Mustard greens is a term that covers a wide variety of Asian and salad greens that fall into the Brassica family. The great thing about them is that, like most salad greens, they tend to like cooler weather, more moisture, and don’t actually like a lot of heat. Which makes them ideal for fall and winter growing, when days are shorter, darker, and most often, a lot wetter.
However, if you have been on the hunt for a salad green that is vigorous, inexpensive, and thrives on, like 5 hours of daylight ( we aren’t even talking sunlight here, just some light), Mizuna is what you want.
The first time I planted Mizuna, a decade or more ago, I stuck a bunch of seeds in a two-foot row in the greenhouse in late fall, with a ‘we’ll see if it does anything’ attitude. Gave it a water, and forgot about it. A few weeks later it had morphed into a jungle, all on its own, of cut-and-come-again goodness that defied all normal laws of winter growing in a really wet, dark climate.
That two-foot row was beyond a three-person family to keep up with. Now, I’ve been looking for a photo of it, as I know I have one somewhere, which of course has rendered it well-hidden.
Being a mustard green means that Mizuna has a somewhat stronger flavor, great for stirfries or mixed in with salad greens. So it’s very versatile as something fresh to eat, for winter.
Plus it grows well in containers on a windowsill. There are different varieties, some almost fluorescent green, others tinged with purple or red.
As with any brassica, your soil should be well-amended with compost and well-draining, but beyond that, these are super easy keepers. Just keep them damp.
What do you grow that keeps you going through the winter? Or maybe you haven’t started winter gardening yet. Leave me a comment below on what you would like to, or are trying to grow! I’d love to hear from you.
2 thoughts on “Mizuna-King of Low-light Winter Greens!”
Would love a list of these low light veggies to grow in our indoor garden. (Our sons room that he has since vacated when he became a man and started his own house). Looking for something where we could have the grow lights on only fo 8 hours a day. We could try Mizuna on our window sill and see how it grows.
Hey Don, while there aren’t a lot of vegetables that have the abilities of mizuna for low light levels, a lot of your cool weather greens, like spinaches, lettuces, and asian greens do very well in the cooler and wetter weather and that lack of sunlight. But they still need good bright light, and some sun to get going and thrive. So I would use the bright light from the window and supplement with the light. For these types of greens, 6+ hours of good daylight/sunlight usually is good. Keep an eye on them, though, and adjust lighting if needed. Hope that helps!