Growing and Saving the Seed Of Arugula
Common arugula is Latin name Eruca sativa. Wild rocket arugula is Latin name Diplotaxis tenufolia. Also known as rocket or rucola, arugula is an annual member of the brassica, or cabbage, family. This quick-maturing leafy green thrives in cool weather and can be sown in multiple successions throughout the year. Arugula is a favorite cut-and-come-again green of the local foods movement. Many small- to medium-size farms plant arugula as a cold weather-loving green, and it is very well suited to greenhouse production.
Native to the Mediterranean and especially beloved in Italian cuisine. Known as rucola in Italy and rocket in the U.K. This leafy green was most popular among Italian immigrants until recent decades as the local foods movement adopted it as an easy-to-grow farmers market staple.
- Salads, pizza, stir fries
- An excellent cut-and-come-again green
- Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked in spring and succession sow every 2-3 weeks until about last expect frost date.
- Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and in close bands 1-2 inches apart, if growing for baby greens.
- For mature, full-sized harvest, thin seedlings to 6 inches apart (and don't forget to eat the thinnings!).
- Ideal germination temperature is 40-55 F.
- Seeds will germinate in 5-7 days.
- Prefers full sun to part shade.
- Adapted to a range of soils, including poor soil. Harvest baby greens in as few as 25 days and mature plants in 40.
- Cut leaves above the plant's base for multiple harvests. Don't forget to eat the spicy, pungent flowers -- they are a delicacy!
- Flea beetles are a common pest for arugula. If you expect this to be a problem, cover the freshly planted arugula patch with a floating row cover to exclude the flea beetles. Flea beetles can also be controlled with neem oil or diatomaceous earth.
- Annual. Arugula is insect pollinated and will cross with other varieties you have planted within a 1/2 mile distance. Be sure to isolate each individual variety you plan to save by up to 1/2 mile to prevent any chance of cross pollinating.
- Seed saving is easy.
- Allow plants to flower and pods to turn brown, cut the stalks and sun dry until seeds are hard.
- Rub seeds from their pods and store in a cool, dark, dry place.