Growing Mizuna Greens In Your Vegetable Garden
A popular leafy vegetable from Asia, mizuna greens are used worldwide. Mizuna can be grown in a vegetable garden to use either as mature plants or as a seedling crop. The first cut of seedlings can sometimes be made two or three weeks after sowing. Where mature plants are grown, forming clumps about 22cm (9″) high, keep cutting regularly to produce a continuous crop of small young leaves. Nutritionally mizuna is an excellent source of antioxidants, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. The plant has deeply jagged, branched dandelion-like leaves , making it ideal for cut and grow again harvesting. There are two main varieties of mizuna: Mizuna Early and Mizuna Purple. Mizuna Early is tolerant to both heat and cold and slow to go to seed, making it an ideal green for continuous summer harvest. Mizuna Purple is best picked when its leaves are small, after only a month of growth. In Asia, mizuna is often pickled. Care for mizuna greens in a vegetable garden is similar to that for other Asian mustard-like greens. Even Mizuna Early will bolt eventually, so for the most prolonged harvest, sow your seeds six to 12 weeks before the first frost of autumn or in late spring.
Plant your seeds in moist but well-drained soil. Before planting, loosen the soil to at least 12 inches deep and mix in some manure. Plant the seeds 2 inches apart, ¼ inch deep, and water well. After the seeds have germinated (this should take only a few days), thin the plants to 14 inches apart. That’s basically it. Ongoing care is not much different from that of other greens in the vegetable garden. Water and harvest your greens as needed.