Mustard Growing Guide

Sinapis alba


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.


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 late summer 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.
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.


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