Growing Mizuna

Botanical Name: Brassica rapa var. nipposinica

Mizuna is a Japanese mustard green known for its feathery leaves and mild, peppery flavour. It’s a cool-season vegetable rich in vitamins and minerals that adds depth to salads and stir-fries.

If you want to learn about growing Mizuna, let’s dive in.

  • Growing Mizuna
  • Growing Mizuna
Planting Guide Image

Mizuna Planting Guide

Method

Sow direct or raise seedlings

Sowing Depth

6 mm

Season

Winter and Autumn

Germination

5 – 10 Days @ 7 – 25 °C

Hardiness / Life Cycle

Hardy Annual

Row Spacing

30 cm

Plant Spacing

30 cm

Position

Part or Full Sun

Days Until Maturity

40 – 60 Days

Storage

In fridge crisper loosely wrapped in dry paper towel.

When to Plant Mizuna in Australia

What growing
region am I in?
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cool Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Temperate Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov
Sub-Tropical Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct
Tropical Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct
Arid Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jul Plantable in Aug Plantable in Sep Plantable in Oct
Cool Temperate Sub-Tropical Tropical Arid
Jan Plantable in Jan
Feb Plantable in Feb
Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar
Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr
May Plantable in May Plantable in May Plantable in May Plantable in May Plantable in May
Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun Plantable in Jun
Jul Plantable in Jul Plantable in Jul Plantable in Jul Plantable in Jul Plantable in Jul
Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug Plantable in Aug
Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep Plantable in Sep
Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct Plantable in Oct
Nov Plantable in Nov Plantable in Nov
Dec Plantable in Dec
What growing
region am I in?

Introduction

Mizuna (Brassica rapa var. nipposinica) is a versatile and nutrient-rich Japanese mustard green that flourishes in Australian gardens. In this detailed guide, we’ll explore the intricacies of growing mizuna, from seed selection to harvesting, and delve into the culinary delights it offers. Elevate your gardening experience and culinary creations with the vibrant and healthful mizuna.

Preparing to Grow Mizuna

To cultivate vibrant Mizuna in your Australian garden, start with thoughtful preparation.

Mizuna grows best in full sun, so choose a location that will receive at least 6 hours of full sunlight each day.

Choose well-draining, loamy soil enriched with compost for optimal fertility.

Ensure proper aeration by loosening compacted soil with a garden fork, fostering robust root development. Consider raised beds for better drainage and control.

Growing Mizuna from Seeds

1. Seed Selection:
– Choose high-quality mizuna seeds from reputable suppliers.

2. Sowing Time:

– FOR SEEDLINGS: Start sowing seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last expected frost for early spring planting.
– DIRECT SOWING: Directly sow seeds outdoors in early spring or late summer for cooler regions.

3. Container or Garden Bed:
– Use well-draining containers or prepare garden beds with nutrient-rich, well-aerated soil.

4. Sowing Depth:
– Plant seeds 1-2 cm deep in the soil. Ensure good seed-to-soil contact for successful germination.

5. Spacing:
– Space seeds approximately 15-30 cm apart to allow proper growth and airflow.

6. Watering:
– Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged during the germination period.

7. Light Requirements:
– Provide ample sunlight for seedlings. Placing them somewhere they receive the morning sun is ideal as they may not tolerate direct midday sun, depending on your location and the time of year. 

Once established, mizuna prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.

8. Thinning Seedlings:
– Thin seedlings when they reach a height of a few inches, leaving the strongest plants with adequate space.

9. Transplanting:
– If started indoors, transplant seedlings outdoors after the last frost when they are around 4-6 weeks old.

10. Care and Maintenance:
– Maintain consistent watering to keep the soil evenly moist.
– Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks to support growth.

11. Harvesting:
– Harvest leaves when they reach a desirable size, usually 4-6 weeks after sowing.
– Use clean scissors or shears to cut outer leaves, allowing inner leaves to continue growing.

12. Continuous Harvest:
– Encourage continuous growth by regularly harvesting outer leaves throughout the growing season.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow Mizuna from seeds and enjoy a continuous supply of this nutritious green in your Australian garden.

Common Problems When Growing Mizuna

1. Pests:
– Aphids and Flea Beetles are common pests that can damage Mizuna leaves. Use neem oil or introduce beneficial insects like ladybugs for natural pest control.

2. Diseases:
– Downy Mildew and White Rust are fungal diseases that thrive in humid conditions. Ensure good air circulation, proper spacing, and avoid overhead watering to prevent these diseases.

3. Bolting:
– Mizuna may bolt (produce flowers) in response to heat stress. Plant in cooler seasons or provide shade during hot periods to minimise bolting.

4. Overwatering:
– Waterlogged soil can lead to root rot. Maintain well-draining soil and avoid excessive watering.

5. Underwatering:
– Insufficient water can cause wilting. Keep the soil consistently moist and adjust watering frequency based on environmental conditions.

6. Soil Issues:
– Mizuna prefers well-draining soil. Amend heavy or clayey soil with organic matter to improve drainage.

7. Competition with Weeds:
– Weeds compete for nutrients. Regularly mulch to suppress weed growth and maintain a weed-free zone around Mizuna plants.

8. Temperature Extremes:
– Mizuna prefers cooler temperatures. Protect plants from extreme heat by providing shade during hot periods.

9. Nutrient Deficiency:
– Yellowing Leaves can be a sign that Mizuna is lacking in nutrients. Fertilise with a balanced fertiliser to address nutrient deficiencies.

Regular monitoring, prompt action, and preventive measures can help overcome common challenges when growing Mizuna. Tailor care practices to your specific growing conditions for a thriving and productive Mizuna crop in your Australian garden.

Companion planting with Mizuna

Mizuna thrives when strategically paired with compatible companion plants. Consider these beneficial partnerships to enhance Mizuna’s growth and repel pests in your Australian garden:

1. Carrots (Daucus carota):
– Why: Mizuna’s tall, feathery leaves provide shade for carrots, aiding in moisture retention and preventing weed growth.
– How: Interplant rows of Mizuna with rows of carrots, promoting a mutually beneficial relationship.

2. Radishes (Raphanus sativus):
– Why: Radishes deter flea beetles, common Mizuna pests, while Mizuna provides light shade for radishes, preventing them from bolting too quickly.
– How: Intercrop radishes with Mizuna for a pest-resistant and harmonious pairing.

3. Lettuce (Lactuca sativa):
– Why: Mizuna’s upright growth complements the lower, sprawling nature of lettuce. Together, they optimise space use and create a visually appealing arrangement.
– How: Plant Mizuna alongside lettuce, allowing them to share the same bed.

4. Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris):
– Why: Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, benefiting Mizuna’s nutrient needs. Meanwhile, Mizuna’s vertical growth provides a living trellis for beans.
– How: Plant Mizuna around the base of bean plants, fostering a mutually supportive environment.

5. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus):
– Why: Mizuna’s upright habit provides shade for the soil, helping to maintain moisture levels beneficial for cucumber growth.
– How: Plant Mizuna along the edges of cucumber beds, creating a harmonious and space-efficient arrangement.

6. Onions (Allium cepa):
– Why: Mizuna helps deter onion fly, a common pest for onions, while onions provide a natural barrier against certain Mizuna pests.
– How: Interplant rows of onions and Mizuna for a pest-resistant and mutually beneficial combination.

7. Herbs (Basil, Dill, or Cilantro):
– Why: Herbs like basil and dill can deter pests that might affect Mizuna. Additionally, they contribute to a biodiverse and thriving garden ecosystem.
– How: Plant herbs in proximity to Mizuna, promoting a balanced and pest-resistant garden.

Remember to observe your garden regularly and adjust companion plantings based on the specific needs of your Mizuna and the overall health of your garden. Strategic companion planting not only supports Mizuna’s growth but also fosters a resilient and thriving garden ecosystem.