Arugula (Eruca sativa)
Also known as Garden Rocket, or Roquette, Arugula has a loyal following, and for a good reason. Its distinctive nutty flavor is unlike any other green, and indispensable in your salads, sandwiches, or on top of your pizza!
How to Grow Arugula from Seed
Very easy-to-grow by direct seed in full sun. Planted from early spring to early summer and again from late summer through fall. Arugula is very fast-growing, quick to bolt in warm weather, and if allowed to flower, will readily self-seed. Succession plantings every 2-3 weeks are recommended for a continual harvest. Harvest above growth point for cut-and-come-again production.
Plant Seeds: 1/8" deep with 1-2" between seeds. Soil Temp: 50-85 F. Days to Sprout: 3-10. Thin To/Mature Plant Spacing: don't thin for baby greens, 4-6" mature greens. Companions: kale, lettuce, cress, carrots. Seeds/oz: 13,000. Seed Wt./100' Row: 3g. Yield/100' row: 25-35lbs.
Days to Harvest: baby leaves in 24, mature greens in 35. Seed Viability: 3-4 yrs.
How to Save Arugula Seeds
Pollination, insect; Life Cycle, Annual; Isolation Distance, 1/2 mile.
Arugula is self-pollinating, but will also cross-pollinate (possibly even between different species). Further, wild arugulas are common in most areas worldwide. Individual heads can be bagged to allow growing several varieties in proximity or to ensure that wild plants don't cross the plants you're growing. Collect the seed heads as they dry on the plants and store in closed paper bags to finish drying (many of the seeds will shed naturally). Don't let the seed heads get wet after they dry. Chaff easily blows away after seed heads are crumbled—watch for thorns or prickles in some plants!