Why 15 reasons? Because we think the proven benefits are so great, that we couldn’t stop at 10. Here’s why our mustards are mighty:
1. Suppresses weeds & soilborne pathogens
Mighty Mustard® contains high levels of glucosinolates, natural chemical agents that make certain members of the brassica family spicy. Mighty Mustard’s® glucosinolates deliver a deadly punch to many soilborne pathogens and weeds, making them an effective, all-natural alternative to chemical herbicides. Mighty Mustard® is also a fast-growing cover crop that quickly crowds out weeds. Mighty Mustard® has been found to suppress sclerotinia, Verticillium wilt, rhizoctonia, fusarium, and apahanamyces. In fact, the chemical makeup of Mighty Mustard’s® glucosinolates is similar to many synthethic commercial treatments, including the fungicide metam sodium.
2. Reduces insects
The all-natural glucosinolates in Mighty Mustard® are the basis for many commercial pesticides, including Vapam and Vorlex. Our mustards will not totally eliminate insects, as do some chemical treatments. But unlike chemicals, Mighty Mustard® provides multiple benefits while improving soil health. Please note that flea leaf beetles and cabbage aphids are attracted to Mighty Mustard® plants. This may be good news for organic growers, as new research is uncovering Pacific Gold’s success as a trap crop for the crucifer flea beetle. To learn more about this research, please visit our News page.
3. Increases organic matter
Mighty Mustard® is a fast-growing cover crop, with plant heights reaching up to 6 feet. Once you incorporate the above-ground plant material, or biomass, into your soil, the new organic matter will break down, supporting beneficial fungus and bacteria. According to our agronomist, every 1 percent of organic matter in the soil converts to 20 pounds of nitrogen.
4. Recycles & redistributes nitrogen in the soil profile
Mighty Mustard® taproots can grow 2 to 6 feet, depending on the growing conditions. These taproots pull nitrogen from deep in the soil profile, and push it up into the plant's leaves. When you incorporate chopped Mighty Mustard® into the soil, you then redistribute the nitrogen to the top two feet of soil, making it readily accessible to the roots of your fruits, vegetables and other crops.
5. Reduces wind & water erosion
During its growth cycle, the mustard’s root structure breaks the hardpan in soil, creating new pathways for water and the root expansion of future crops. Mighty Mustard’s® taproots, which can range from 2 to 6 feet in length, improve tilth and water infiltration, thereby reducing wind and water erosion.
6. Improves the long-term health of soil
When you grow Mighty Mustard®, you add organic matter to your soil, as well as improve tilth, reduce wind & water erosion, and eliminate or reduce the use of toxic chemicals. You’re actually adding new life to your soil, feeding the beneficial microorganisms that support healthy soil. All of Mighty Mustard’s® benefits are cumulative, so the more often you grow it, the healthier your soil becomes.
7. Sequesters carbon
Like all plants, Mighty Mustard® pulls carbon dioxide from the air into the soil. But our mustards go a bit farther. They help reduce or eliminate the need for petroleum-based chemical soil amendments. Mighty Mustard® also helps hold soil and water in the field, thereby reducing erosion.
8. Verified Non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project:
Mighty Mustard® has undergone third-party evaluation and is verified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project. Learn more about The Non-GMO Project here: http://www.nongmoproject.org/
9. Non-toxic and safe to use around children & pets
Mighty Mustard® is non-toxic, untreated planting seed. However, due to its extreme spiciness, children and pets SHOULD NOT eat the mustard seeds or plants, or rub their eyes after touching the mustard seeds or plants.
10. Safe for organic and sustainable farms & gardens
Mighty Mustard® is not certified organic, but many certified organic growers petition to grow it. Why? Because to our knowledge, there are no organic mustard cover crops with comparable glucosinolate levels to Kodiak, IdaGold or Pacific Gold.
11. Backed by over 20 years of university research
Mighty Mustard® Kodiak, IdaGold and Pacific Gold were developed by Dr. Jack Brown, Professor of Breeding and Genetics at the University of Idaho. The research team at the University of Idaho’s Soil Biochemistry & Environmental Organic Chemistry, led by Dr. Matthew Morra, has conducted biofumigation research with rapeseed and mustard plants since 1988. For more information, visit http://soils.cals.uidaho.edu/mmorra/projects/bio.htm
Other university research includes:
12. Grown sustainably by a family of farmers in the Pacific Northwest:
Mighty Mustard® is grown by a family of farmers, Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative, based in Genesee, Idaho. Our farmers take pride in nurturing and protecting their land through sustainable farming practices.
13. Plant-variety-protected, certified planting seed:
All Mighty Mustard® Kodiak, Pacific Gold and IdaGold planting seed is certified and PVP, so you know exactly what you’re buying: all-natural, high-glucosinolate, non-GMO, 99% pure planting seed.
14. All-natural alternative to toxic chemicals:
The only ingredient in Mighty Mustard® is mustard. No man-made toxins that will harm you, your children or pets. Granted, our mustards aren’t as effective as chemicals, and they require more work. But if you were interested in shortcuts, you wouldn’t be reading this, would you?
15. Suitable for no-till farming
If you’re interested in no-till or reduced till agriculture, Mighty Mustard® cover crops can still benefit your soil, although it will slow the availability of recycled nitrogen. Sustainable wheat growers in the Pacific Northwest direct seed wheat into the stalks of harvested mustard plants with great success. The Rodale Institute is experimenting with Mighty Mustard® in a no-till, roller-crimping system. You can learn more about their research here: http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/no-till_revolution
"We were really pleased!"
"The mustard was easy (relative to other cover crops) to till in with our under-powered tiller. We were really pleased with the mustard. It came up really well and did a great job smothering out weeds."
- Emily LeVine, all natural grower and owner of Red Wheelbarrow Produce