When I took this photo in April 2020, these two parsley plants were about a year old. I was hoping to keep them for the whole season. Little did I know that two weeks later they would begin their seed production journey. I kept them anyway just to see if they would set seeds. And they did!
It is January as I write this and winter is in full swing. We’ve had snow twice already and there could be more in the following days and weeks. It is also quite cold. Temperatures at night (and sometimes during the days too) often drop well below freezing. That doesn’t stop me from starting the new gardening season though. Right now, I’m in the middle of creating my annual vegetable garden blueprint for the coming year. I’m also thinking about doing the first (experimental) plantings…
What’s not to love about arugula?
This leafy pepper plant is my favorite salad green of all time, and luckily it’s a cinch to grow!
Planting and Care of Arugula
You can order arugula seeds in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked and continue to plant until mid-August. Well-drained soil rich in organic matter is great, but arugula will tolerate a range of soil conditions. You can sow seeds a quarter inch deep and an inch apart in rows or you can broadcast arugula alone or mixed with other greens.
Arugula is also good for intercropping between longer season plants. However you plant them make sure you thin the seedlings so they stand six inches apart.
How to harvest arugula without killing the plant
If you want to harvest baby arugula or keep your plants alive as long as possible, the best way to harvest harvesting is picking individual leaves or practicing “pick and come again” harvesting. The two are technically a bit different. Let me explain:
You can first remove outer leaves and cut or pin them just above the crown of the plant (as close to the ground as possible). You can take a handful or two leaves from each plant, depending on how big the plants are, but always leave ⅓-½ of each plant intact.
Vegetable Growth Phase
After the seeding phase, the arugula plant will continue to grow larger and more mature. They reach the vegetative stage where they grow more roots, leaves, and slightly thicker stems. In this stage, they need more water, nutrients and sunlight.
Usually, arugula is harvested when the leaves are a little bigger but not too hard. Arugula can be harvested 6-8 weeks from seed. There are times that it can be much faster depending on how they are taken care of and the weather condition in place.