Arugula Lettuce Plants
Eruca vesicaria sativa
A member of the Mustard family, Arugula is a leafy green that packs a peppery punch! Similar to Watercress in flavor, Arugula has edible, aromatic leaves and a spicier flavor than most greens. Often eaten raw in salads, Arugula also tastes great when cooked. If you’re adding it to a pizza, pasta, or pesto, make sure to add it last or just after the meal is done cooking to prevent the leaves from withering.
Native to the Mediterranean, Arugula has been used for its culinary value since Ancient Romans used it in salads, oils and as an aphrodisiac. Highly rich in Vitamins C and A as well as Potassium, Arugula is similar in shape to spinach and contains very little calories. Related to both Mustard and Nastustiums, it has that peppery ‘bite’ and is most often used in salads combined with other lettuces.
Harvest the leaves while they’re young, 6 to 8 weeks after planting. Cut larger outer leaves first or cut the entire plant back to about an inch above the ground. As the temperature gets hotter, so does the taste. Remember to cut back before the flowers appear. Over harvesting will kill this hardy little edible but it self seeds and renews its leaves very quickly.
Arugula prefers moist but not wet soil and is very low maintenance. Easily sown and grown in your garden or in a container or pot for indoor or patio gardens, Arugula is a delicious and nutritious edible that will spice up your recipes all year long!
Characteristics: A biennial, Arugula is a delicious green that is very high in nutrients. Possessing a very peppery taste, it’s wonderful in salads and on pizzas!
Light: Arugula enjoys sun, but also appreciates a little shade during hot sunny summer days. Heat causes arugula to bolt faster; for this reason, many gardeners prefer to plant arugula in the fall when days are still relatively long, with gradually cooling temperatures.
Water: Evenly-moist soil will slow bolting. Arugula prefers lots of regular watering.
Soil: Arugula enjoys rich soil high in organic matter, but will tolerate less-than-ideal soil conditions.
Use: Arugula is a delicious edible green that delivers a distinct peppery flavor. Toss some leaves in salads or on a pizza right after it comes out of the oven, for an added kick.
Extras: This herb is very easy to grow and is therefore great for beginners. Give it a try!
This wonderful green combines with almost anything ~ toss in salads, combine with citrus fruits, add to pizza and toss into a stir fry. The taste gets muted when cooked, so make sure to keep that cooking time brief!