How to Grow Arugula

Arugula is a tasty and nutrient-rich leafy green that is easy to grow in a home garden. In this article, we’ll cover the planting, watering, fertilizing, pest and disease management, harvesting, and storage tips you need to grow a successful arugula crop.

  1. Planting instructions: Arugula prefers cool weather and can be planted in early spring or fall. It thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter, and prefers partial shade to full sun. Seeds can be planted directly in the ground about 1/4 inch deep and 1 inch apart, or transplanted seedlings can be spaced 6-8 inches apart.
  2. Watering requirements: Arugula needs consistent moisture to thrive, so it’s important to water regularly, especially during dry periods. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot.
  3. Fertilizing tips: Arugula is a light feeder and does not require much fertilizer. A balanced, all-purpose fertilizer can be applied at planting time and again every 4-6 weeks throughout the growing season.
  4. Pest management: Arugula is relatively pest-free, but some common pests that can affect it include flea beetles and aphids. These can be controlled with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  5. Disease management: Arugula is susceptible to several diseases, including downy mildew and clubroot. To prevent these, rotate crops and ensure proper drainage.
  6. Harvesting instructions: Arugula leaves can be harvested as soon as they reach a usable size, typically 4-6 weeks after planting. Harvesting leaves regularly will encourage more growth. Cut leaves near the base of the plant and leave some leaves on the plant to continue growing.
  7. Storage tips: Arugula leaves are best used fresh and should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container for up to a week. Do not wash until ready to use.
  8. Top Varieties to Grow: Some popular arugula varieties include Rocket, Astro, and Wasabi. Choose a variety that suits your growing conditions and taste preferences.
  9. Recipe ideas: Arugula is a versatile green that can be used in salads, sandwiches, pastas, and more. Try using it as a peppery addition to a classic Caprese salad or mixing it with other greens in a fresh spring salad.

Arugula is an easy and rewarding crop to grow in a home garden. By following these planting, watering, fertilizing, pest and disease management, harvesting, and storage tips, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this tasty and nutrient-rich green. Happy gardening!