Eruca vesicaria var. sativa
This quick, easy to grow, healthy, cool season heirloom salad green has deeply lobed leaves with a distinctive nutty flavor that gets spicier as it matures.
GROW GUIDE CONDITIONS:
Arugula is a cool season crop and grows best at 60–70°F. It bolts (goes to seed) quickly in the summer heat. It can be planted starting in early spring when daytime temperatures are above 50°F. Late summer and fall plantings will overwinter in mild climates or in unheated greenhouses. Sylvetta, the wild form of arugula is more cold tolerant and stronger flavored. Optimum growth occurs on well drained, fertile, high organic matter soils with a pH of 6.0–7.5. Irrigate frequently to provide continuous moisture and cool the soil, but avoid water logging.
GROW GUIDE SEED:
Arugula is usually direct seeded. Plant small sections every three weeks for continuous harvests. Optimum germination occurs at soil temperatures from 60–70°F, but seeds will germinate at as low as 45°F. For best results, sow seeds thickly, about 1" apart from each other, 1/8"–1/4” deep in 4" wide bands, allowing 6–8 inches between rows to allow weed cultivation; or broadcast seed over a weed-free bed. Arugula can also be grown to maturity in containers.
GROW GUIDE PESTS:
Arugula is a favorite food of small black flea beetles that munch tiny holes in the leaves. Flea beetles can be controlled by covering your greens with floating row cover from the day of planting to exclude them. Flea beetle pressure is usually less in the fall than the spring and early summer.
GROW GUIDE HARVEST:
Clear cut leaves about an inch above the growing point to allow for even regrowth. Each planting will regrow a few times depending on the season. Make succession plantings to ensure a constant supply. Cut leaves will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Wait to wash them until just prior to use to prevent rot. Use a salad spinner to wash and spin dry or pat dry on clean towels. Once the plants start to flower you can still eat the leaves but the flavor is stronger. The flowers are edible and are a nice addition to salads.
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