Your Seeds:

The same way as the soil and grow mat options, sprinkle your seeds generously over the moistened wood shavings. Then, you can use your spray bottle to spray your seeds as well.

Give Your Seeds Light:

Just like the other two methods, place your seed tray under a grow light, or in a sunny spot for about 8-10 hours a day.

The mustard microgreens should still be ready to harvest within a week or two. After that, you can cut them off just above the wood shavings. After that, the wood shavings can be composted.

How To Grow Mustard Microgreens On Grow Paper:

Using paper towel to grow microgreens may be the most interesting way of all! If you are looking to try growing microgreens without having to buy any soil or speciality grow mats, definitely give this a try.

Prepare The Tray:

Like all methods, you will still need a tray or shallow container without drainage holes. Place a piece of paper towel in the tray.

Place Your Seeds:

You can sprinkle your seeds right on the paper towel, just as close together as you would with any of the methods. Then, spray your seeds so that the paper towel is very damp but not so wet that there are any puddles in the tray.

Like all the other methods, give your seeds 8-10 hours of light a day, either by grow light or sunlight.

One great thing about using paper towels is that you should be able to just pop the root of the green right out of the paper towel, instead of having to cut all the greens off above the growing medium.

After harvesting, you can just throw the paper towel away and start again.

How To Speed Up Microgreen Growth:

In general, microgreens sprout and grow really quickly. But if you want to help them along even more, consider the following tips.

Invest In A Heat Mat:

Microgreens, and most seeds in general, prefer warm conditions in order to germinate. It may be worth it to buy a heat mat for your seeds, which should help to keep them nice and warm and germinate quickly.

This is especially important if you live in a cold climate, or keep your house cool during the day or night.

You can place your heat mat underneath the grow tray, and as soon as your seeds germinate, remove them from the heat. If you keep them on the heat, they may grow too quickly and become spindly.

Get A Grow Light:

Depending on the light in your home, you may need a grow light in order to give your greens adequate light.

If you have a window or area in your home that gets 8-10 hours of sun a day, you shouldn’t need a grow light, but if you don’t you will definitely need one.

Grow lights can be purchased fairly cheap at a garden supply store or on amazon and are a great investment.

If your microgreen journey goes well and you decide to branch out to more gardening, you will be happy to have your grow light to start seeds indoors to get them ready for your growing season.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Mustard Microgreens?

Microgreens are known for being high in vitamins, and mustard microgreens are no exception. Some of the noted vitamins and minerals in mustard microgreens include:

  • Vitamin A – supports eye health and supports your immune system
  • Vitamin C – maintenance of bones and teeth, immune system support, development and repair of body tissues
  • Vitamin E – important for vision, reproductive health, and blood, brain and skin health
  • Vitamin K – important for blood clotting and bone health
  • Folate – supports red blood cell formation and is important in pregnancy to prevent brain and spine defects for the baby
  • Calcium – maintain strong bones, and helps your heart, muscles and nerves function properly
  • Iron – important for hemoglobin formation
  • Zinc – plays a role in immune function and growth

Microgreens tend to be much higher in nutrition than their mature counterparts. This might be due to the fact that since they are harvested so soon after germinating, they haven’t lost any of their nutrition that they would use to grow themselves into mature plants.

Which Pests And Disease Can Damage Microgreens?

Microgreens are generally easy to grow but they can be damaged by some diseases.

Damping Off

Damping off has to do with the roots of the microgreen rotting. This usually has to do with a lack of air circulation in the tray, or with seeds that are sown too densely.

Though microgreens do need to be sown close together, packing them too densely can prevent air flow. You may need to experiment with how tightly you can pack them so that you can figure out what works best for your variety.

It is important to note that when microgreens are grown without soil (like the grow mat or paper towel option), they are less likely to be damaged by damping off.

So if you are having issues with damping off, try sowing less seeds per tray, or try a soil-free option.

Luckily, mustard microgreens are one of the easiest to grow and least likely to be affected by any issues!


Mustard Microgreens vs Mustard Spouts…Which Are Better?

Mustard microgreens are grown in soil, and mustard sprouts are grown without soil. In this article, we covered both approaches, but both things are essentially the same.

Using the paper towel, grow mat or wood shavings methods, the mustard microgreen is technically a mustard sprout, but they are pretty much the exact same thing. The only difference is that with soil-free options, you can usually eat the root of the green.

If you are a fan of eating the root, go for a soil-free growing method. If you aren’t fussy on eating the root, soil is perfectly fine.

No matter how you eat and grow them, they are packed with vitamins and minerals.

How Much Light Do Mustard Microgreens Need?

The microgreens need about 8-10 hours of light per day. You may want to invest in a grow light so that you can be sure to give your greens this exact amount of light every day.

What Temperature Do Mustard Microgreens Need To Grow?

Mustard microgreens prefer to grow in conditions that are 18°C to 24°C.

For the most part, your home probably falls in that range of temperatures.

If you keep your home cooler, you may want to give your mustard microgreens an extra boost by using a heat mat.

Heat mats can be purchased at your local garden store or through Amazon, and generally are a good investment, especially if you plan to start other seeds in your house before the growing season.

How Long do Mustard Microgreens Take to Grow?

Mustard microgreens are usually quick to germinate, in about 1-2 days or a bit longer if the conditions are cool.

They will be ready to harvest in 1-2 weeks after germination. When they are ready to harvest, they will be a few inches tall with leaves on top.

You may want to taste-test them after about a week to see if they are to your liking. You can always experiment with growing them a bit longer and seeing how long you prefer to grow them before harvesting.

Do Mustard Microgreens Regrow After Harvest?

For the most part, mustard microgreens will not regrow after harvest. Cutting the greens stresses them out and they will not be able to put their energy into regrowing.

If you do try to regrow your mustard microgreens, you may find the growth to be very slow. The taste of the greens will also change if you choose to regrow them.

Generally, it would be quicker to start a new crop of mustard microgreens rather than to try to regrow them once you harvest them.

How Should You Harvest Mustard Microgreens?

It depends on your growing method.

For soil as well as the grow mat and wood shavings options, you can use a pair of scissors to cut the microgreens just above the level of the growing medium.

If you use a paper towel, you should be able to just remove the whole green, root and all from the paper towel. The hull of the seed may be attached to the root.

The hull is edible, but you may choose to remove them rather than eating them.

To remove the hull, you can submerge your greens in a bowl of water and shake the greens around. The hulls will float to the surface and you can pick them out.

How Should You Store Mustard Microgreens?

Once you harvest your mustard microgreens, you can store them between two damp paper towels.

Place the paper towels in a plastic bag or container and place them in the fridge. They should stay crisp and fresh for up to one week.

Why are My Microgreens Falling Over?

If your microgreens are healthy, they will stand up tall. If they are falling over, it may be due to any of the following reasons:

  • Lack of water – if your greens are dehydrated, they will begin to wilt and fall over. Try watering them and they should perk right back up.
  • Too much water – lack of water is a problem but so is too much water. Too much water, especially if using a soil medium can cause the roots of the microgreens to rot, which will cause them to decline and fall over.
  • Watering from the top – watering your greens from the top can be harsh and can cause them to flatten or fall over. Try watering from the soil level, or if you are using an under tray just ass some water to the secondary tray and the soil will soak it up.

Mustard Microgreen Flavour and How to Use Them:

Mustard microgreens are described as having a sweet yet spicy flavour and are a lot spicier and punchier than full grown mustard greens.

You can add mustard microgreens to salads, sandwiches or wraps. They make a great garnish for on top of pasta or rice dishes.

You can even add your mustard greens on top of a dish of scrambled eggs, to give them a spicy kick.

How Do You Prevent Damping Off and Why is Air Movement Important?

Damping off is when the roots of microgreens become too wet and are prone to rot.

It can be caused by the seeds being planted too close together in the tray, which doesn’t allow for enough airflow between seeds.

If you are having trouble with damping off, you can try placing the seeds in the tray less densely. Microgreens do grow best when they are placed close together which gives them their signature “grassy” appearance, but if they are too close together, they won’t get air flow.

Try experimenting with how many seeds you use per tray.

It is also worth noting that when microgreens are grown using a non-soil medium, they are less likely to experience damping off because other mediums may dry out more easily.

If you are having a lot of problems with damping off and you usually try growing with soil, you can try using a grow mat, paper towel or wood shavings.

Using the paper towel method is a good place to start as you probably have some in your cupboard and won’t have to buy anything special to grow your seeds.

It is important to allow air to move between the microgreen stems to discourage the growth of moulds.

Final Thoughts

Mustard microgreens are a very healthy choice to grow and eat, because they are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals.

Mustard microgreens contain vitamins A, C, E and K as well as folate, iron and zinc. All of these micronutrients play a role in maintaining a healthy body.

These nutrients are of course also found in full-grown vegetables, but microgreens really pack a punch in terms of nutrition since they are harvested so soon after germination and do not have a chance to lose any of their nutritional benefits that they would actually use to help themselves grow larger.

For the most part they are easy to grow, and you can grow them in a variety of ways, including:

  • In soil
  • On a paper towel
  • On a grow mat
  • In wood shavings

They are an excellent choice if you don’t have a lot of space, because you can grow them in whatever size container that you can make room for.

Since they grow so quickly, you can even have a few trays going at a time and stagger your planting dates so that you always have a fresh batch ready to harvest.

If you are a parent and want to teach your kids about growing their own food, mustard microgreens are a great place to start. Your kids will love to watch as the microgreens germinate and grow.

Gardening may not always be interesting to kids because they may be impatient to watch plants grow, since so many varieties of fruits and vegetables take months and months to be ready to harvest.

Even when you harvest, you can keep microgreens in the fridge for up to a week.
They make a great addition to a variety of recipes like salads, sandwiches and wraps. You can use your mustard microgreens as a garnish on top of your soups, pastas or rice and curry dishes.

Spicy, delicious mustard greens can add a new, bright flavour to your regular salad and can help you experiment with new recipes.

Some people even like to add their mustard microgreens to their smoothies for an interesting and spicy flavor enhancement.

Best of luck on your microgreen growing journey! You won’t regret starting to grow fresh mustard microgreens at home.


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