Arugula is calorie low and nutrient rich. It is known to prevent cancer, prevent macular degeneration (eyes), is low in oxalate (an anti-nutrient), contributes to bone health, can aid in weight loss and is high in antioxidants, vitamin C, A, and K. Arugula is also mineral rich and is a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, manganese and phosphorous.
At the end of January; sow seeds in succession (enough for one week’s harvest plus a little contingency) and repeat weekly. Sow Arugula in seedling trays in soil that is between 40-55o F at ¼” depth. It will take about 5-7 days to germinate. Starting indoors ensures good germination and prevents hours of thinning out crowded seedlings.
Transplant seedlings one week after germination into soil with a temperature of 50-65o F. The pH range should be between 6.0-7.0. Plant in rows giving 1” spacing between each seedling and 6” between each row. Do not plant Arugula next to cabbage, strawberries or beans. Arugula likes partial shade in the spring. Arugula likes a light frost.
Harvest Arugula 20-30 days after transplanting the seedlings. Cut individual leaves or whole plants. I prefer to harvest young leaves as they are more tender, peppery and flavorful.
Arugula produces yellow or white flowers and are cross-pollinated typically by insects. After the flower’s petals fall, an oblong fruit is left to ripen with two rows of seeds in each half. Collect the seeds when the fruit is brown and dry but before they open and the seeds fall out. Pull the whole plant out of the ground, place a paper bag around it and hang it upside-down. The dried fruit pods will open when dry. Carefully flail them to separate the seeds from the debris – not too hard. Broken seed coats lead to seeds which do not germinate. Winnow away the debris, then store in paper bags. Seeds last about 5 years. *Plant excess seeds in your pasture for extra goodies for your livestock.