Arugula is an easy-to-grow leafy green, noted for a spicy, bitter flavor that makes for a delicious addition to salads and other dishes.

Our featured arugula variety: Arugula Seed

Arugula – A Crunchy, Semi-Bitter Delight

Arugula - A Crunchy, Semi-Bitter Delight
Mature arugula leaves are distinguished from other dark, leafy greens in that they have a strong flavor which some people experience as bitter, while others may describe them as spicy or peppery. Also known as salad/garden rocket, roquette or rucola, arugula is delicious raw as well as cooked—which renders it milder.

Interesting Facts About Arugula Plants

Fact 1
Arugula—Eruca sativa—is an annual herb and member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae). It’s a cruciferous vegetable, similar to broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage, to name a few. These vegetables contain compounds, known as glucosinolates, which not only give them their distinctive peppery flavor, but also have important, cancer-fighting properties.
Fact 2
Arugula has been grown and consumed since ancient times. Native to the Mediterranean region, Arugula has long been a staple in cuisine from that part of the world. In recent years, it has gained worldwide popularity and its use in the U.S. continues to rise.

Arugula Gardening Tips

Difficulty
Difficulty

Easy.

Sun
Sun

Minimum of 4-5 hours. More is better but Arugula does tolerate light shade, particularly in the heat of summer.

Water
Water

Arugula does best when the soil is consistently moist. Take care not to over-water, especially when seeds are first planted.

Soil
Soil

Well-drained, rich in organic matter. Soil pH should be around 6-6.5 and the soil temperature should be 45°F or above.

Air
Air

40°F to 75°F (cooler is better)

Timing
Timing

Arugula can tolerate light frosts so the seeds can be direct sown outside relatively early in spring when the soil and average ambient air temperature are above 40°F.

Planting
Planting

Plant seeds ¼” deep and 1″ apart; gradually thin plants to 6″ apart, saving discarded seedlings for a sandwich or salad.

Germination
Germination

4-6 days.

Feeding
Feeding

30 days.

Mulch
Mulch

Add some compost and organic time-release fertilizer at planting time.

Pests & Diseases
Pests & Diseases

Mulch is helpful in order to keep the soil cool and moist.

Special Considerations
Special Considerations

Arugula is naturally pest resistant!

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Arugula prefers the cool weather of early spring and fall and will bolt in the heat of summer. You can try to keep the plant trimmed back but understand that arugula leaves are at their best when young.

Container-Friendly
Container-Friendly

Lettuce, spinach, cucumber, bush beans, beets, carrots, celery, onion, and potato.

Harvesting Arugula

Harvesting All parts of the arugula plant are edible, though the young leaves are the most delectable. You can harvest the leaves continuously as soon as they appear, leaving the rest of the plant intact so it continues to grow. If you live in a region of the country where summers get hot, as soon as temperatures rise in earnest, arugula is quick to bolt,and won’t be as tasty as before. You may want to pull up the mature plants and reseed at the end of the summer when temperatures moderate. Depending on your climate, arugula will grow well into the fall, providing you with tasty greens hopefully up to Thanksgiving or beyond.

Growing Arugula—Highlights

  • Arugula is an annual that thrives in the cool temperatures of spring or fall, similar to its leafy green cousins, lettuce and spinach.
  • This long-established favorite among professional chefs has gained widespread popularity in recent years.
  • Arugula is a delicious, subtly-spicy complement to garden salads and adds an interesting note to many other dishes, which is why it’s becoming a kitchen staple.
  • Though Arugula is often merchandised as a specialty item in the supermarket, you can easily and cost-effectively grow it from seed yourself, even in containers.
  • Unfussy and fast-growing in full sun or partial shade, arugula leaves can be harvested within 30 days and continuously thereafter until it gets hot when it’s likely to bolt and become too bitter to enjoy.
  • Like many other dark green leafy green vegetables, Arugula is low in calories but chock full of nutrients including vitamins A, C and K, as well as folate, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium to name a few. In addition to vitamin A, arugula contains beta carotene, along with two other carotenoids that support your eye health.

Here at Bentley Seeds, we want to set you up for success. Our growing guides are designed to give you all the information you'll need to start growing from seed, in an easy-to-digest format.

We also encourage you to print out a copy as a handy reference in your garden.