This peppery green adds a unique bite to all kinds of salads and is delicious tucked into sandwiches as well.
It is the easiest plant to grow from seed and ready to harvest in less than a month. Also known as Garden Rocket, the plant is easy to grow indoors and requires very little care.
Arugula is high in Vitamin C and potassium and can be used in any recipe calling for basil. And,
How To Grow Arugula
Start from seed in winter or spring. Arugula will reseed itself, but you can collect seeds for future plantings.
Arugula is a colder weather crop and germinates best in a soil temperature in the range of forty to fifty-five degrees Fahrenheit. As soon as you work the soil (after the freeze is over) you can begin planting arugula.
The plant likes a pH level in the soil to be as neutral as possible. Test your soil to make sure the level sits above six and as close to seven as possible.
Locate arugula in a sunny location in the garden. It will tolerate partial sunlight. This makes the plant very versatile as far as where you can place it in the garden.
Sow seeds directly in the ground 1/8 inch deep and approximately 1 inch apart. This gives the seed the ability to break through the top soil and the roots to spread out and grow strong underneath.
Water regularly and frequently, but don’t overwater.
Arugula grows fast.When the leaves are two to three inches they are ready to be harvested. This usually occurs as soon as 3 weeks after the seeds germinate.
Simply cut the leaves off, give them a quick rinse and pat dry with a paper towel and they are ready for the salad.
Like leaf lettuce, mustard, or collards, arugula stretches skyward in hot weather, blooming and setting seeds.
You can pull it up when plant start to send up a bloom stalk from the center. You can also continue harvesting the leaves until they taste too strong.
Some gardeners cut the plants back to get another harvest as it tries to grow back. The bloom stalks may grow 24 to 36 inches tall and have little white flowers on top. These are pretty to add to a salad.
Flowering signals that the season is ending for arugula and you can replace it with a warm weather crop, unless you want to try cutting it back and eating it just a little longer.
How to Make a Simple and Healthy Arugula Salad
Things You’ll Need:
- 2 8 oz. of arugula
- 2 tbsp. pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Juice of one lemon
- White truffle oil, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 lb. block Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Lightly toast the pine nuts in a small, heavy saute pan over a medium-low fire.
Wash the arugula and dry with paper towels.
Just before serving, dress the salad with the olive oil and lemon juice, season with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the truffle oil.
Scatter the pine nuts and shave Parmigiano-Reggiano on top with a vegetable peeler. Serve and enjoy.
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Yours truly, Polly – Organic Gardener