How to grow arugula

How to grow arugula

Grow arugula at home, rocket aka arugula is a herb that originated in the Mediterranean region. Often eaten as a leafy green, it is a self-seeding annual. Usually planted in the spring or fall. As a hardy cool season crop, this herb can even withstand a frost or two. Like many herbs from this region arugula has a fun history. Popular in Roman and Egyptian time as a aphrodisiac. It was even mentioned by the poet Virgil. In the 16th century colonists introduced arugula to the new world, it didn’t become popular until the 90s. Arugula is a nutrient-rich, fast growing herbaceous plant that is great for beginners to advanced gardeners.
Plant and Go
Botanical name: Erica Sativa
Depth: ¼ - ½" Spacing: 1 ¼" Row: 10" Temp: 45-75F
Germ: 5-7 days Sun: 6 hrs/ full/partial pH: 6.5-7.0 Harvest: 30-45 days
Soil: Well drained Container: Min 12x12  Fertilizer: 10-10-10  Fert Freq: 2-4 wks
Water: 1-2in.   Mature Height: 12-18"



If you're looking for a great companion plant to grow with your arugula, try spinach. Arugula can tolerate a wide variety of weather conditions depending on variety. Seeds can germinate in temperatures as low as 40 F. Some folks direct sow as soon as the ground is workable. Find a spot that gets a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. This herb can even grow in partial sun but not that well. Sow in spring, late summer, early fall depending on your area. It’s considered drought tolerant, 1-2 inches of water a week is recommended. Adjust watering schedule if using container or fiber pots they don’t retain water well. Make sure your container or garden is well drained. When choosing a location it’s also recommended to not plant in recent places as other brassica or mustard family plants. There is a higher chance of pest and disease if you do. Seeds are sown ¼ inches deep or just lightly cover, they need sunlight to germinate. Space bunches about a inch apart and rows 10 inches apart. To make things interesting considered adding spinach, lettuce and into the same growing space. Seeds take about 5-7 days to germinate, plants are mature around days 30-45. Once seedlings have one set of true leaves its time to thin. Start small when thinning, the goal is 3-6 inches apart per plant. Arugula has a shallow root system, keep soil moist, and fertilizer as needed, every 2-4 weeks. This is a cool weather plant, and it will bolt if temperatures get to high. Optimal temperatures are 45-75F degrees, some varieties can withstand higher temperatures. Use shade as needed for areas with higher temperatures. Plants are ready to harvest once the leaves are 2-3 inches long.

It’s 20-50 days later and your arugula is ready to harvest! Note these veggies are slightly temperamental when the temperatures get to 70-75F degrees, depending on variety of course. So before you harvest inspect your plant for bolting which will change flavor to bitter. What your looking for is growth on the plant that looks more like a weed then a leaf. The flowers and buds are edible. This could indicate that the plant is about to bolt. The method suggested for harvesting and pruning is cut and come again. Your just harvesting the older outside leaves to hold back bolting and encourage leaf growth. Try not to take more then 1/3 of the plant at one time. You can pinch or cut the leaves, make sure the shears/scissors ate clean. Cut about 1 inch from the base of the plant. Clean and store properly.
For baby arugula leaves, cut when about 2-3 inches long
For regular leaves cut when 4-6 inches long
Fun Fact
In India , Pakistan, and Afghanistan arugula seeds are presses to make taramira oil or Jamba oil. Used for pickling, skin care, leaves are some time used as animal feed.
Arugula is a low maintenance herb used in salads, pickling, skin care and a whole bunch of other uses. This super veggie is a great novice level plant for all gardens.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.