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Harvesting mizuna leaves

How to grow and care for mizuna (Japanese greens)

All you need to know about growing and caring for mizuna, in our Grow Guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow
Sow

Do Sow in January

Do Sow in February

Do Sow in March

Do Sow in April

Do Sow in May

Do Sow in June

Do Sow in July

Do Sow in August

Do Sow in September

Do Sow in October

Do Sow in November

Do Sow in December

Harvest
Harvest

Do Harvest in January

Do Harvest in February

Do Harvest in March

Do Harvest in April

Do Harvest in May

Do Harvest in June

Do Harvest in July

Do Harvest in August

Do Harvest in September

Do Harvest in October

Do Harvest in November

Do Harvest in December

  • Plant size

    25cm height

    25cm spread

  • Spacing

    15cm apart

    23cm between rows

    (for regular harvests of small leaves)

  • Depth

    1.5cm

Mizuna (Japanese greens) is a versatile, leafy crop with a mild mustard flavour similar to rocket, but slightly more bitter. Also known as kyona or potherb mustard, this Japanese brassica is packed with vitamin A, C and K as well as calcium, iron and folate. It also contains glucosinolates, which may reduce the risk of cancer.

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As well as eating the fresh salad leaves, the young, flowering stems of mizuna can be cooked like broccoli or the stems and leaves can be pickled.

How to grow mizuna

Mizuna can be grown all year round. Sow seeds under cover in autumn and winter and outdoors in spring and summer. It can be grown as a cut-and-come-again salad, or you can also allow the leaves to mature.


Where to grow mizuna

Mizuna leaves growing in the soil

Mizuna can be grown in the ground or in pots. Choose a spot with some shade and keep watered. Avoid sunny, dry conditions which may cause it to bolt, resulting in unpleasantly bitter leaves.

The amount of space you give mizuna to grow in depends when you want to harvest, for regular crops of smaller leaves space 15cm apart, for larger leaves allow 20cm and for a fully grown mature plant it will need 40cm of space.


How to care for mizuna

Mizuna is very tolerant of cool and damp conditions, most varieties do best in shade in summer. It needs a moist soil, as dry conditions could cause the plant to bolt, which means that it flowers early which can result in unpleasantly bitter tasting leaves.


How to propagate mizuna

Sowing mizuna seeds

Mizuna is best propagated from seed, sow outdoors from March to August or sow indoors earlier in the year and harden-off before moving outside. Sow regularly for a continuous supply of fresh leaves.


How to harvest mizuna

Harvesting mizuna and other salad leaves

You can harvest and use mizuna in a variety of ways. Pick the young leaves as soon as they are large enough and add them to salads. Alternatively, leave them to mature and gently steam the leaves or add to stir-fries. You can also allow the plant to fully grow and harvest the full rosette after six to eight weeks.

For the best flavour and nutrients, the leaves and stems should be eaten immediately. However they can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. Don’t wash prior to storage to avoid the leaves rotting.


Pests and diseases

Slime trail and damage to young seedlings is probably a result of slug and snail damage.

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Leaves covered in small holes and browning of leaves could be as a result of the flea beetle, to avoid this grow seedlings underneath horticultural fleece and keep the soil moist. The holes don’t affect the leaves beyond their appearance, and they are still edible.

Advice on buying mizuna

  • It ‘s best to grow mizuna from seed
  • Make sure you have the right growing conditions, follow growing advice above and purchase your seeds from a reputable supplier

Where to buy mizuna seeds