Diplotaxis tenufolia. Imagine – this wild arugula does not bolt all summer long, leaves are held up off the ground and are easy to pick for salads and sandwiches. This open, lacy-leaved plant has a bit more of the well-loved arugula “bite” and is great for snacking. Gather leaves all summer, watch for self-sown plants around the big one, and gather those leaves in winter. Wild Arugula seeds have slow germination rates and are very tiny, meaning that they are best started in the house or greenhouse and transplanted to the garden when it is big enough to handle. Set them where they are to grow as they have deep roots. Diplotaxis is the original, traditional Italian HEIRLOOM variety of arugula.
Matures in 35-50 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)
How to Grow Arugula
Arugula is a productive, cool season, annual salad green that works best in spring and fall, and can be managed all winter under cloche protection. In hot weather, arugula will go to seed. Continue reading below to find out how to grow arugula from seed.
Latin: Eruca sativa (Wild Arugula is Diplotaxis tenuifolia)
We Recommend: Astro (MS483). All arugulas are good, but Astro stands out. Grow this variety in cool weather, or try it as a microgreen at any time of year.
For Urban Gardeners: Try Adagio (MS503) in containers on your balcony. Its natural resistance to bolting means it works a little better in containers than some of the others.
Season & Zone
Season: Cool season. Arugula tends to bolt in hot weather.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade.
Zone: Hardy in all zones.
Direct sow every 3 weeks from mid-March to April and again in September for a fall/winter crop. Optimal soil temperature: 4-12°C (40-50°F).
Sow no more than 5mm (¼”) deep in well drained soil in full sun. Thin seedlings to 10-15cm (4-6″) apart in rows 45-60cm (18-24″) apart. Overcrowded plants will bolt earlier. Seeds germinate in 4-8 days.
Ideal pH: 6.5-7.0. keep moist until germinated and then just keep the area weeded.
Use as a cut & come again crop, harvesting with scissors. Baby leaves are mild and tender.
In optimum conditions at least 75% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100′ row: 1.2M seeds, per acre: 348M seeds.
Diseases & Pests
Flea beetles will cause numerous tiny holes in the leaves. If these appear, try planting a couple of weeks later next year, to avoid their laying cycle. Or plant under lightweight row cover.
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