If you are looking for a leafy green vegetable to add to your garden then we got just what you need. Arugula, also known as rucola, rocket or roquette, is very popular in many cuisines around the world.
Arugula is a species of flowering plant that pertains to the Brassicaceae family, which is known for its characteristic four-petal flowers. Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable, closely related to cabbage, broccoli, and kale, this edible plant is appreciated for its aroma and health benefits.
Arugula is believed to be native to the Mediterranean region, specifically the coastal regions of the eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Turkey, and Syria. The plant has been cultivated for thousands of years and is believed to have been used by the ancient Romans and Greeks for its medicinal properties.
The vegetable is generally grown as an annual crop and is known for its peppery flavour. Arugula can be grown in a variety of climates and is commonly grown in both traditional gardens and hydroponic systems. It is generally not considered to be harmful to pets, such as cats and dogs.
In fact, arugula can provide some nutritional benefits for pets when fed in moderation. However, as with any human food, it’s important to be cautious when feeding arugula to pets and to keep in mind that each pet’s digestive system is unique.
Want to learn more about growing and caring for Arugula aka Rucola? Keep reading our article!
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|Arugula, Rucola, Rocket, Roquette
|15-30 cm (6-12 inches) tall
|Full sun, partial shade
|Well-draining, rich, loamy soil, moist
|Late spring, summer
- Arugula, also known as rocket or roquette, belongs to the species Eruca sativa, which is a plant species in the family Brassicaceae (the mustard family). This species is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely cultivated for its edible leaves, which are used in salads, sandwiches, and various other dishes. Arugula is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world and is valued for its peppery, slightly bitter flavour.
- It is believed that Arugula originated in the Mediterranean region, specifically in the area that is now known as the modern-day countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. Today, arugula is grown in many parts of the world, including Europe, North and South America, and Australia, and is widely used in many different cuisines.
- Arugula, also known as rocket or roquette, is treasured for its unique flavour and versatility in cooking. This crop has a peppery, slightly bitter taste that adds a unique dimension to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. Its flavour is often described as spicy or nutty. It is also believed that Arugula has several health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, improved digestion, and potential cancer-fighting properties.
- Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is known for its distinctive flavour and nutritional value. It draws attention with its peppery, slightly bitter taste and its rich content of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Arugula is a good source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium, as well as several beneficial plant compounds like flavonoids and glucosinolates. Additionally, arugula is low in calories and carbohydrates, making it a popular ingredient in many healthy diets.
Aragula Features: An Overview
- When planted in soil, arugula can grow up to about 60 cm tall, although it is typically harvested at a smaller size for culinary use.
- Arugula is a fast-growing plant and can reach maturity in as little as 20-40 days, depending on the variety and growing conditions.
- It prefers cool weather and grows best in well-draining soil with moderate moisture levels.
- The leaves of arugula, also known as rocket or roquette, are generally long, thin, and deeply lobed, giving them a distinctive “arrowhead” or “spiky” shape. The leaves may be somewhat rounded or more elongated, depending on the variety of arugula.
- Overall, the shape of arugula leaves can be described as being somewhat similar to the shape of dandelion leaves, but with more deeply divided lobes.
- Arugula is a member of the mustard family, and like other members of this family, it produces small, four-petaled flowers that are typically white or yellow. The flowers of arugula are usually small and inconspicuous, and they appear on long, slender stalks that emerge from the centre of the plant. While arugula is primarily grown for its leaves, the flowers are also edible and can add a mild peppery flavour to salads and other dishes.
- The aroma of the flowers is sometimes described as being slightly sweet or honey-like, with a hint of spiciness that is characteristic of the arugula plant. The scent of the flowers is not as strong as the pungent, peppery aroma of arugula leaves, but it can still be noticeable if you smell the flowers up close.
- The fragrance of the Arugula flowers can vary slightly depending on the variety of arugula, as well as the conditions in which it is grown.
Arugula is a cool-season crop that grows best in spring or fall, and it can be grown either in containers or directly in the ground. The ideal light requirements for arugula are around 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. However, arugula can tolerate some shade and can be grown in partially shaded areas where it receives at least 3 to 4 hours of direct sunlight daily.
The ideal temperature range for arugula is between 10 to 18 degrees Celsius (50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit). The plant can tolerate temperatures as low as 4 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit) and as high as 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit), but growth may slow down or become stunted outside of the ideal temperature range.
If you’re growing arugula indoors, you can use grow lights to provide the necessary light for optimal growth. Full-spectrum LED growth lights are the best option, as they provide a broad range of wavelengths that mimic natural sunlight.
Position the grow lights about 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) above the plants, and keep them on for 12 to 16 hours per day. It’s important to note that high temperatures and intense sunlight can cause arugula to bolt, which means it will send up flower stalks and become bitter. To prevent bolting, it’s best to grow arugula in the cooler months or in a location that is protected from the hot midday sun.
Also, note that soil temperature is critical for arugula seed germination. Arugula seeds germinate best when soil temperatures are between 4 to 13 degrees Celsius (40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit). If soil temperatures are too warm, germination may be delayed or prevented. You can use a soil thermometer to monitor soil temperatures and adjust your planting schedule accordingly.
In addition to providing the right amount of light, it’s important to water arugula regularly and provides it with adequate nutrition. Arugula prefers moist, well-draining soil and benefits from regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer label, as over-fertilization can lead to excessive leaf growth and a bitter flavour.
When planting Arugula be sure to create the ideal conditions for its development. Select a location with well-draining soil that receives morning sun and afternoon shade or is protected from the hot midday sun. Arugula can also be grown in containers or raised beds.
This plant prefers soil that is rich in organic matter and has a pH level between 6.0 and 7.0. Till the soil to a depth of at least 20 cm (8 inches), and incorporate compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility.
Sow arugula seeds directly in the garden or containers. Plant the seeds about ¼ to ½ inch deep, and space them about 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) apart then drag the soil over the seeds, and water gently. Water the plants regularly, and fertilize them every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer, following the instructions on the label.
Usually, arugula is relatively small and does not require repotting unless it is grown in a very small container. However, if your arugula has outgrown its current container and the roots are becoming crowded, you may need to repot it. Select a container that is at least 5 to 7 cm (2 to 3 inches) larger in diameter than the current container.
Make sure the new container has drainage holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain. Gently loosen the soil around the root ball and carefully lift the plant out of the container. If the roots are tightly packed, you may need to use a fork or small trowel to loosen them. Place the arugula in the centre of the new container and fill in the space around the root ball with potting mix. Make sure to water the plant often after repotting, and fertilize it regularly for healthy growth.
Watering arugula is an important aspect of caring for this leafy green. Arugula prefers moist, well-draining soil. Keep the soil evenly moist, but not waterlogged, by watering the plants regularly. Water deeply, so that the soil is moist to a depth of at least 15 cm. Avoid overhead watering, which can promote the development of fungal diseases.
It is best to water arugula in the morning, as this allows the leaves to dry quickly and reduces the risk of fungal diseases. If you water in the evening, the leaves may stay wet for too long, which can lead to disease. Use a watering can or hose with a gentle spray nozzle to water your arugula. A strong stream of water can dislodge the plants or damage the leaves.
- Beautiful - Large premium packet of Arugula (Eruca sativa) seeds.Arugula (also known as roquette or rocket) is a fast-growing, cool-season salad or sandwich green. Foodies adore it for its nutty, peppery flavor. Minimum of 1.5g (about 900 seeds) per packet.
- Productive - Arugula germinates in 5-10 days when soil temps are above 60°F. Plant 1/8” deep and space 6” apart in an area with full sun or partial shade. This variety will grow up to 1’ tall with a spread of 6-8”. Leaves will mature in 50-60 days, plant in USDA zones 2-11.
- Always Have Fresh Greens on Hand - Arugula is an essential ingredient for making brick oven pizza, tasty salads, and dressing up any vegetable or side dishes. Fresh arugula will make your food taste gourmet.
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- Tender, Rounded Leaves: Savor the tenderness of rounded leaves with a distinctive peppery kick, making it the perfect addition to salads. Best harvested at around 35 days for optimal flavor
- Grown in 2023 - Fresh for 2024: Our seeds boast an 85% germination rate, ensuring a bountiful harvest. Grown in 2023, they're ready to elevate your gardening experience in the upcoming season
- Versatile Planting Options: Sow seeds virtually any time of the year, but they thrive in cool weather. Start indoors or directly in your garden for flexibility. Harvest young leaves (less than 4") for the best taste and enjoy excellent re-growth properties
- Mediterranean Heritage: Make it a star in your garden! Discover the true essence of Arugula, a herbaceous delight originating from the wild Mediterranean region. Known by various names like rocket, rugula, and rucola, it's a staple in salads worldwide
Last update on 2024-01-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
During hot, dry weather, you may need to water your arugula more frequently to keep the soil moist. In cooler weather or periods of rain, you may need to water less frequently. Make sure you don’t let the soil dry out completely because these plants can become stressed and may bolt or produce bitter leaves if the soil is too dry. Monitor the soil moisture level regularly and water as needed.
Arugula can be propagated using several methods, including seed propagation, stem-cutting propagation, and root division. We will discuss each of these methods and showcase the best one.
Propagating Arugula through Seeds
The most common and easiest way to propagate arugula is by seed propagation because these plants produce a large number of seeds and the seeds are easy to collect and sow. Additionally, arugula seeds have a high germination rate, meaning they are likely to sprout and grow into healthy plants. Seed propagation also requires less maintenance than other propagation methods. Once the seeds are sown in the soil, they require only regular watering and protection from pests and diseases.
Propagating Arugula through Stem-cutting
In contrast, stem-cutting propagation and root division require more care and attention, such as ensuring the cuttings or divided roots are kept moist and protected until they develop roots and can support themselves. Furthermore, seed propagation allows for greater variety in the type of arugula grown. There are many different varieties of arugula, and starting from seed allows gardeners to select the specific variety they want to grow.
Stem-cutting propagation can be a viable method for propagating arugula, but it is not as commonly used as seed propagation for several reasons. Firstly, arugula plants do not propagate readily from stem cuttings as they do not have a high success rate compared to seed propagation.
This is because arugula cuttings can be difficult to root and establish, and it can take several weeks before they develop roots and start to grow. Additionally, not all arugula plants are suitable for stem-cutting propagation, as some plants may not produce enough healthy shoots for cuttings.
Secondly, stem-cutting propagation requires more attention and care than seed propagation. The cuttings must be taken from healthy, mature plants and need to be kept moist and protected from pests and disease until they develop roots and can support themselves. Keep in mind that the resulting plants from stem-cutting propagation may not be as uniform as those propagated from seeds. This is because the cuttings may have slightly different genetics and growth patterns than the parent plant, leading to variations in leaf size, shape, and flavour.
Propagating Arugula through Root Division
Last but not least, we’re going to talk about root division. Note that arugula plants do not produce extensive root systems, making it difficult to divide the root system and still have a viable plant. This means that root division can be challenging, and it may not yield as many viable plants as seed propagation.
Root division can actually be detrimental to the parent plant. Dividing the root system of an arugula plant can cause stress to the plant and may affect its growth and yield. Additionally, not all arugula plants are suitable for root division, as some may not have strong and healthy enough root systems to support division. Compared to seed propagation, this method also requires more attention and care. The roots of the parent plant must be carefully separated and divided, and the resulting plants need to be kept moist and protected from pests and disease until they are established.
After discussing the pros and cons of these three propagation methods we have concluded that seed propagation is the easiest and most reliable method for propagating arugula with a high success rate.
Arugula Pests and Diseases
Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is relatively hardy and resistant to pests and diseases. However, like all plants, it can still be affected by a few common pests and diseases that can impact its growth and yield.
Flea Beetles are small and shiny pests that can quickly destroy young arugula plants by eating small holes in the leaves. They tend to be most active in the early spring and can be particularly damaging to seedlings. To prevent flea beetles, cover the plants with floating row covers or use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Aphids are also a problem. They are small, soft-bodied insects that can congregate on the undersides of arugula leaves and suck the sap from the plant, causing the leaves to curl and deform. They can also attract other pests, like ants and ladybugs. To control aphids, spray the plants with a strong stream of water or use an insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Next on our pests list are cabbage loopers. These small, green caterpillars can chew large holes in the leaves of arugula plants, and can quickly defoliate the entire plant. They tend to be most active in the summer and fall and can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Last but not least, are cutworms. These caterpillars can cut through the stems of young arugula plants, causing them to wilt and die. They tend to be most active at night and can be controlled by placing a collar of cardboard or plastic around the base of the plants, or by using a biological control like Bacillus thuringiensis.
In terms of diseases we have clubroot, downy mildew, white rust, and Alternaria leaf spot, but let’s talk about each of these separately to have a better understanding of how to prevent them.
Clubroot is a soil-borne disease that can cause stunted growth and yellowing leaves in arugula plants. It is caused by a fungus that infects the roots of the plant and can survive in the soil for several years. To prevent clubroot, rotate crops, avoid planting in soil that has previously had clubroot, and practice good sanitation by removing and disposing of any infected plants.
Downy mildew is a fungal disease that can cause the yellowing and wilting of arugula leaves and can be particularly damaging in wet, humid conditions. It is caused by a fungus-like organism that thrives in moist conditions and can be spread by wind or water. To prevent downy mildew, avoid overwatering and improve air circulation around the plants.
White rust is another fungal disease that can cause white blisters on the leaves and stems of arugula plants and can lead to reduced growth and yield. To prevent white rust, practice good sanitation by removing and disposing of any infected plants, and avoid planting in areas where the disease has previously been present.
The last disease on our list is Alternaria leaf spot classified as a fungal disease that can cause small, dark spots on the leaves of arugula plants, which can quickly grow and merge together, causing the leaves to turn yellow and die. Just like for downy mildew, we recommend you to avoid overhead watering and improve air circulation around the plants as a highly effective prevention method.
By taking into consideration these preventive measures and promptly addressing any pest or disease issues, you can help ensure a healthy and productive crop of arugula. This includes practising good sanitation, rotating crops, and using organic methods like insecticidal soaps and neem oil to control pests. Additionally, you should pay close attention to the weather conditions and adjust their watering and care practices accordingly.
Growing and caring for arugula can be a rewarding experience for both novice and experienced gardeners. With its peppery flavour and versatility in the kitchen, arugula has become a popular choice for many home gardeners.
Growing arugula is a rewarding experience but it’s important to remember that proper care and maintenance are essential for growing a healthy and productive arugula plant. An important aspect that you must consider when growing this plant is choosing the right location with the appropriate light and temperature. To grow healthy plants, make sure you water them properly and address any potential pest or disease issues.
Whether growing arugula in a garden plot, raised bed, or container, the key is to stay attentive and adaptable to the specific needs of the plant. By following the tips and techniques discussed in this guide, gardeners can successfully grow and enjoy their own fresh, flavorful arugula harvest.
Are you growing Arugula in your garden? Let us know in the comment section!