I’ve made a wonderful discovery: Komatsuna-Tendergreen Mustard Spinach. When it comes to organizing my seed collection, I don’t have a good system. I’m much more interested in digging in the earth than setting up a proper seed file. As I got ready to plant last month, I came across envelopes with no labels or zip lock bags with a handwritten notes in them. This year I came across some seeds in a clear envelope with a scribbled note: Tendergreen Mustard Spinach. Where did I get these? Who gave them to me? When should I plant them? A little research turned up the following information.
Tendergreen Mustard Spinach, also known as Komatsuna, is a Japanese green that has been known in North America since 1930′s. It is not a true mustard, but is in the same family of plants. It has a much milder flavor than mustard and can be eaten raw or cooked. It has thick, smooth, glossy green leaves, oblong in shape.
Tendergreen mustard is widely used both in stir fry and in salads in Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries. Its tender leaves, as well as its flowering stems, are used raw or are cooked and have a flavor between mustard greens and cabbage. It can be harvested at any stage of growth.
Tendergreen Spinach Mustard is extremely hardy and is tolerant of drought and cool temperatures. It can stand temperatures in the 30′s (hear that Connecticut?) and can be sown throughout most of the year.
This is the part I love. Komatsuna matures completely in 40 days, but can actually be ready for the table in only 3 weeks! I planted my Komatsuna less than a month ago and I am thinning it today, using the young plants for salads. You can see that I planted the tendergreen much too close together. That’s because I didn’t know how old the seeds were and whether or not they would germinate with such poor storage. My next planting will be less dense!
Thank you to whoever gave these seeds to me. I’m going to try to plant them every 3 months so that I’ll have greens year around! When I save the seeds, I promise to label them properly!