Experimenting with Arugula

This is the first year I’ve ever grown arugula.  Being a salad freak, I’m surprised that I haven’t grown it before.  Then again, I’ve never grown Nasturtiums until this year and I love putting edible flowers in my salad.    But, alas, I bought some arugula seeds and then went to a nearby nursery and saw a small flat of arugula seedlings.  I bought them.  I said to myself that I’d rotate them once the arugula was plucked & harvested, however the more I’m reading up on it, it sounds more like a self-seeder (somewhat like a perennial) which defeats the purpose of rotation.

I wasn’t entirely sure how to grow arugula (and forgot to ask the clerk), but from my veggie book, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith, found that the best ways to grow is sowing seeds directly in the soil 3” deep in Spring as soon as soil is good enough to be worked with.  They didn’t say what to do with a flat of “bunched-up” seeds together, but I’m assuming you can just plant the entire flat directly in soil.  This might be naive of me, but that’s what I did.  We’ll see how it pans out.

This is what the arugula looks like.  I chose the Rocket Arugula.  A spicier and peppier version of the scrumptious leafy green.

And this is how I put it in the soil.  Pretty simple looking, eh?  Well, let’s just wait and see if it turned out okay.  If you know of any other ways I should have done, this let me know!  I’m actually kind of curious how it’ll pan out.

Some things to keep in mind about arugula (some facts about arugula) that you might find interesting:

* There are 3 main types – Astro, Rocket, and Italian Wild Rustic.  Astro has a milder flavor and can be harvested a few days earlier.  Rocket, as mentioned above, has a spicier and peppery taste, and also an early harvest.  Italian Wild Rustic has tender leaves, a spicy flavor and sufficient yields.

* Only about 2-3 weeks after plants germinate, you can harvest the leaves (they’ll be about 2-3 inches in height).

* The flowers are also edible, so gather them up, bunch them up and put them in your salad!  They have an awesome flavor to them!

Okay!  I think that’s about it for arugula for now.  I also planted my other lettuces today.  So exciting!  To think in a month or so I’ll be eating daily fresh grown salads again.  Mmm.

Endive, Red & Green Leaf Lettuce               Cherry Tomato: Pantano Romanesco, Heirloom.


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