Aromatic plants


Mustard, description

Mustard includes a nucleus of annual herbaceous plants belonging to the brassicaceae or cruciferous family originating from Europe and India. The best known varieties are black mustard, white mustard and Indian mustard. Although for a long time black mustard was the most popular, for practical reasons this trend has recently reversed in favor of a more massive cultivation of white mustard. The reason for this change of course is due to the fact that black mustard reaches much larger dimensions, in fact it can reach three meters in height, requiring more space than white mustard. In fact, mustard usually consists of stems that reach sixty centimeters in height, however white mustard is distinguished by a less decisive and pungent flavor.

Mustard, sowing

The ideal sowing period for mustard is quite extended, as it runs from the end of winter to the beginning of summer. After burying the seeds, the soil must be kept constantly moist until the seedlings germinate. Once the shoots have reached four or five centimeters in height, you can proceed to the choice of the healthiest and strongest plants, eliminating the others. In the case of sowing in containers or pots, before exposing the seedlings to the sun, wait until the plants have reached ten centimeters in height and at least five leaflets have sprouted. Up to this time a shaded or semi-shaded display is recommended.The mustard plants are quite rustic and adapt easily to any type of soil and space,

Exposure and watering

Mustard plants need to receive direct sunlight for at least a few hours a day. It is therefore important to opt for a sunny position sheltered from the winds. They are usually planted near hedges or near walls to provide them with protection. Mainly during the warm months, and especially for potted plants, the correct supply of water will be important. It is essential to administer it when the soil is completely dry, but at the same being careful not to make the plant suffer from drought. By satisfying these unique needs of mustard plants, which do not necessarily require fertilization or pruning during the vegetative cycle, we will have excellent results. It should be noted, even if obvious,

Mustard: Mustard harvest

In the culinary field, mustard leaves and seeds are mostly used. The leaves are harvested during the first phase of the life cycle. Already ten days after sowing it will be possible to use them, as in the first periods of life they are more tender. Given the nature of their less decisive and more aromatic aroma than the seeds, the leaves are used especially in the preparation of mixed salads or eaten raw. In terms of flavor, in some ways they recall the flavor of wild rocket on the palate due to their bitter aftertaste. For the harvest of the seeds instead it is necessary to wait for the arrival of autumn. After flowering the flowers will wither forming siliques. When the latter reach a brownish color it is time to cut them. From them the seeds are obtained which will then be dried in the sun. Once dried, they are crumbled so that they release their intense and spicy aroma that finds various uses in the culinary field, from boiled meats to vegetables and sauces.

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