Description. Brown mustard is an annual plant of the Brassicaceae family, there are several names of this kind of mustard: leaf, vegetable or Indian mustard.
The root of the plant is main (2-3 meters in depth); stem is erect, branched, glabrous at the base (50-150 cm); leaves are of green color; flowers are small, collected in inflorescences, petals are of golden yellow color; fruit is a cylindrical pod, seeds with a diameter of 1-1.3 mm are reddish-brown or dark brown, less often yellow. The plant flowers in April - May, and the fruit ripen in August.
Its wild forms are common in Siberia and Central Asia, brown mustard is cultivated in India, China, Asia Minor, North Africa, Europe. India is currently the largest center of cultivation of this crop. In Russia its wild forms are common in Siberia. As a weed it grows in fields, deposits, gardens, along roads, as well as in the steppe and forest-steppe zones.
Vegetable mustard is not demanding for growing conditions, it grows even on alkaline soils, but avoids sandy and marshy acid soils. It is drought-resistant, requires a small amount of heat for germination of seeds, it is completely resistant to frost. However, still it gives the greatest yield on fertile soils after abundantly fertilized crops- potatoes, onions, cucumber, Solanaceae family, etc.
It is recommended to sow by a close-multiline belt planting (the distance between the rows is 18-20 cm, and between the belts - 45-50 cm).
This mustard is responsive to watering and feeding, especially organic. With a lack of moisture, its leaves coarsen quickly.
Of all kinds of mustard brown one is the most cold-resistant. It tolerates small frosts, and thawing without visible damage after freezing. The plant becomes wild quickly, reseeds itself, and the seeds left in the soil retain their germination for a very long time.
Application. Brown mustard is good in the role of green manure crop due to: precocity - it needs only 55 to 75 days from shoots to flowering. Like all the green manure crops, it helps to get rid of weeds, especially when potatoes are planted, as it depresses the wireworm, but also deals with slugs, pea moth; helps to drown out such serious diseases as phytophthora and potato scab. The green mass saturates the soil with organics, and in winter, covering the soil, does not allow it to freeze, that is, it works like good mulch. Thanks to a long root, it delivers useful substances to a depth, at which you can not apply manure, makes the soil damp and breathable.
Leaf mustard is one of the most important oil-bearing crops. Brown mustard oil is used in cooking, confectionery, bakery, textile, pharmaceutical and perfume industries, as well as for technical purposes.
Bees and other insects visit flowering mustard with pleasure, because it is an excellent nectariferous plant. Mustard honey has an excellent taste, has no bitterness and an expressed flavor. But since many other blossoms are blooming at the same time, in its pure form mustard honey is infrequent, it is usually included in summer polyfloral honey.