Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I keep thinking that growing any of the solanum family might be a bad thing this year. Right now in my plans I have one 4'x8' section relegated to them. A far cry from last years space which was six times that size. But 4'x8' is probably still way too much for me to be growing and stay healthy. So I've been thinking what I want in the space and after seeing all of Robin's posts about making mustard, I thought growing mustard seed might be fun.

So I looked up the different mustards. The typical yellow mustard ought to be easy. I have a jar of seed in my spice drawer. I'm testing right now if it is viable seed. I ought to know in a couple of days. If so it seems like a fine mustard to grow.

But for the brown mustard I'm going to need seed. Anyone have any recommendations? Brown mustard seed is Brassica juncea, which is grown for its edible leaves. I'm less interested in the leaves and all the catalogs tell you how the leaves are. I want to know how the seed is. But no ones describes that. If I can't find one grown for it seed, I can always just grow any Brassica juncea. So anyone out there have a clue about mustard seeds?


  1. No, but what fun. I keep wanting to investigate tea plants, the Sinensis kind. . . when I have time.

    Stay away from those solanums!

  2. I'm not a mustard expert so I hesitate to give advice. I would think that if you've identified the right kind of mustard plant for brown mustard seed, you would just let the plant go to seed and collect them. But, maybe there is something special about mustard seed that I am unaware of....

    I'm glad to find your blog. It looks as though I can learn a lot from you!

    Have a great evening!


  3. Daphne, you are right. Most seed-merchants assume that you want to grow Mustard only for its leaves, and the Brassica Juncea (Brown Mustard) seems to be the only one offered in our seed catalogues here. The Yellow Mustard (Sinapsis Hirta) only seems to be available in Indian or other ethnic grocery stores, as a food item. I suspect that your experiment will show that the seeds sold as culinary ingredients are still viable for growing - perhaps with a poor germination rate though.

  4. Brown mustard seed from an ethnic store is definitely viable, with germination over 90% (go to a store with good turnover). I sometimes sprout it and add to salads (careful it is spicy!) I don't know if the seed would be adapted to your climate though. Good luck, looking forward to seeing how it goes!

  5. I'm ordering my herbs right now and noticed that Richters (www.richters.com) has both white and brown mustard seed. Brown is typically used in European mustards and white in most American ones.