Arugula lettuce is a leafy green vegetable. And, it is a fast-growing plant. This cool-weather crop is a member of the mustard family and is grown like mustard or lettuce. Arugula is native to Asia and the Mediterranean. Knowing how to grow arugula is no secret. Certainly, if you can grow other greens, you can grow arugula.
The robust, peppery flavor of Arugula adds zest to salads. It can be sautéed or cooked like spinach. It is also good in soups, pasta, and pestos, too.
Other Names: Arugula, is also known as Roquette, Rocket, Garden Rocket, Rucola, Rugola, and Rocket Salad.
Arugula lettuce is grown from seed. Directly sow seeds in your vegetable garden early in the season. Then, cover seeds lightly with 1/8″ or less of fine garden or seed starting soil. Seeds will sprout in 3-10 days. Seeds sprout in cool soil at 40 to 55 degrees.
After seedlings have sprouted, thin to two inches apart, in rows 12″ – 18″ apart. Also, you can broadcast the seeds and grow the plants in an area rather than a row. However, you still need to thin the plants, for maximum growth.
Succession planting will result in continuous greens. Sow small rows of seeds every two weeks.
Arugula plants are easy to grow. Grow in full sun to partial shade.
Ideal Soil pH: 6.0 – 6.8
For best results, grow Arugula lettuce quickly during cool weather, in moist, fertile soil. It gets the name “Rocket” for its speedy growth under these conditions.
The soil should be rich and drain well. Mix compost into the soil, before planting. Add fertilizer when planting.
Weed around plants frequently.
Plants thrive in cool weather. Plant crops for spring and fall. For a continuous harvest during this period, plant succession crops.
Soil Temperatures – Ideal germination temperature by vegetable
Ideal Soil pH – by vegetable
Insect and disease problems are uncommon with this plant.
Days to Maturity: Arugula lettuce is ready to harvest in just 40 days. However, you can begin to pick leaves as soon as they are big enough to use in your salad or recipe.
For maximum taste, pick when leaves are 6″ in height.
Eat fresh or cooked like spinach.
Garden Tip: Try Arugula sprouts.
The plant is an annual. So, hard frosts and freeze will kill the plant. However, Arugula lettuce will withstand light frosts.