Mizuna flowers

I’ve been growing mizuna as a leaf crop for some years now. In the past I just sighed and sowed another batch when the plants started to bolt, which happens quite quickly in hot weather. But last week some impulse made me decide to nip out the flower shoots to see if I could keep the leaves going a bit longer. And a further impulse made me pop one of the shoots into my mouth just to see what it tasted like…

Then I had to kick myself for all the years I’d just written the plants off as soon as they flowered, because the flower buds are LUSH! And, even better, having nipped out the leading flower shoot, the plants are now producing lots of delicious side shoots, so they’ll be productive for a lot longer. I will make another sowing, but it’s good to know that I’ll be able to keep on harvesting tender young flower shoots until the new batch is ready.

Mizuna a very easy to grow cut-and-come-again Japanese mustard green. Like rocket, it is relatively unattractive to the wretched molluscs which usually devastate any lettuce I try to grow. With successional sowings it has a long season outdoors here in the south of England and would probably grow year-round in a polytunnel. I primarily use mizuna raw in salads, but it’s also good in stir-fries and soup.

I buy mizuna seed from the Organic Gardening Catalogue.