So lets learn about arugula.
I love fresh arugula (I haven’t really heard of it used any other way). Be it arugula on its own, arugula mixed in with other greens, or arugula, beet and goat cheese salad. You can also make an arugula pesto.
It has a peppery flavor, and the longer you let it grow, the stronger the flavor gets. Which is why most people like to eat baby arugula, when the flavor is more mild.
Arugula is a cool season crop, so you can plant it at the beginning of the season (as soon as the soil can be worked) and at the end of the season.
As arugula is a direct seeded crop, you can simply sprinkle the seeds along a line (marked by a rake or other tool of your fancy), spacing the seeds about 1/4″ to 1″ apart. This spacing is good for harvesting baby arugula. If you would like your arugula to grow bigger, then you can either increase the spacing or thin the plants once they have started to grow.
(Thinning simply means to pull out some of the plants to give room for the others to grow bigger. Thinning involves using more seeds, but it can also be a way to ensure a certain yield.)
Your rows should be spaced 6″ apart, meaning you could have about 4 rows per bed (if you’d like).
And you want to plant the seeds about 1/4″ deep. So you can simply sprinkle some dirt over the rows. All seeds need light to germinate, but the smaller the seed, the more likely it is to fly away if it is not covered sufficiently. (Its a bit of a balancing act. The less cover the better normally, but you don’t want to not cover your seeds enough, and have them all fly away.)
Et voila! Arugula is a pretty hardy plant, so it should grow under most conditions. It doesn’t need compost to grow well, but compost definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Once the leaves are about 2″ long you can begin harvesting (which can be as soon as 2-3 wks after the plants germinate). I would cut individual leaves, because they tend to grow back for a bit, or you can simply pull up the whole plant if you’d like.
You should not plant arugula with or near strawberries and/or pole beans.
But arugula does grow well with: bush beans, celery, carrots, nasturtium, mint, dill, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, rosemary and potatoes.
Seeing as arugula is best fresh, it can be a good idea to use succession planting. This means spacing out the time between plantings. You could probably have 3 plantings in the spring, and another 3 plantings in the fall.
So there you have it. You now have all the basic info you need to grow arugula.
If you would like some more info on arugula, check out: http://veggieharvest.com/vegetables/arugula.html
It was my resource for the above information!