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Growing Arugula

Growing Arugula

Gourmet Arugula



Arugula is an easy-to-grow leafy green available in a range of forms and flavors. It is good for salads, sandwiches, soups, cooked greens, and in pesto. Arugula plants are cold tolerant, and can be grown in spring or fall.

There are two types of arugula, "salad" types and "wild" types. Salad arugula (Eruca sativa) is also called rocket salad and roquette. It typically has leaves with rounded lobes and a milder flavor than wild types. Wild arugula (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) is sometimes called wild rocket or white rocket. It generally has deeply lobed leaves with pointed ends and a sharper, stronger flavor than salad types.

The leaves, flowers, and seedpods of both types are edible.

How to Grow

Direct sow arugula in the garden in early spring, covering seed lightly with about an eighth of an inch of soil. For fall crops, sow in late summer to early fall. Seed can be sown thickly and thinned to 1 inch apart, with rows spaced 6 inches apart. In both types, the flavor becomes stronger when plants begin to flower. 


Plant in full sun in well-drained soil. Harvest individual leaves regularly to keep plants productive. Plants can be cut back by half to two thirds when they begin budding to extend the harvest, through flavor will be stronger once plants have begun to form buds. Can be sown every 2 to 3 weeks for an extended harvest.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Arugula is a light to moderate feeder that benefits from occasional fertilization. Use low rates of ALGOplus All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1.

Common Problems

Arugula is usually free from pest and disease problems. Flea beetles are an occasional problem. 

Alternative Products

Other easy-to-grow leafy greens include Endive, Lettuce, and Spinach.

Complimentary Products

Other vegetables in the mustard family are broccoli, cabbage, and collards.

Product Recommendations

Floating row covers can be used to exclude pests like flea beetles and extend the harvest season into late fall.

Arugula Facts

Salad arugula originated in the Mediterranean area, while wild arugula is native to Europe and Western Asia.


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