Mustard – Deep Purple

87006Mustard is one of the most flavorful greens that I have grown.  Young leaves have a mild flavor, but as the leaves get older they seem to develop a very strong flavor, reminiscent of horseradish.  This intense flavor is due to the presence of allyl isothiocyanate, a compound which also is also found in horseradish and wasabi.  Interestingly, the isothiocyanate is not always present in the leaves, but is produced by enzymes that are released upon maceration (such as due to chewing of the raw leaves).  In the wild, this serves as a defense mechanism for the plant.

May 28, 2016 = Day 0.  Plants started from seed (Park Seed Co.).  Seeds sowed in 1.5-inch rockwool cube in 2-inch net-pot.  Moistened with Seedling Blend, a dilute blend of fertilizers.  N-P-K (in ppm): 22-29-16.

May 30 = Day 2.  Plant germinated, placed directly under a fluorescent light (2 ft. T8 bulb, 17W, 6500k) for 16 hours per day.

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Jun 6 = Day 9

Jun 15 = Day 18.  Thinned to 1 plant in net-pot.  Installed plant into a 3.5-gallon bucket using Jungle Juice Blend, a regular-strength fertilizer blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 113-79-147.  Moved plant to indoor grow room, receiving 9 hours LED grow light per day.

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Jun 16 = Day 19
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Jul 6 = Day 39

Jul 20 = Day 53.  Began harvesting lower leaves for use in salads.  Leaves do not yet have that intense spicy flavor that older leaves develop.

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Jul 25 = Day 58

Aug 4 = Day 68.  Added 1 gallon of fresh fluid, this time using the Masterblend-based Regular-Strength Blend.  N-P-K (in ppm): 103-95-202.

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Aug 11 = Day 75

Aug 13 = Day 77.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.  Leaves are now developing a spicy flavor.  Also, indoor grow room is very hot (> 80 °F during the day), so the use of the LED grow light was discontinued.  Plant is now receiving 3-4 hours of direct sunlight per day.

Aug 25 = Day 89.  Added 0.75 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 3 = Day 98.  Added 0.75 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 11 = Day 106.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 19 = Day 114.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Sep 25 = Day 120.  There is about 1 gallon of fluid remaining in the bucket, so the plant has used 8 gallons of fluid so far.  At this point, the plant was transferred to a new 3.5-gallon bucket containing 2 gallons of fresh Regular-Strength Blend.

Oct 5 = Day 130.  Added 1 gallon Regular-Strength Blend.

Oct 7 = Day 132.  Plant was discarded at this time.  Total fluid used: 9.5 gallons.

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