How to Germinate Mustard Seeds


According to a field crops manual listed on the Purdue University website, mustard is an indigenous herb to temperate areas of Europe and is one of the world's first cultivated crops, dating back to the times of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Three varieties of mustard are cultivated in North America: brown, oriental and yellow. Mustard is used in seasonings, as a condiment, for oils, spices and in various meat products. Growing mustard from seed is a fun, easy project that requires just a little preparation.

Step 1

Use a garden hoe to eradicate all weeds and their roots from the planting area. Use a rototiller or a garden fork to work the soil to a depth of between 4 and 6 inches. Spread an organic soil amendment over the planting area, such as aged manure, compost or leaf mold. Thoroughly work the organic material into the soil.

Step 2

Compact the soil in the planting area using a water-roller or by walking over the area until you are sure the soil is well compressed. (A water roller is specifically used to compress soil. It can be purchased at your plant nursery or garden center.)

Step 3

Create rows that are between 12 and 18 inches apart from each other. Each of the rows should be approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. Plant two to three of the mustard seeds every 2 to 3 inches, or you can broadcast the mustard seeds with a seed spreader. (You can purchase a seed spreader at your local plant nursery or garden center.) Oriental and brown mustard seeds should be planted 5 to 7 lb. per acre. Yellow mustard should be planted 8 to 14 lb. per acre.

Step 4

Cover the mustard seeds with approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch of garden soil. If planting in rows, use a garden hoe to gently push soil over the mustard seeds. If you used a seed spreader, you can use it again to cover the mustard seeds with soil.

Step 5

Water the planted area thoroughly with a fine mist of water so you don't displace the mustard seeds. Keep the seed bed moist until the mustard seeds begin germinating, typically in 10 to 14 days.

Step 6

Thin down the mustard seedlings when they are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches tall. Snip off the least-hardy seedlings, and leave the hardier-appearing mustard seedlings so the plants are spaced 6 inches apart from each other. Yellow mustard varieties will mature in approximately 80 to 85 days after planting. Oriental and brown varieties will mature between 90 and 95 days after planting.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hoe
  • Garden fork or rototiller
  • Organic amendment
  • Water roller
  • Seed spreader


  • Purdue University: Growing Mustard
  • North Dakota State University: Mustard
Keywords: germinating mustard seeds, planting mustard seeds, mustard seeds

About this Author

Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.