Condiment or cover crop, mustard’s sunny yellow flowers, tasty seeds, and deep tap roots make it a useful plant worth learning about.
A member of the Brassica family, mustard is a popular hot dog condiment and a cheery yellow weed that grows in even the driest areas. Before ripping out any stray mustard plants in your garden, consider these benefits:
As mustard nears the end of its life cycle, you can feed the soil or feed yourself. By mowing the plants before they go to seed, nutrients are added to the soil. If the plants are allowed to go to seed, the seeds can be collected and used in cooking or to make your own prepared mustard. The condiment is made by combining crushed seeds with vinegar and water. The leaves (greens) are also edible and oil can be extracted from the seeds.
Mustard is related to radishes and turnips. People have been growing it for nearly 4,000 years. There are three basic types of mustard: white (Sinapis hurta), black (Brassica nigra), and oriental (Brassica juncea). White mustard is most commonly used as a cover crop.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!