A very easy crop to grow in the wide open garden or in your small balcony box. It’s long spicy mustardy leaves are very often a treat. Give it the right amount of heat, light and water, and it a perfect ingredient to spice up your salad, soups, and sandwiches.
Sowing Style: Direct sow outdoors, 1cm deep in furrows or blocks. It’s a fast growing crop that is ready in 30-40 days. Sow every 10-15 days for a continuous crop.
Time to Sow: Monsoon, Autumn, and Winter months. Will bolt quickly in really hot weather, so avoid sowing in summer.
Plant Spacing: 3-4” for harvesting young greens. Thin out the seedlings to 8” if you want big mature bunches.
Good Companions: Bush Beans, Beets, Carrots, Celery, Cucumber, Dill, Lettuce, Mint, Onions, Potato, Rosemary, Thyme, Spinach.
Bad Companions: Pole Beans, Strawberry
Soil and Cultivation Requirements: The soil must be rich, well composted and moisture retentive. It bolts very quickly in thin soils that dry out in bright sun, therefore partial shade will be helpful. The leaves will be tender and mild if the soil is cool and earthy smelling. Use good compost during sowing, and once between the harvests.
Irrigation: Arugula prefers sprinkler irrigation. Keep the crop well watered.
Harvesting and Storing: Picking the leaves small helps to prevent bolting, and the plants will continue to produce tender leaves. Pinch the leaves off so that you don’t disturb the roots by tugging at them. Arugula does not store for long and wilts very quickly, especially during sunny or dry days. Therefore fresh harvests and immediate consumption is recommended. If you harvest during a hot day, make sure you dip them in cool water and dry them in a cool shaded place before consuming, refrigerating, or shipping it locally.