You may be hard pressed to find a more “Throwback” plant than mustard.
It’s been used and written about for ages. I love it for about a dozen reasons. (No worries, I’m not going to name them all).
- Mustard is easy to grow.
Pop a little seed in the ground, water, wait. Ta Da…mustard. I grow it for the greens, most of which are given to my in laws that adore them. My oldest son and I tolerate them but like I said, mostly they are given away to Roger and sold at my veg table. I don’t have any trouble getting rid of all I grow.
2. Mustard grows fast.
In as little as 60 days it’s seeding. This is my main use for mustard so that works for me. I use mustard seed liberally in pickling, curries, and, of course, to make mustard. Considering a good grainy mustard, the kind I love, is $6 and I can grow all I can use, and then some for under $1, you can see the appeal.
3. Mustard plants make beautiful flowers.
So pretty, I put them in my flower bed. Why not? It makes a sea of yellow that my neighbors gawk at, always nice to have gawking neighbors when they’re gawking for the right reasons.
So there are some reasons you may have already known about, now here are a few things you may not have known.
Mustard makes great “green manure”. Tilled in at the end of the season, mustard releases loads of nitrogen into the soil and have the added bonus of being a pest deterrent, especially for the vine boring pests. Mustard attracts the syrphid flies which are predatory insects that devour vine-chewing insects.
I use loads of mustard plants in my compost. It heats quickly and makes beautiful, rich compost. The worms seem to like it, which kind of surprised me, I felt like they might not like the spiciness. They don’t mind it at all and readily munch it up.
Finally, every year I get to muse over the size of my faith. I’m about to a poppy seed now, but some day, I do aspire to be a mustard seed.