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Plant of the Week: Arugula

Arugula is a spicy additive.
Arugula is a spicy additive.
Creative Commons

A leafy green we often don’t think to plant in our gardens is Arugula. Because it’s easily accessible in grocery stores year round, it’s one of those vegetables you buy on a whim and never think to grow on your own. Throughout history, Arugula lovers had no choice but to grow it by hand. This vegetable surprisingly dates back to Roman times when it was first grown in the Mediterranean region. Back then, however, Arugula was used more as an aphrodisiac than a cooking ingredient.

It wasn’t until the late 1900s that Arugula became readily available around the world. It took scientists a long period of time to research Arugula and chefs a long time to figure out how to use the green as an ingredient. Now, we happily add it to our salads and eat it for the Vitamin C, A and calcium. This spring, try sowing some Arugula seeds in your garden for a spicier, fresher taste you can’t pick up in a grocery store.

Arugula Q&A

1. When should I begin planting Arugula seeds?

When the ground is still cool and tender, you can begin planting your Arugula. They are surprisingly tolerant of light frosts and actually thrive in cooler climates.

2. What type of soil should I plant my Arugula in?

Arugula enjoys rich, well-drained soil. For the best results, add compost and a light fertilizer to the soil prior to planting. Sow the seeds no more than 1/8” deep in a location in your garden where they can get full sunlight.

3. How often should I water my Arugula?

It’s important to keep Arugula watered frequently. When the soil is dry to the touch, your plant most likely needs a good watering. Be sure not to overwater but dampen the soil as necessary. Because Arugula should be planted in direct sunlight, it drinks up water fast.

4. Is Arugula prone to any pests or diseases?

Arugula is not specifically prone to any pests or diseases.

5. When can I begin harvesting my Arugula?

Once the plant grows to about 3-4” tall you can begin harvesting it. It will continue to grow and produce throughout the rest of the warm season. The larger you allow the leaves to grow, the spicier they will be. Happy cooking!

For more info:
Visit this gardening site for tips on growing arugula in your garden.


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