Arugula is an annual herb belonging to the Brasicaceae family, also called Crucifers. The scientific name of this vegetable is Eruca vesicaria Cavanilles, but it is also known as eruga, caterpillar, arugula, rocket or jamarguillo. Despite being native to western Asia and southern Europe, This plant has become world famous for its many culinary uses. Therefore, it is not surprising that more and more people are interested in planting arugula.
If you are one of them, you are in the right place. Here we explain when to plant arugula, how to do it and several aspects to take into account when growing this vegetable.
When is arugula planted?
To sow arugula it is important to know when to do it, whether in field or urban orchards or in the garden. We can start your sowing in spring, summer or autumn. However, the best season is spring as this plant requires a lot of sunlight for their growth. Therefore, it is also important to locate our crop in a sunny place. But be careful, because too much sun ends up producing a very bitter taste in the leaves of the arugula.
It is also important to take into account the climate of the area. The ideal is a warm climate but with mild temperatures. This is very typical of the Mediterranean area. The lowest temperature that this vegetable can withstand is ten degrees below zero. In the event that the temperature drops further, the arugula will no longer be able to develop. It should be noted that the ideal temperature for growing arugula is between 15ºC and 25ºC. As for the type of soil, this plant adapts to anyone. However, it prefers the permeable, calcareous, well drained and rich in organic matter.
How is arugula seed sown?
Once we are clear about when and where to plant arugula, it’s time to figure out how to do it. For this we will need seeds. These are sold in envelopes in specialty stores or department stores for DIY and gardening. The best way to sow this vegetable is to beat with two or three seeds in each space. They should be buried more or less to a depth of one centimeter. The distance that should be between each plant is 15 to 20 centimeters while between rows a distance of about 30 centimeters is recommended.
Regarding germination, this will occur after 10 to 14 days. Throughout this period we must ensure that the substrate is humid and fertilized. Furthermore, the soil temperature must be kept above 15ºC. Once they have germinated, you have to eliminate the herbs that may appear around the arugula so that they do not take away nutrients. The waterings must be regular and the subscriber must be carried out every 15 days.
As for the fertilizer, it is recommended that it be balanced with microelements according to the dose recommended by the manufacturer. It is very important to avoid fertilizers that are very rich in nitrogen. Although it is true that nitrogen favors the foliar development of the plant, an excess can interfere with the turgor of the arugula and thus cause the appearance of certain diseases.
Sowing arugula in pots
In the event that we want to sow arugula in a more homemade way, we can do it in planters in urban gardens or in pots. So we can have them on our terrace or on the balcony. Although the sowing time remains the same in this case, there are some aspects that we must take into account. The containers in which we will place these vegetables They should be located in a sunny place but at the same time protected from strong winds. It may seem simple, but remember that, generally, buildings are more exposed to the wind.
Arugula in pot
Since the root system belonging to arugula is not very deep, the pots do not have to be very tall. As for the substrate, It is advisable to mix the plantation with 20% field soil and around 10% clay soil.
How long does arugula take to grow?
When we talk about the duration of the cultivation we refer to the period that comprises from the always of the vegetable until its harvest. In the case of arugula, if we run out of time to the end it is usually about four months in total. The harvesting of this plant is carried out manually with several passes during the cultivation period, depending on the needs we have.
Plagues and diseases
If everything is done well, that is, if both the density of the crop and the fertilizer and irrigation are correct, very few pests and diseases can appear on arugula. This is due to the fact that it is a fairly rustic plant since its cultivation lasts very short, of a few months. However, there are diseases and pests, even if they are few. One of the most common pests is called aphids, and among the most common diseases are powdery mildew and rust.
Tips and trivia
Finally we are going to comment on some curiosities and tips about the cultivation of this vegetable. Although we already know how to plant arugula, it is advisable to take a look at this list:
- Arugula flowers can be added to salads.
- Once the plant has produced flowers, the leaves tend to have a more bitter taste.
- You should avoid growing arugula with turnips, cabbages, radishes, or other plants belonging to the same family. This is recommended to avoid the association or rotation of crops that are in the same field. It is possible that certain problems appear that are indirectly related to pests and diseases.
- Instead, it’s recommended to grow arugula alongside eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers, or lettuce.
Now that we know how to sow arugula, we can only get down to work. The cultivation and maintenance of this vegetable is very simple, so we should not have many problems if we do it. You can leave us your experiences in the comments.