Sarson ka Saag is a popular dish in India and tastes best when made from a fresh harvest. Let’s have a look at how to grow it!
Sarson ka Saag in English is popular as Mustard Greens in India. From culinary to medicinal and industrial uses, mustard is an essential part of Indian food, and its oil is also used in traditional medicine for various health benefits.
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Sarson ka Saag Information
“Sarso” is the Hindi name for mustard, a plant species in the Brassicaceae family. Sarson ka Saag is a cool-season crop commonly grown in India, particularly in the northern states like Punjab. It is a versatile plant that can be used for various purposes, including culinary, medicinal, and industrial.
Mustard seeds are used as a spice in Indian cuisine, particularly in preparing pickles, chutneys, and spice blends like garam masala.
Mustard oil, extracted from the seeds, is also commonly used in cooking in northern India. The leaves of the mustard plant are used to make a popular Punjabi dish called “Sarson ka Saag,” which is usually served with makki ki roti (cornbread).
Botanical Name: Brassica juncea
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How to Grow Sarson ka Saag?
You can quickly grow Sarson ka Saag from seeds. Get some healthy seeds from the nursery, and then follow these steps:
- Sow Sarson ka Saag seeds directly into the soil by planting them in rows. Cover the seeds with the growing medium and press down lightly.
- Water the seeds immediately after planting to help them settle into the soil. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
- Once the plants start growing, thin them out to a 30-40 cm spacing between each plant.
- Mustard plants usually take about 40-50 days to mature. Cut the leaves off the plant about 1 inch above the ground. Harvest the leaves when young and tender, as older leaves are harsh and bitter.
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Requirements to Grow Sarson ka Saag
Sarson ka Saag requires at least 6 hours of sunlight daily to grow and yield well. Refrain from choosing a spot that gets shade for the most part of the day. Also, if the spot gets dappled light, then the mustard greens will not grow as well as you expect them to be.
Mustard greens require well-draining and slightly acidic soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. The growing medium should also be high in organic matter and rich in nutrients.
You can also add mulch to help the soil retain moisture and suppress weeds.
Sarson ka Saag needs about 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week. Water mustard greens deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
In hot weather and during periods of rapid growth, the plants may need more water, up to 2 inches per week. To ensure the mustard greens receive an even amount of water, use a soaker hose or drip irrigation system.
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Sarson ka Saag Care
Sarson ka Saag is relatively easy to grow and requires very little fertilizer for optimal growth.
A balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is best for mustard greens. Go for a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 blend and use it once in 3-5 weeks.
If the soil is rich in organic matter, additional fertilizer may not be necessary.
Side-dressing the plant with compost and mulching the soil will also help to keep the soil fertile and provide necessary nutrients to the plants.
Pests and Diseases
- Start with healthy seedlings or seeds: Choose high-quality Sarson ka Saag seeds or seedlings from a reliable source. Avoid buying seedlings or seeds that are discolored, wilted, or have visible signs of disease or pest damage.
- Practice crop rotation: Crop rotation is an important part of preventing the buildup of pests and diseases in the soil. Plant Sarson ka Saag in a different area of your garden each season.
- Remove weeds and debris: Make sure to remove any weeds or debris from the garden before planting. This will help reduce the chances of diseases and pests taking hold.
- Water properly: Overwatering can create a favorable environment for pests and diseases. Be sure to water your mustard greens only when the soil is dry to the touch.
- Monitor for pests and diseases: Inspect your mustard greens on a regular basis for signs of pests or diseases. If you spot anything, take immediate action to address the problem.
- Use natural pest and disease control: If you do spot pests or diseases, you can use natural methods to control them. These include companion planting, applying organic pesticides, and using homemade remedies.
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Harvesting Sarson ka Saag
Harvesting mustard greens is a straightforward process. The best time to harvest is when the plants are approximately four to six inches tall.
To harvest, simply cut the leaves off the plant close to the base with a pair of garden shears or a sharp knife. If you are harvesting to use as a cooked green, you may want to wait until the leaves are larger.
The leaves will taste best if harvested before the plant bolts (goes to seed), so it is best to harvest often to keep the plant producing.
Health Benefits of Sarson ka Saag
- High in Nutrients: Mustard greens are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, A, C, and E, calcium, manganese, folate, and dietary fiber.
- Low in Calories: Mustard greens are incredibly low in calories and fat, making them an ideal food for weight loss.
- May Improve Heart Health: The high levels of dietary fiber and vitamin K in Sarson ka Saag may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
- May Help Fight Cancer: Mustard greens are rich in antioxidants, which may help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
- Improves Digestive Health: The high levels of dietary fiber in mustard greens may help to promote digestive health and help to prevent constipation and other digestive issues.