Gardening

How to grow arugula

The arugula , Eruca vesicaria cavanilles , is a green leafy vegetable native to Asia and the Mediterranean area (where, in addition to being cultivated, it grows spontaneously). It is also known by other names such as rocket, argula or eruca. It is a type of crop very suitable both for urban gardens (in pots and cultivation tables) and for growing in the field. If you are looking for an easy plant to grow: to plant arugula , it is rustic, grows fast and holds up quite well.

This green leafy vegetable can be used in many cooking recipes and also has very interesting nutritional properties, such as its protective effect on the liver, its purifying action, its power to prevent or improve anemia, to prevent constipation, etc. (read more about the benefits of arugula )

Arugula is an annual plant that belongs to the cruciferous family. It is a short-cycle vegetable, so you can make staggered plantings to have successive arugula harvests throughout the year.

Growing tips for arugula

Best time for cultivation: it is usually between the months of March to October

Sowing

Prepare seedbeds or sow directly in their final place of cultivation, leaving a separation for each plant of about 30 cm2. The seeds will need temperatures between 21 and 25 ºC and should be sown at a depth no greater than 2 cm. In the case of seedbeds, when the seedlings reach a height of 10 cm, you can transplant them to their final site.

Association

Arugula can be associated with other crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Avoid associating it with other vegetables of the cruciferous family.

Soils

It develops well in calcareous soils, which are slightly loose and have good drainage to avoid root suffocation in case of excess water. Although it is not very demanding in terms of substrates that are very rich in organic matter, it is true that it grows better in rich soils than in poor ones. You do not need containers or pots with great depth.

Weather

The arugula is a plant that prefers warm climates with temperatures between 15 and 25 ºC, although this plant is also capable of withstanding temperatures of – 0 ºC, of ​​course, the plant will not grow as well. That is why it can be grown throughout the year, although during spring and summer it grows better because the cold slows its growth.

Light

It is a plant that needs to be exposed to sunlight, but without excess because it could cause the arugula leaves to be too bitter.

Irrigation

The arugula needs regular, frequent waterings but without excesses, enough to keep the soil with constant humidity.

Plagues and diseases

This plant can be attacked by fungi such as rust and powdery mildew, but it can also be attacked by aphids and caterpillars (see ecological remedies for pests and diseases )

Harvest

At 5 weeks you can start to harvest the outermost leaves of the arugula. Make a cut flush with the ground of the leaves you want to take. The younger the leaves are, the less bitter they have, while if you leave them for a long time it will spike and give flowers in clusters, which by the way can also be eaten. From the flowers you can extract the seeds to continue sowing arugula.

 

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