White Mustard cover crop seeds (Sinapis alba - sometimes called Brassica alba or B. hirta) are a useful cover crop in vineyards, annual crop rotations, and home gardens as a winter cover. White mustard suppresses soil borne diseases including verticillium in potato, common root rot, and soil nematodes. It sprouts in 3-5 days, and grows quickly - in 60-100 days it will reach 90-150cm (36-70") tall in fertile soil. It is easy to kill with tillage, and will winterkill from fall plantings at -3°C (26°F). White mustard provides some allelopathic weed control and hinders the germination of ryegrass, so it may be used to clean up a problem cover crop ryegrass field. Once tilled under, the crop adds some nitrogen and lots of organic matter to the soil. Use 4.54kg (10 lbs) per acre. 500g covers 4,800 ft. (Open-pollinated seeds)
NOTE: White mustard should not be used as a cover crop to be followed by Brassicas of any kind. Mustards are a magnet for flea beetles (however, they can be planted early in the season in order to establish good populations of beneficial insects). Mustards must be plowed under a minimum of three weeks prior to planting a new crop. Mustards cannot be used for animal feeds, and they must be planted as a monoculture. in order to release their alleopathic chemicals and biofumigants, mustards require rain or irrigation throughout the growing period.
Cover cropping is a seasonal process in every well-managed sustainable garden or farm. Planting cover crop seeds is easy. Useful in weed suppression, they are important in building soil structure and add nutrients and organic matter to soils. Many of the cover crops we sell not only perform all those useful functions within your growing space but also serve to support beneficial insect populations and provide a secondary harvest of grain, if you choose to allow the crops to go to seed. Just follow this handy How to Grow Cover Crops from seed guide below.