Osaka Purple Mustard

Osaka Purple Mustard
Brassica juncea
Grown in 2009.
January 2013 germination test: 95%
Packet = around 250 seeds

Our favorite for eating and good looks. Steamed or stir-fried, even big leaves remain tender and mild. From seed to table in six weeks, Osaka Purple is frost- and heat-tolerant, so it can be grown practically all year. Be sure to tuck some in your flower beds. The purple-veined rosettes are so beautiful they double as speedy ornamentals, filling in bare spots. We select for dark color as well as vigorous growth and mild taste.

Culture: Direct sow any time ground is not frozen. Half to full day sun. Harvest outer leaves as needed.

Saving Seed: Osaka Purple Mustard will cross with other mustard greens, including the ubiquitous weedy wild mustard. Two miles of isolation distance are required, since that is the distance honeybees travel to forage. The easy way to manage isolation is to be sure your crop flowers at a different season from its wild cousins – here, with no summer rain, the wild relatives flower in May and June, so we plant in July (in a hoop house so the fall rains won’t damage the seed). Minimum number of plants to maintain genetic diversity: 80.