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November 2012
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Brassica Juncea or Mustard Greens is a species of mustard plant.

Images of Brassica Juncea or Mustard Greens at

Brassica juncea which is also known as mustard greens, Indian mustard, Chinese mustard, and leaf mustard, is a species of mustard plant. The Brassica family of plants includes popular vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, as well as flavoring plants like mustard.

Overview of Brassica Juncea or Mustard Greens

• Sub varieties include southern giant curled mustard.
• This resembles a headless cabbage such as kale.
• It has a distinct horseradish-mustard flavor.
• It is also known as green mustard cabbage.
• The leaves, the seeds, and the stem of this mustard variety are edible.
• The plant appears in some form in African, Italian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and soul food cuisine.
• B. juncea are grown as greens, and for the production of oil seed.
• In Russia this is the main variety grown for production of mustard oil.
• This oil after refining is considered one of the best vegetable oils.
• It is widely used in canning, baking and margarine production.
• The majority of table mustard there is also made from this species of mustard plant.
• The leaves are used in African cooking.
• The leaves, seeds, and stems are used in Indian cuisine.
• B. juncea subsp. tatsai, which has a particularly thick stem.
• It is used to make the Indian pickle called achar, and the Chinese pickle zha cai.
• The mustard made from the seeds of the B. juncea is called brown mustard.
• The leaves (raai in Gujarati) are used in many Indian dishes.
• It is usually eaten with relish with steamed rice.

Growing/Caring conditions of Brassica Juncea or Mustard Greens

• Growing these plants in a home garden enables you to provide fresh veggies throughout the growing season.
• These plants thrive best in full sunlight.
• They have long growing seasons that start in early spring.
• Start planting as soon as the final frost of the year has passed.
• Till the soil in an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of full sunlight daily.
• Till to a depth of 10 inches.
• Brassicas can withstand one or two unexpected freezes.
• Mix in a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or peat moss as you till to increase fertility and drainage in the soil.
• This helps the heavily feeding Brassicas and prevents rot and fungal growth from standing water.
• Sow your Brassica seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in the soil
• Space 18 inches apart in rows at least 32 inches apart.
• Brassica seeds germinate within 10 days.
• Keep the soil around your Brassica plants thoroughly moist.
• Water the vegetables any time the top 2 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.
• Feed the plants a balanced vegetable fertilizer that contains boron, calcium and magnesium about two weeks after germination.
• This extra boost of nutrition helps the plants fruit.
• Inspect your plants every day.
• If you find worms or other insects on your vegetables, simply pick them off with tweezers.
• These pests only harm vegetables if allowed to stay on there for too long.
• Harvest the Brassicas when the vegetables are firm to the touch.
• Brassicas tend to attract worms and moths.
• Consider using row covers during the first few weeks after planting to prevent these insects from invading.

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