Arugula is a fast growing, cool green season. Perfect for early spring gardens and great for extending the season to fall.
Arugula goes by many common names that apply to about 20 green species.
Almost all of them belong to the Brassicaceae or stalk crops .
The two types most commonly grown for culinary purposes are’Wild Arugula’ ( Diplotaxisx ), spicy, versatile and tamer version of’Cultivated Arugula’ ( Eruca vesicaria ).
The cultivated arugula has white flowers and oval leaves, often with wavy serrations.
Wild arugula has yellow flowers and smooth or serrated leaves. It is heat-resistant, with a stronger smell and stronger scent than cultivated rockets.
There are several types of the genus Diplotaxis. It is labeled Wild Rocket, Wall Rocket, Rucola Selvatica or Arugula Sylvetta.
Two of the most commonly bred wild allows are:
- Diplotaxisx tenuifolia -very strong, smooth green with badly serrated teeth.
- Diplotaxisx integrifolia -Traditional Italian, also known as’Olive Leaf’. It has a smooth, elongated, pale green leaf and a less spicy taste.
Arugula is one of the vegetables that people like or hate. It tends to smell and taste musky, which can smoke some people while others find a very refreshing bite pepper.
If you don’t like Arugula, don’t think it’s bad. You are in a good company.
Julia Child hated it.
As long as the temperature stays cool, the whole sun is the best exposure.
Arugula is annual . When the temperature rises,it encourages germination within the seed.
Mature plant size
Height: 6 to 12 inches (flower stems can reach 2 to 3 feet) Spread: 12 to 18 inches
You can start harvesting Seedlings after 21 days. For large heads, most varieties take about 40 days .
Soil: pH of neutral soil between 6.0 and 6.8
. But Arugula will grow almost anywhere.
Arugula grows quickly, in soils rich in organic matter,which will help it produce many leaves.
Sowing : You can find seedlings of arugula, but it usually starts from the seeds.
You can start seeding indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost day, but arugula seeds can handle chilly soil, and you need to wait for seeds 1-2 weeks before the last frost day .
You can begin a new batch every two weeks to extend the harvest period and take advantage of the short season.
You can also grow this plant as a microgreen see out other post dedicated to microgreens..
Gardeners above USDA Zones 8 will have better luck with sowing autumn plants for winter sowing.
Even a seasonal gardener can start late summer seeds and harvest them until frost.
The seeds are small, so they should barely be covered with dirt. Sprinkle them on dilute soil or potting mix and press firmly. Then apply more dirt to keep it moist.
They need to germinate within 2 weeks.
Arugula has a shallow root and is good choice for growing in containers .
You have better control over the sun exposure in the container, but it dries out faster.
The biggest maintenance task is to keep your arugula well watered.
Regular watering prevents plants from breaking down too quickly.
If you are surprised by a sudden heat wave, try to shade the plant .
Later, plants can be planted in the shade of taller plants, such as tomatoes and beans.
Many arugula varieties are self-sterile and require insects for cross pollination.
They do not cross with other varieties so you can save the seeds for planting next season.
Pests and problems
Being Brassica, arugula has a number of pests that love it.
Luckily it has a short growing season
Slugs cause the most damage in the garden, but you need to look for eggs from cabbage worms, cabbage loopers, diamondback moths, aphids and flea beetles.
Harvest and use
Young leaves can start harvesting about 3 inches long.
Harvest a few outer leaves and cut them again to make them diverse and allow the rose to continue growing.
Mature plants can be harvested just above the soil line. Depending on the weather, you can refill and refill the sprout.
Once a plant sends a flower stalk, the leaves tend to be bitter.
Don’t be too fast to get the plant out. Flowers pack a lot of fragrance without the heat of the leaves.
Young leaves are very tender and eat well fresh in salads or sandwiches
. Old leaves are also very fresh, making them a good addition to stir-fries, egg dishes or soups.
Fragile flowers can be thrown over salads or soups, sprinkled on sandwiches or added to drinks.
- ‘Astro II’-another mild arugula that matures early. (35 to 38 days)
- Olive Leaf aka’Rucola Selvatica Foglia Di Oliva-wild Italian food. It has an intense taste, but it is not overpowering. (45-50 days)
- ‘Sylvetta’ -has narrow, spicy leaves. Volt slowly. (45-50 days)