Collecting mustard green seeds is so very easy! One plant can provide hundreds of seeds to plant next year.
Once you learn how to save mustard green seeds at the end of the growing season, you will be able to grow these vegetables every year and dramatically multiply your harvest without needing to pay for seed packets ever again.
What Do Mustard Green Seeds Look Like?
Mustard green seeds look like tiny round brown balls. They are very small in size. Dried seeds will be tan, but seeds will be green until they are ready to harvest.
The seeds are found in seed pods that develop along the flower stem from a mustard seed plant. Inside each pod, there will be two rows of seeds that look like peas in a pod.
Harvesting Mustard Green Seeds
At the end of the plant’s growing season, around late summer if you did a late Spring planting, mustard green seeds are ready to be harvested to keep for the next year’s garden.
Harvesting the mustard seeds is very easy. You will be surprised at how quickly you can gather hundreds of seeds.
Mustard green seeds develop on the flower stalks that grow when the greens are allowed to bolt in the heat. Flower stalks will start to grow with delicate yellow flowers that look like wildflowers.
Pollinators love these flowers, so they are great to keep in the garden.
Afterwards, seed pods will grow along the upper length of the flower stem.
Allow these flowers and stems to grow until they start to die back. The stalks will start to turn brown starting from the bottom and moving towards the top of the stalk.
Once the seed pods turn brown, the seeds are ready to harvest inside.
It is best to check for brown seed pods every few days. Once the pods have dried, they often don’t hold onto the seeds for long.
I found this out the hard way when harvesting seeds. By the time I went outside to gather the seeds, the pods had already split opened (or were opened by wildlife) and there were no seeds left.
I was waiting for the entire plant to turn brown before harvesting, but it dried out over a few weeks, not just a few days.
Gently roll the dried seed pod between your fingers. You will find that the pod easily opens up and lots of small round seeds will fall out.
You could also gently open up the seed pod without rolling it in your fingers either by pulling back the outer layer or by laying bunches of the pods in between paper towels and gently using a rolling pin to roll back and forth to release the outer layer.
Inside you will find two rows of seeds separated by a thin chafe. The seeds look like peas in a pod.
Be sure to have a container underneath the seed pod because the tiny seeds will go everywhere as soon as the pod is opened. They are so small that it is hard to catch them in your hand.
If you gently rub the seed pods and they do not release any seeds, then they are not ready to harvest. Leave them on the stems until they dry out more and are ready to harvest.
Important Note: Harvest mustard seeds before rain if possible. The rain and wind can cause the seed pods to split open and you will lose the valuable seeds.
Seed saving is ideally suited for organic, heirloom or open-pollinated plants.
I purchased my original seed packet of mustard green seeds from Botanical Interests, which sells heirloom varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers.
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How to Dry Mustard Green Seeds
The brown seeds that you harvest from the pods are dried already. Lay them on a paper towel for a few days to make sure any outer moisture has evaporated, just to be sure.
How to Store Mustard Green Seeds
Store seeds in a paper bag or a glass jar without a sealed lid.
You do not want to store seeds in a glass jar or plastic jar that is sealed with a lid. There is not adequate air flow in the container for the seeds, and moisture may be trapped inside the jar, which could then make the seeds mold or germinate too early.
Put the container of seeds in a cool, dry place. Be sure to label the container with the plant name, and variety if necessary.
Add any gardening tips that you learned from this year’s harvest to the label so that you will remember for next year’s garden.
Be sure to Pin This Guide to Pinterest to save it for later!
If you enjoyed this easy tutorial of how to save mustard green seeds, you will also like these helpful guides:
- How to Save Cosmos Seeds
- How to Harvest Coneflower Seeds
- How to Save Guara Seeds
- How to Harvest Nasturtium Seeds