Brassica nigra: main characteristics, cultivation and harvesting

Brassica nigra characteristics

There is a group of fairly heterogeneous plant species found within the Brassicaceae family. This family is home to no more and no less than 3.709 species. Among these species there are many varieties with unique characteristics and that have different courses. In this article we are going to dedicate ourselves exclusively to talking about the Brassica nigra. It is a plant that is commonly known by the name of black mustard.

If you want to know more about the characteristics and care of the Brassica nigrathis is your post.

Key features

Black mustard

black mustard

It is a type of annual herbaceous plant that consists of a main stem and hardly has any ramifications. It has leaves that are quite large if we compare it with the total size that the plant can reach in its adult state. Unlike other plants of this family usually has a fairly accelerated growth as long as it meets the necessary environmental conditions.

Although it is considered a herbaceous plant, it can exceed one and a half meters in height without problems. It is an aromatic plant with medicinal properties typical of a Mediterranean climate. The Brassica nigra It is usually found in climatic zones that stand out for having high temperatures during the summer and spring times and milder in winter. In addition, these areas do not usually have much rainfall and their soils are not too rich in organic matter.

Nonetheless, we can find black mustard almost anywhereas long as it is not too limited by climatic characteristics. An example of this is when we have tropical or subtropical climates in which, thanks to their high temperatures, they can develop quite easily. Even in some types of continental climates where they favor higher temperatures in summer but very low in winter, it is possible that a good development can take place if the precipitations are not too high.

It has a reproductive cycle that lasts around 4 months. As long as there are pleasant temperatures, its cultivation is easier and more seeds are produced. Depending on the situation and wind regimes, it may be able to withstand low temperatures for short periods of time. The ideal time to sow in gardens and on land in the Mediterranean area is at the beginning of spring.

If you are going to place it in cold areas it is possible that the cultivation will be delayed a little more in order to avoid some possible frosts with very cold temperatures that can cause certain problems in its development.

Requirements of the Brassica nigra

We are going to divide all the needs of the Brassica nigra depending on where we are.

Soil type and characteristics

Development of Brassica nigra

Development of Brassica nigra

When we say to sow the Brassica nigra we are talking about a fairly rustic plant when it comes to soil choice. That is, it is a type of plant that is not very demanding with the type of soil and the amount of nutrients available. Even though this is the case, it has been shown that black mustard tends to grow and develop better in soils with limestone preference and that have a medium consistency, deep and somewhat cooler. As fresh we do not refer to the amount of moisture that the soil can hold depending on the amount of nutrients it has. That is, it is able to alleviate the lack of nutrients with an excess of humidity.

When we say to choose the best crop for the brassica nigra, we select the crop in rotation. It is considered to be a cruciferous plant so the rotation scheme could fit quite well. It does not always combine well with other brassica plants since they do not have the same nutritional requirements and, in the long term, it can end up affecting the health of the soil and the performance of the plant.

Irrigation and compost

Brassica nigra

Brassica nigra

As we have mentioned before, it is not a plant that needs soil that is too rich in nutrients. Therefore, we do not need to complicate our lives using various types of compost. With a fairly simple compost while it is rich in organic matter, you can restore the properties of the soil and microorganisms. With these it was more than enough to be able to achieve a good development of the plant and to have its complete cycle without any problem.

To prepare the soil we need it to have a very deep texture. This is necessary so that the roots can promote their growth and can reach areas where they do not normally access. This part is of vital importance since, if we plant it in a soil that is not too rich in nutrients, the roots will have to cover a greater amplitude to be able to capture all the necessary nutrients. What’s more, we will be able to better distribute the organic matter that we contribute with the fertilizer and we improve the physical properties of the soil.

When we favor the extension of the roots of a plant, we achieve that the properties of the soil such as air action, water retention and granules, among others, are much more optimal for the good growth and development of the plant.

Regarding irrigation, it does not need too much water supply, neither continuous nor bulky. This plant has a good resistance to long periods of drought, so it will only be necessary to provide a minimum volume of water to help hydrate the soil without getting waterlogged. We will water again once we see that the land is dry. We must not overdo it with irrigation water since this plant brings us the puddles.

Collection of the Brassica nigra

Black mustard seed

black mustard seed

Finally, we must know that from 40 days after the seed germinated, flowering begins. This time depends on the climate where we are and the accumulation of hours of sun and cold. Its fruiting is quite fast and as a general rule and is usually in the months of July and August. The indicator to collect is that the seeds begin to blacken and the stems turn yellow.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about the Brassica nigra.

Brassica nigra: main characteristics, cultivation and harvesting

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