There is a wide variety of seeds that you can buy at the grocery store that can be easily grown into adult plants.
I’ve grown many plants from grocery store seeds and mustard is one of these.
Most store bought mustard seeds are ‘viable’ ie: they can be germinated and you can have your own mustard plant at home if you follow a few simple steps that will help them along. Always try to buy fresh and untreated seeds as these will be the most reliable and should provide you with some good plants.
What to look for when buying mustard seeds from the store for sowing
Although mustard is a very easy plant to grow, there is no absolute guarantee that grocery store purchased seed will germinate.
The two main reasons for this are:
It is difficult to know how long the seeds have been sat on the shelf inside the packet. As is often with all seeds, the older the seed, the more unreliable it can become.
Some food manufacturers treat seeds before packaging and shipping to the store.
Often this treatment can involve the use of heat and/or chemicals which aim to kill bacteria but which can also destroy the ability of the seed to grow.
If you plant your seeds and they grow then great, if they don’t then use the rest to make mustard and maybe buy some seeds from a seed supplier or garden center.
How to sow mustard seeds from the grocery store
If you are planning to grow your mustard in containers then choose a good quality, all purpose compost.
Fill the container and water the compost thoroughly before sprinkling the seeds onto the surface.
Place the containers in a warm place and monitor daily to check for germination and to make sure that the compost does not dry out.
You can also sow mustard seed outdoors.
Choose a sunny spot and, if your soil is heavy, put some compost or lighter soil on the surface to use as a seed bed.
Sprinkle the mustard seeds onto the surface and cover with a light sprinkling of compost.
Water gently and leave to grow.
If you grow your mustard in a container then use a good compost
Sprinkle the seeds over the surface and place in a warm place to germinate making sure that the soil stays damp.
Mustard can be grown outdoors in a sunny spot from late Spring onwards.
Should I soak mustard seeds before planting?
There are some people that say that your mustard seeds should be soaked in cold water for several hours before sowing but it really isn’t necessary if they are sown in a good, damp compost and kept warm.
How long will my mustard seeds take to germinate?
You should see growth within 5 to 10 days.
Growth rate will be affected by the age and quality of the seed and the growing conditions.
Make sure that:
The seed is as fresh as possible
That you use good quality compost for your containers.
Where will my mustard seeds grow best?
Mustard will grow in most soils but light loam is always the best choice.
Growing in containers is often the best choice for most gardeners as this provides the option to move the plants around allowing them to get maximum daylight and protection from cold winds.
How should I water my mustard plants?
Mustard doesn’t like ‘wet feet’ and will suffer if left to sit in water.
Water from underneath by standing the pots in shallow water or use a fine watering can rose to keep the soil damp.
Can you sprout store bought mustard seeds?
The best way to do this is to use a sprouter or sprouting lid or you can sprinkle the seeds onto a piece of damp tissue or blotting paper to germinate.
In about 4 to 5 days you will have mustard sprouts that are big enough to eat.
Is mustard a perennial?
No, mustard needs to germinate annually.
The average mustard plant produces about 20 seeds in each seed pod and if you harvest and dry these seeds out then you can sow them the following year for more plants.
It is possible to grow mustard from seeds that you can get at the local store.
Try to get seeds that are as fresh as possible and sow them straightaway.
There is no absolute guarantee that they will grow but, as mustard is a very reliable plant, you should be able to get some good results.