Friday, November 12, 2010

Mizuna and Mustard in the Cool Season Garden

A few years ago, I discovered the joy of Asian greens.. mustard and mizuna are particular stand-out's in our garden. They're cold tolerant - lasting until mid-winter in the cold frames and the mini-hoop tunnels and can be seeded again in late February for a super early spring harvest.

When he first tried a leaf of Garnet Giant mustard, my hubby joyfully exclaimed "It tastes just like sushi!" He's a bit of a wasabi addict and most mustards certainly have a 'bite' to the leaves. When picked young, they're great in mixed salads, but once they plants have matured, they're best stir-fried or lightly steamed to reduce the hot taste. Unless you like the 'spicier' side of life!

At first, it was a bit hard to find seed for greens like mustard, mizuna and tatsoi, but now, most seed catalogues offer a good selection of these cool season veggies. I tend to buy my Asian greens from Johnnys Seeds, which carries some of our favourites - Green Wave mustard (see photo of my hand picking a leaf), Garnet Giant (see baby seedlings at left) and purple and green mizunas (green mizuna below).

Green mizuna was the first Asian green that I pushed past the borders of late spring and summer. The frosted photo was taken a few years ago in early December after about a month of frosts. At that point, I hadn't been covering the mizuna, but have since learned that it will survive nicely under a simple season extender - cold frame, mini hoop tunnel or unheated greenhouse, for example.

The garden in late autumn is such a joy.. I love to stroll up in the morning before the sun has a chance to melt the ice crystals that are covering the kales and take a peek in the various structures, which shelter our bounty of greens and root crops. The sun is shining (finally after a week of rain!) and it's time for my morning garden stroll..

Happy Gardening!


  1. I am so glad the sun is out and yes, time to share your enthusiasm and get outside in the garden.

  2. Wherever we go we will find these Mizuna and Mustard in the Cool Season Garden. I have noticed them in many places. And they are found in cool season garden.


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