Arugula is one of the plants used in many dishes to flavor. It is one of the plants that people are encouraged to grow since it requires too much care and great results can be obtained. It is usually recommended for those people who are starting out in this world of the urban garden. The cultivation of the arugula in a pot is quite easy and we can take advantage of its leaves to have flowers and its seeds.
We are going to dedicate this article to tell you everything you need to know about growing potted arugula.
To take advantage of the cultivation of arugula we must take advantage of its leaves and flowers. This is how we focus on enjoying the characteristic spicy and somewhat bitter flavor that these leaves have. We must emphasize that the cultivation of the arugula in a pot outdoors has little care so it can be done even by those who are novice.
The leaves of the arugula are used to configure the salad envelopes and in many dishes from the different menus that we find in restaurants. There is usually no availability of seedlings of arugula as there may be of other similar species such as chard, spinach, etc. This means that to learn about growing potted arugula we will need to buy seed envelopes in a florist, garden center, DIY shopping centers and some specialized outlets.
With just one envelope we will have for the consumption of a family throughout the year. And it is a fairly inexpensive species. Let’s see what are the different types of arugula seed envelope:
- Depending on the weight of the envelope it can be between 5 and 10 grams. Normally, about 3,000 seeds are found in these envelopes.
- Depending on the type, they can be standard or ecological . This is also another difference between the types of envelopes they sell. The organic seeds come from the organically grown mother plant.
- According to the variety . Here we find a smaller catalog since mainly Rucula eruca sativa is sown, which is more used in salads.
Normally in the envelopes we find the necessary information through diagrams or pictograms to know the care of the potted arugula.
Potted arugula cultivation
We will point out what are the main guidelines for direct sowing of this plant in a pot. The sowing can also be done in planters or directly in the field. We must know that this plant should be outdoors and in a Mediterranean climate preferably. Whether in urban orchards, fields or our garden, we must carry out planting in the pot during the spring, summer and autumn seasons. The main time of year where we can sow is in spring.
It is planted by locating containers in sunny places but protected from strong winds. It is one of the main aspects to consider. The arugula does not survive well if we are continuously placing it in places where the strong wind blows. Buildings are usually more exposed to winds, so we must find a suitable place in the garden for it.
The size of the pot does not have to be very high since the root system of the arugula is not deep. We must use a type of substrate to which we will add 20% field soil over 10% clay or clay-like soil. This will serve to maintain the nutrients well and that there is good drainage. During the germination period we must guarantee the substrate is completely humid. If you do not have enough water, you will not be able to germinate correctly.
The optimal soil temperature is usually around 15 degrees. If this temperature is maintained over time, it will probably take 10-14 days to germinate. Once it has germinated we will use our hands to eliminate any possible grass that germinate around it. You will need a fertilizer that has microelements to grow properly. It is also necessary to guarantee sufficient irrigation to maintain the humidity of the substrate.
A recommendation that is said quite a bit is not to use fertilizer that is very rich in nitrogen. This is because, although it favors the development of flowers, we must also maintain the turgidity of the plant in order to avoid diseases. It is also interesting to stir the ground a little to increase aeration.
Aspects of growing potted arugula
He likes low temperatures . It can be sown in a seedbed or directly in 3-liter pots as a minimum capacity. The humidity of the substrate must be maintained during the germination period (between 8 and 10 days). And after a few weeks you can already cut leaves (always the outer ones) and you will be able to harvest until flowering, when the life cycle of this plant ends.
As with lettuce, the arugula forms new leaves from its center, continuously, until a stem emerges that will grow vertically. Flowers will form on it. This floral stem will indicate that its life cycle is ending, since from there we can extract its future seeds.
It develops faster in summer than in winter, so if we want to enjoy arugula for as long as possible, it is better to plant it in autumn, but even if you plant it now, there is still a time until the heat arrives and you can enjoy your arugula for a few months. With the heat, in addition, its leaves acquire a bitter taste, so it better not be in direct sunlight.
If you sow it in a seedbed, you can have it more controlled until it has enough strength to be transplanted, when the first three leaves begin to emerge after the cotyledons.
If you plant in a pot , try not to sow the seeds close together, because although they will probably all sprout, little by little they will die due to overcrowding. Separate the seeds about 15 cm from each other.
Regarding irrigation , it does not require abundant irrigation, just check that the substrate remains moist.
As for cultivation associations , it belongs to the cruciferous family , such as cabbages, radishes and turnips, so it is not compatible with them. However, as it is a short-cycle plant and it tolerates shade well, it can be used to associate with other longer-cycle plants such as tomato, pepper or eggplant.
I hope that with this information you can learn more about growing potted arugula.