They are susceptible to flea beetles, which can put a serious dent in your crop, but floating row covers provide a simple, effective and non-toxic fix for the problem. .
How to Harvest Arugula So It Keeps Growing
These “baby” leaves have a smoother, less intense flavor, making them the preferred form for salads.In the right climate, you’ll have the opportunity to harvest your arugula over a dozen times before the plant becomes too bitter during bolting or dies back due to the cold.Arugula microgreens, or sprouts, make a great zesty addition to sandwiches, burgers, salads, and more.Once a mature arugula plant begins to bolt, or starts to form a flower stalk, the leaves will take on a woody texture and an unappealing bitter taste.If you do not plan to harvest seeds, then it is time to pull the plants and replace them with a warm-season crop such as bush beans or zucchini.Arugula seeds form in long pods that resemble tiny green beans.Allow your arugula plants to sit undisturbed until the flower stalks and pods turn yellow and dry out.If the seeds are ready, you will hear a sound similar to a rainstick as they rattle around inside the dried pods.Once you hear this sound, cut the stalks below the lowest pod and carefully bring them over to a prepared space away from the garden to harvest.Instead, hold the stalks over a large colander with a bowl beneath it and rub them vigorously between your hands.Store the seeds in a paper envelope in a dark, cool space to sow the following fall or spring for a never-ending supply of zesty, homegrown arugula.About the Author Sara Seitz is a freelance writer and avid gardener brought up by generations of women with green thumbs. .
How and When to Harvest Arugula
With regrets to all the lettuce lovers out there, I must proclaim that there is no better base for a salad than freshly grown arugula.I planted the leafy green in my vegetable garden last summer and was surprised by how quickly and easily it grew.In this article, we’re going to be unlocking the secrets of how and when to harvest arugula, so that you get the tastiest homegrown greens possible for use in salads and other dishes.This plant matures quickly, especially compared to lettuce – yet another reason why I think it’s a fantastic choice for salads!Tender leaves just a few weeks old have a mild flavor and – in my opinion – make the best salad base.But if you love biting into a salad with a zesty edge, you’ll want to harvest when the plant is more mature.But leaves picked from a bolted plant can be used to make a fantastic pesto, or a peppery addition to your favorite pasta salad.Always pick during the coolest, driest time of the day – typically in the evening as the sun’s going down, or in the morning if there’s no dew.And who doesn’t love an excuse to make a trip out to the garden for a leisurely harvest session among the vegetables with our morning cup of coffee in hand, or after work when we’re concocting plans for dinner?For a bigger salad, maybe a fresh green salad with arugula, beets, goat cheese, and olive oil like this one from our sister site, Foodal, you’ll want to pick your baby greens in larger bunches.To harvest, you can take a clean garden knife or shears and cut up to half of the leaves from each plant, at the base of the stalks, just like you’d do for baby greens.Remember to pull the plant in the evening or morning, and avoid harvesting rain-soaked leaves or those covered in dew.Every time I go out to eat with my parents at an Indian restaurant, they order their dishes with the highest level of spice.If your plant has really gone wild and is growing leaves off a thick, woody stalk, don’t eat that part. .
How to Harvest Arugula Without Killing the Plant
It is healthy, nutrient-dense and high in fiber, which makes it a great choice for all types of salads, or as a pizza, nacho or sandwich topping.If harvested properly, the arugula plants will grow back for an endless supply of greens throughout the entire season!Arugula is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs to the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts.The leaves have a very distinct shape, with notches up and down on both sides of the leaf, although they can vary a lot from one variety of arugula to the next.Depending on the variety of arugula you’ve planted, you can expect to harvest its leaves in 20-50 days after sowing.So, in about three weeks or more of growth, or when the plants get at least 6" tall, identify the largest, outer leaves that are big enough to eat and start harvesting.With the cut-and-come-again method you can have fresh arugula at your disposal throughout the season, or even during the whole year, especially if you live in an area where the winters are mild, or if you keep your plants indoors.Use your hands, a pair of scissors or a serrated knife and cut the stems of the leaves about an inch from the crown or the leaf base.When temperatures reach 70°F - 75°F that’s when the arugula plants typically stop producing leaves and start preparing for flowering and re-seeding.And if you’re out of ideas and don’t know what to prepare with your freshly harvested arugula leaves, here’s a delicious and tasty Roots and Shoots Garden Salad Recipe you can try.There are numerous methods that you can use, but the most practical one is to puree the arugula leaves with some water and pour the mixture into ice trays that you can freeze and use for up to 5-6 months.If you want to store your arugula for even longer periods of time, the best method that allows that is to blanch and freeze the leaves in freezer bags. .
How to Grow a Cut-and-Come-Again Garden
The trick to keeping your cut-and-come-again plants going is to begin harvesting the oldest leaves while they are still fairly young.Rather than waiting for them to reach mature length, start harvesting when they are only about 3 to 4 inches tall.However, no plant lives forever, and there will come a time when your cut-and-come-again greens are exhausted from the effort of continually regrowing.Finish the growing season with a second sowing of the cool weather growers, and you'll have yourself a bountiful harvest.Make the most of it by taking just the outer leaves and letting the center continue to grow.Pinch off the end leaves and stems anytime you need some herbs, which will in turn allow the plant to become bushier and fuller.Many gardeners grow beets for their roots, but you can harvest the tops from the plants as well.Be mindful never to harvest all the tops off any one plant, which will cause the bulbous root to fail.Closely related to lettuce, chicories are several varieties of greens that are a bit heartier and more bitter.Beloved for the zesty flavor it lends to many recipes, cilantro is a staple in almost all herb gardens.Mache will continue growing longer in hot weather, if you keep it moist and shaded.Make the most of the time you have by harvesting the outer leaves when they reach 3 inches in size to encourage the plants to grow more.It takes quite a few leaves to make a sizable side dish, so you'll want to grow several plants.However, by using the cut-and-come-again technique, you can head off some of that distinct bitterness by harvesting the leaves young.It's satisfying to slice off an entire head of these vase-like greens, but if you can resist, bok choy makes for a great cut-and-come-again option.Now that parsley is getting some respect as an herb and not just a decorative garnish, you may be tempted to cut off an entire plant to use.As a biennial, parsley has nothing to do in its first year except grow more leaves, so you'll have plenty to put to good use.A bushy plant will shade the soil above its roots, keeping it cool and helping it stick around longer.Like spinach and kale, Swiss chard cooks down considerably, so you'll need leaves from several plants to get your fill. .
How to Harvest Arugula
Do this toward the end of the season, when the plant elongates and flowers begin to form (bolting).Arugula seeds can be direct-sown into the garden in shallow rows spaced 3 to 4 inches apart.Diatomaceous earth scattered over the leaves will kill all soft-bodied insects (beneficial as well as harmful); if you decide to use it be sure to the product is labeled “food safe” if you have small children or pets.A less toxic alternative is to cover the rows with Reemay, a fabric that keeps out insects but allows light and water to pass through. .
Does Arugula Come Back Every Year? (Read Before You Buy Seeds)
Arugula (also known as rocket or roquette) holds a special place in the pantheon of leafy greens, offering a unique flavor that no other can provide.Wild arugula (Diplotaxis tenuifolia) is a perennial which can survive moderate frosts and grow back every year.Arugula seeds can often survive the winter and germinate in the spring when the ground thaws.Despite garden arugula surviving frosts, it’s still an annual, so after it flowers and produces its seeds, the plant will die off.When they bolt, it’s even easier to identify them, since all garden arugula varieties produce white flowers with four long petals, while wild arugula varieties produce smaller yellow flowers, similar to mustard.If you’ve grown these other Brassicaceae vegetables before, you likely have noticed that a lot of them bolt very easily in hot weather — arugula is no exception.(Gardener’s note: As I’m writing this, after less than a week of unusually hot weather, almost all my Astro arugula has bolted with many flowers opened up, while most of my Wild Rocket arugula still hasn’t bolted, and only a few just have their first buds.).The buds, flowers, and even the young, tender seed pods of all arugula varieties are edible, too.Some garden arugula varieties, like Astro , can reach maturity within 30 days (sooner for baby arugula) while the super bolt-resistant Wild Rocket will take 50 days, not including the extra time for germination.If you don’t mind waiting longer before you can harvest and you like the flavor of wild arugula, grow that.You can use another common method of harvesting arugula which involves bunching the leaves together and cutting across the plant (sort of like mowing the top of the plant), but you still need to avoid cutting the central growing tip if you want it to grow back.Wild arugula gets spicier and will produce smaller leaves after bolting, but is otherwise good to eat.After bolting, you can still cut individual arugula leaves, similar to the cut-and-come-again method of harvesting for other salad greens.You can also harvest the buds, flowers, and even the young, green seed pods.Bolted arugula is still edible, but it will have a stronger spicy flavor, it will be more bitter, and the stems and petioles may be tougher. .
How to Grow Arugula
Common Name Arugula, rocket, garden rocket Botanical Name Eruca versicaria Family Brassicaceae Plant Type Annual, vegetable Size 2–3 ft. tall, 1–1.5 ft.
wide Sun Exposure Full sun, part shade Soil Type Loamy, moist, well-drained Soil pH Acidic, neutral (6 to 7) Bloom Time Seasonal Hardiness Zones 2–11 (USDA) Native Area Mediterranean.For a continual harvest, sow more seeds every two to three weeks until the weather heats up in the summer or frost hits in the fall.Arugula grows best in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days.This will help to prevent the plants from wilting and bolting (flowering and going to seed), extending your harvest for as long as possible.They tolerate a variety of soil types but prefer a nutrient-rich loam.Like many vegetables, arugula needs regular watering for healthy growth and optimal flavor.If you fail to water regularly, you'll likely cause the plants to bolt and ruin the flavor of the leaves.The ideal temperature range for arugula is between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit.You can extend arugula's growing season somewhat by protecting it from freezes with row covers and from heat with shading.It does not need high humidity and grows quite well in arid climates, provided it gets enough water.This wild variety has flat, narrow leaves with spicy yet not overpowering flavor.This wild variety has flat, narrow leaves with spicy yet not overpowering flavor.Arugula and spinach are commonly combined in salads, and interestingly they’re often substituted for one another in recipes even though they have quite different flavors and textures.Your arugula should be fully grown and ready to harvest in about four to seven weeks, depending on the variety.Alternatively, you can cut off all the leaves just above the soil; the plant might regrow if the weather is still mild.If you wait too long to harvest and the plant bolts, eat the flowers but not the leaves.The blooms appear after the leaves have grown to full size and are too bitter to eat.Also, as the weather warms, containers make it easy to move the plants out of direct sun in the heat of the day, thereby extending the growing season.Unglazed clay is a good material to allow excess soil moisture to evaporate through its walls.But if you notice any broken or diseased leaves, remove them as soon as possible to help prevent problems from spreading.Allow your arugula plants to flower, and wait for the seed heads to turn brown and become brittle.The seeds can germinate even when the soil temperature is as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.Moreover, the short, early growing season of arugula means you'll miss most pest infestations in the spring but perhaps not if you plant again in late summer.Arugula plants are favored by slugs as well as cabbage loopers, flea beetles, aphids, and diamondback moths.Stop slugs from reaching the tender leaves with beer traps, diatomaceous earth, or another traditional method. .
Arugula Harvest and Storage Tips
Plants will flower (bolt) and stop producing when temperatures reach the high 70°sF (21°+C) for several days in a row.If temperatures rise into the 80°sF (26°+C), start picking outer leaves immediately; this will briefly delay bolting.In cold-winter regions, grow arugula under a plastic tunnel or in a cold frame.In a cold frame, you can keep arugula from freezing by covering plants with straw or hay.Leaves cut from plants that have produced flowers will be bitter and tough but still edible. .