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How to Grow Tatsoi Mustard a Very Nutritious Microgreen

In this article, you will learn how to grow tatsoi microgreens indoors to add another nutritious and flavorful green to your salads, stir-fries, tacos, and Asian dishes. In as few as 8 days, you can harvest these dark green microgreens even in low-light conditions. 

What is Tatsoi Mustard

Tatsoi is a leafy green in the huge Brassica family. Not only is Tatsoi known by many names, but it also has many varieties, sub-species, or variants of Brassica rapa. 

Some of the common names are:

  • tat soy
  • tat soi
  • spoon mustard
  • spinach mustard
  • broadbeak mustard
  • rosette bok choy

Tatsoi is a mustard but often is lumped in with Chinese cabbage.

tatsoi in garden

Note: Did you know that cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc., are also mustards? Yeah, the Brassica Family is messed up.

Tatsoi Mustard comes from China and has gained tradition as a tender culinary herb worldwide. For us northern garden growers, Tatsoi Mustard is cold-hardy, but in the summer, it is fodder for flea beetles. 

At maturity, Tatsoi grows spoon-shaped leaves in a tight low spiral pattern. Some people say that raw tatsoi has a sweet and nutty flavor. I get the nutty part, but to me, it has a bit of a bite, and I wouldn’t call it sweet. 

Mature tatsoi leaves are often used as a wrap because of the spoon-shaped leaves.

spoon shaped tatsoi leaves

But here we are talking about growing microgreens. I will say that Tatsoi might be one of the greens that I will grow to baby leaf size later this year. Stay tuned.

Tatsoi is very nutritious, and I will touch on the benefits of eating tatsoi microgreens later in the article. 

But let’s get to growing tatsoi as a microgreen. 

How to Grow Tatsoi Mustard as a Microgreen

There are many varieties of tatsoi. The variety isn’t important when growing microgreens because most differences between varieties do not show until the plant nears maturity.

So look for the least expensive seed, and don’t worry about the variety. 

Is Tatsoi Mustard Easy to Grow?

Tatsoi is one of the easiest microgreens to grow. Sowing the seed and eating tatsoi microgreens within a week is possible!

Let’s get started. 

Tatsoi Mustard Microgreen Seed

As mentioned, the variety doesn’t matter when growing microgreens. I recommend using 2 grams of Tatsoil seed when planting the Home Microgreens Tray.

This comes out to 5.3 grams for a 1010 tray and 11 to 12 grams for a 1020 tray. This works out to a little more than ½ teaspoon for a Home Microgreens tray and 1.5 and a little more than 3 teaspoons for 1010 and 1020 trays, respectively.

Tatsoi mustard microgreen seed is very inexpensive.

Preparing the Planting Tray for Tatsoi Microgreens

At Home Microgreens, we believe a good potting mix is the best media for growing tatsoi and for that matter all microgreens. However, tatsoi seeds can be grown on any of the popular grow mats. 

Spread the soil even with the top of the planting tray and tamp it to smooth and level. 

Pre-moisten the soil surface but do not saturate the potting mix.

growing radish microgreens spraying the soil

Tatsoi seeds (any microgreen seed) do not need moisture at the bottom of the tray at this stage. The extra water and moisture can only cause problems. 

Only wet the upper ⅓ (or less) of the soil profile. 

Sowing Tatsoi Mustard Seeds

I like to use a shaker jar or spouted measuring cup when planting microgreen seeds—especially small seeds like Tatsoi. 

You have more control of the seeds. I’ve seen videos where people dump the seed in the palm of their hand and then use their fingers to spread the seed. I think you will find the jar or cup method to work much better. 

Once the seeds are spread on the media as evenly as possible, gently spray or mist them with water to wet the surface and help them settle into the soil or grow media.

planting tatsoi mustard seeds

Tatsoi Blackout Period – Germination

The best way to germinate tatsoi seed is to use the weighted blackout method. This link will take you to an article explaining how and why the weighted blackout method works. 

As usual, I use 2-½ pounds for the Home Microgreens tray, 5 pounds for 1010 trays, and 10 to 15 pounds for 1020 trays. 

how to germinate microgreens using the buried blackout method

Tatsoi will take 24 to 48 hours to germinate, but I leave them in the weighted blackout for 3 to 4 days, depending on the room’s temperature.

The seeds and young plants will not need water, so it is best to leave them for 3 days. Check them on day 3, and if they look like the tatsoi in the photo below, they are NOT ready to come out of the blackout. 

Below, the tatsoi microgreens have started to germinate, but are not ready to go under the lights. The photo is taken 2 days after planting. The white are root hairs and not mold.

tatsoi microgreens not ready for the lights

Place Your Young Tatsoi Microgreens Under Lights

The tatsoi microgreens in the photo below is ready to be removed from the blackout and it’s time to place them under lights. Notice how the root hairs are gone and most of the seed hulls are off the seed leaves.

tatsoi microgreens time for lights

Tatsoi will grow better under LED shop or grow lights but will do okay in a sunny window. Tatsoi microgreens are less light tolerant than most other microgreens. As mentioned, they are better under lights, but these microgreens will do alright in less-than-ideal conditions if that isn’t possible. Albeit they will take a longer time to reach harvest height. 

led lights for microgreens

Now Is the Time to Water

As you place your tray of microgreens in the light, now is the time for their first watering. 

It is best if you bottom water. By bottom water, I mean don’t spray any water on the microgreens. Place the planting tray in the same size or large tray (obviously no holes) and let the soil media absorb the water and wick up to the shallow plant roots.

Here is where I think using soil is better than grow pads as there is an awkward period where you don’t know if the plant roots are in the water, getting enough water, or if you should mist plants on hemp, coconut coir pads, stainless steel or some other type of screen.

That is my option, but I’ve never seen microgreens grown on any other substrate grow better. 

Anyway, now is the time to add water to the watering tray. In the article linked below, I go over how much water, what kind of water, and how often you should water your microgreens. 

growing radish microgreens watering

How to Water Microgreens

Long story short, water only when the tray of microgreens becomes as light in your hands as they are right now. When they weigh more, they likely have enough moisture to grow.

Too much water in the soil is the same as too much water in the atmosphere. Something bad is going to happen. Bottom watering also reduces the probability of mold issues as the mold spores will have no moisture to grow on the surface of the soil and plants. 

The watering article and this article on mold and disease explain it all. 

Growing Your Tatsoi Mustard Microgreens Up to Harvest

All there is to do is watch them grow. Because they grow so quickly, you will most only have to water them when they come out of the blackout and once more.

Keep them under the lights for 15 to 16 hours per day in a room between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and you will be eating tatsoi mustard microgreens in 7 or 8 days from planting. 

Notice how fast microgreens green up in only one day under the lights. They go from yellow to green so quickly.

one day under the lights and tatsoi microgreens are bright green

In only 4 more days the microgreens are ready to harvest! This tray took 8 days from planting to harvest!

tatsoi mustard microgreens ready for harvest

Harvesting Tatsoi Microgreens

When your tatsoi microgreens have reached a good 3-½ to 4 inches tall, you can harvest them. You can also grow them on if you like.

Tatsoi can be grown to the baby leaf stage indoors if you wish. Of course, these are planted much too dense, so if you want them to grow bigger, you will need to cut down on the seeding rate.

I will have an article on growing tatsoi to the baby leaf stage in the future. Be sure to grab a copy of the Home Microgreens Quick Grow Guide and stay subscribed to be alerted when new articles are published. 

Because tatsoi can grow larger and still have good flavor and texture, there is no hurry to harvest all of your tatsoi at once. You can harvest what you need and allow the rest to continue growing. 

Use scissors or a sharp knife to cut the microgreen stems near the base. You can see how I harvest microgreens with scissors in this video. Even though the microgreens in the video are Red Acre Cabbage the process is the same.

I am not sure if Tatsoi Microgreens will continue to grow after harvesting them. I have not tried, but I have a feeling they might. Probably not as well as the first growth. I will have to test this and update the article. I have always harvested and composted the soil.

Tatsoi Mustard Nutrition

According to Heal with Foods, tatsoi, in its various forms, contains the following nutrients in 100 grams. 

  • 9,900 international units of vitamin A (over 100 percent DV)
  • 0.06 milligrams vitamin B1 thiamin (5 percent DV)
  • 0.09 milligrams of vitamin B2 (5 percent DV)
  • 0.15 milligrams of vitamin B6 (8 percent DV)
  • 159 micrograms of vitamin B9 folate (40 percent DV)
  • 130 milligrams of vitamin C (0ver 100 percent DV)
  • 210 milligrams of calcium (21 percent DV)
  • 1.5 milligrams iron (8 percent DV)
  • 11 milligrams magnesium (3 percent DV)
  • 449 milligrams potassium (13 percent DV)

Like other Brassica vegetables, tatsoi contains a sulfur-rich compound called sulforaphane associated with many health benefits.

Health Benefits of Tatsoi

Vitamin A helps maintain strong bones, healthy skin, and a strong immune system. It’s also great at protecting your vision and has been shown to help in the prevention of macular degeneration.

By weight, Tatsoi contains more vitamin C than oranges, papaya, and spinach. Research shows that vitamin C may be associated with a lower risk of many chronic conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. 

Vitamin B9 or Folate promotes brain, heart, and bone health. Studies indicate folate may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and boost brain function for elderly adults experiencing cognitive decline.

Tatsoi also Includes Glucosinolates

Glucosinolates are compounds that give greens their bitter taste, and research has linked them to protective benefits against heart disease and some cancers, including breast, kidney, and esophageal cancers.

Risks and Side Effects of Tatsoi

Tatsoi contains goitrogens, chemicals that may interfere with the production of thyroid hormones. If you have thyroid issues, speak to your doctor before adding Asian greens to your diet. However, a typical raw serving of tatsoi does not include enough goitrogens to affect thyroid function. 

Cooking does inactivate the specific enzyme that converts the progoitrin in tatsoi to goitrin, so consuming cooked tatsoi in moderation as part of a healthy diet is unlikely to have any effect. As with any food, moderation, and variety is better than eating large amounts of any one type of food. 

Additionally, people who take blood thinners like Warfarin are advised to watch their intake of leafy green vegetables due to their vitamin K content.

Check with your doctor, but if you’re taking blood thinners, it doesn’t mean you must avoid tatsoi or leafy greens altogether. Only eat it in smaller portions. 

How to Use Tatsoi Microgreens

You can use tatsoi in the same ways you use spinach, arugula, and mustard greens. It goes well in salads and as a side in seafood or meat dishes.

It has a mild earthy flavor with peppery, mustardy notes, so it pairs well with sweet ingredients like apples and citrus fruits. They awesome in spring rools!

spring rolls with microgreens

The greens have a pleasant buttery texture when added to stir-fries and cooked with vegetables.

When eaten raw, they offer a nice crunch.

Tatsoi has a pleasant buttery texture when sautéed, steamed, or fried with savory foods such as scrambled eggs, soy sauce, sesame oil, or with tofu in soups.

microgreens included in soup

Chefs say that tatsoi mustard’s nutty flavor pairs well and compliments seafood and pasta recipes.

I don’t get so fancy. I use tatsoi microgreens in salads and egg dishes. I add larger tatsoi and bok choi leaves to one of my favorite dishes, Moo Goo Gai Pan. Let me know if you want the recipe; maybe I will try to make up my own recipe video.

Tatsoi microgreens are good microgreens to grow because the seeds are inexpensive, always in stock, grow quickly, require little care and light, and have a lot of flavors plus all of the vitamins, minerals, and health benefits.

You should give Tatsoi Mustard microgreens a try they are quick to grow, nutritious, and very flavorful! The Home Microgreens Store has several size packets and bags of Tatsio Seed, give a small packet a try to see if you like them. If you do, come back for a larger bag!

You might also like Bok Choy or Wasabina Mustard.

Checkout the Home Microgreens Store, besides great deals on seed we all sell all the supplies and equipment you need to grow microgreens at home.

Any Stock Photos come from: depositphotos.com

Author

  • Todd

    Todd is the founder of Home Microgreens & the Home Microgreens store. He also writes for several other websites, including MyViewFromTheWoods.com. Todd worked at a large farm market, garden & nursery center for 20 years. Somehow he snuck off to become a geologist and professor before coming back to his senses to write & lecture about microgreens and gardening. When not at the computer, he can be found in the garden, trout stream, or mountain trail with his new Springer Spaniel Caden.

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