How to plant arugula

Eruca sativa

Arugula is an annual plant whose leaves are eaten raw, cooked or braised, and are used in various types of culinary recipes. Its leaves have a spicy and bitter taste, and the younger leaves, or the leaves harvested from plants grown in a colder climate, tend to be less bitter and are therefore considered the most tasty for consumption in salads. Seeds can also be consumed, and are sometimes used in place of mustard seeds.

This plant, at harvest time, reaches 10 to 30 cm in height, depending on the cultivated variety and growing conditions. During flowering, it can reach 50 to 100 cm in height.


Arugula is a vegetable that grows best in a mild climate, with temperatures around 16 to 22 ° C. At higher temperatures the plant has its development impaired, flowering early. In addition, when grown at high temperatures, its leaves tend to be less tender and more bitter. Although it can withstand temperatures close to 0 ° C, in regions with severe winters, young plants may need protection, such as cultivation in agricultural greenhouses.


In autumn and winter it can be grown in direct sunlight all day, but in summer it may be better to provide partial shade during the hottest hours of the day.


The soil must be well drained, fertile, rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6 and 7.


Irrigate frequently so that the soil is always kept moist, but without the soil remaining soggy.


Sow the seeds directly at the final location, superficially or at a depth of no more than 0.5 cm in the soil. The seeds will normally germinate in 4 to 8 days. When the plants reach about 10 cm in height, the excess plants can be harvested so that adequate spacing is achieved. If convenient, the seeds can also be sown in sowing, with the seedlings being transplanted as soon as they are large enough to be handled.

The recommended spacing varies with the cultivated variety, the cultivation conditions and the stage of development in which the plants will be harvested, which can be 15 to 60 cm between the cultivation lines and 10 to 30 cm between the plants.


Remove invasive plants that are competing for resources and nutrients.


The arugula can be harvested from 20 to 65 days, pulling out the entire plant or harvesting only the well-developed leaves, so that the harvest can last for weeks. In any case, the harvest must be done before the plant begins to bloom, as at this stage the leaves usually become more bitter.

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