Mizuna, or Japanese mustard, is a delicious, mild flavoured leafy green which is peppery, yet still sweet enough for salads. Red empire holds striking, deep red leaves, adding spice and interest to any dish. It's feather-like, dark red leaves are serrated; deeply cut but not curled, and form a large rosette from which you can harvest as a cut and come again or use the whole head which will quickly regrow.
This fast-growing plant can be eaten at all stages of growth with a uniquely fresh and crisp flavour and a texture which lends itself perfectly to salads, stir-fries and steaming. Mizuna green is easy to grow and handles both hot and cold temperatures as well as pot cultivation for smaller spaces.
- Pack size: 100 seeds
- Time to germination: 5 - 12 days
- When to sow: Year-round
- When to plant out: March - October
- Spacing: 20-30cm
- Soil preference: Broad tolerance
- Light preference: Full sun, part shade
- When to harvest: Year-round
How to grow Mizuna Red Empire from seed
Mizuna is tolerant of cold, wet conditions but should not be left to dry out; a full sun position with some shade in the summer months is ideal.
Start Mizuna seeds off indoors at any time. Sow two seeds shallowly in 3cm biodegradable pots, and keep moist and at room temperature. Once a few leaves have developed and the plant has put on some weight, making it less prone to damage from high winds, plant out, pot and all, in the garden. Alternatively, sow direct into a pot on the windowsill for a quick and easy addition to a salad or meal.
Plant directly from March by dropping two seeds where they are to grow, at a depth of around 0.5 to 1cm. Thin the weaker seedling. To avoid bolting, keep your Mizuna plants well-watered, especially before drought conditions occur.
To ensure your Mizuna Red Empire continues to provide, make successional sowing every couple of weeks. Leaves can be harvested from three weeks. To ensure your Mizuna grows back all season long, pick the lowest, largest leaves first and avoid the central bud. Always leave enough foliage, so the plant has the means to regrow as well! Alternatively harvest the whole head with a sharp knife, just above soil level and allow the plant to regrow and recover before harvesting again.
What to feed your Mizuna plants
Mizuna doesn’t need “good” soil; however, growth is faster and larger if well fed. Amend the area prior to transplanting, with a good mix of rotten farmyard manure and fish, blood, and bone meal with some volcanic rock dust and kelp powder to give them a rich, balanced and diverse diet, released over the season for strong organic growth. Stronger healthier plants are also less attractive to attacking insects.
Keeping pests away
Mizuna is largely left alone in the garden once passed the seedling stage. Starting your seeds off indoors and planting out when robust enough makes this an incredibly easy plant to care for. When ordering Mizuna Red Empire Seeds from Grow Sow Greener, we have included free nasturtium seeds, loose in your pack. Growing nasturtiums a distance away from your veg will help lure aphids away while giving you delicious red flowers and peppery young leaves to add to salads.