Mibuna is an easy to grow and highly productive 'cut and come again' salad leaf, making it a very worthwhile inclusion in any veg plot or windowbox.
It has a mild peppery flavour much the same as it's more famous cousin Mizuna, but I find Mibuna stands up better to the winter frosts and snow - as you can see in the picture!
Time from seed to plate: 4 weeks
The main sowing period for mibuna is July to September, although you can sneak some in in March or April for an early harvest before the flea beetles arrive in June to put holes in the leaves, and the summer heat encourages it to run up to seed.
Sow Mibuna by creating a shallow groove across your bed and sprinkling in seeds to leave one every one to two inches. Firm the soil back and water well. Leave 12 inches between rows.
If we're short of space, or want to get the plants off to a quick start we sow our seeds in gutters filled with compost. Thin them to leave 3 inches between plants, then about four weeks after sowing plant them out individually in your plot, leaving 6 inches between plants and 12 inches between rows. Have a look at the video.
Thin your seedlings to leave one plant every 6in or so, to ensure the plants have space to bulk out.
Keep an eye out for caterpillars and pick them off by hand.
Mibuna leaves grow to 8in, but they're at their best when they're half this size.
In warmer months when the plants are growing fast, pick by chopping everything off to leave behind a stump 2 inches above ground. This will quickly produce a fresh crop of leaves.
In the winter when it's growing more slowly, it pays to be a little gentler. 'Pick round' by pulling off the outside leaves, letting the centre ones carry on growing uncut.
Like all salad leaves, immerse the leaves in cold water for five minutes after picking to plump them up and give them longer fridge life.