How to grow your own Wild Arugula

 arugula planting facts

1. Seeds & Soil Preparation

A. SOIL PREPARATION Put ample amount of soil to your chosen pot. Don’t forget to leave about a quarter of an inch or so of empty space in between the surface of the soil and rim of the pot to ensure proper growth. Press the mixture slightly to eliminate stubborn air pockets. Drench the mixture with water so it’s ready to provide the right environment for seeds to germinate.

B. SOW. Drop at least 5-8 seeds into the pot making sure they have ample space in between. Cover them lightly with some soil at least 1-2mm deep. Water the pot lightly to ensure good seed–to-mix contact.

C. SEAL & NURTURE. Leaving the pot completely open will allow too much heat as well as allowing moisture to escape, this may cause fewer germination or no germination at all. To prevent this, look for a clear plastic kitchen wrap or bag and spray it with some water. Be sure that the moist side of the plastic will sit above the soil. Go ahead and  secure the plastic (moist side inside) with a rubber band or thread, acting as the pot’s lid. This will help it to retain the moisture that the seeds need to germinate properly. Twice daily, remove the wrap and sprinkle the pot with water especially when it’s hot.

2. Germination & Vegetation 

A. TIME TO UNVEIL THEM. Remove the plastic wrap when the sprouts start to emerge (around 5-8 days after step 1). When you see the first green tendrils (tiny stems) push up through the soil, you can then remove the wrap. Germination is over, now the second stage starts. It’s called vegetative stage. In this stage leaves will form and it will gradually grow. You need to keep the soil moist to aid the growing plant. You may water it lightly at least two times daily preferably in the morning and late afternoon to maintain its moisture.

B. THINNING. Thin seedlings after they get their second sets of leaves. Pull out the weakest seedlings (Note: perform thinning after the emergence of the true leaves- 4th leaf), for the strongest, healthiest plants you'll want just one seedling per pot. Discard plucked out seedlings or you can try to transplant them into different pots, but you risk damaging the roots of the plant, which can adversely affect its rate of survival. 

3. Hydration, Sun Exposure & Fertilization 

A. HYDRATION & SUN EXPOSURE. Because the potting mix in a pot dries quickly; you will need to water oh so frequently. (Check by sticking your finger into the soil. If it feels dry an inch beneath the surface, it’s time to water.) Keep the soil damp but not soaked. Arugula does best in a well-drained soil, and should not be subjected to standing water. Arugula appreciates cool weather. Put your arugula in a spot with full sun exposure when planting during the cold months (Late November - Late February). If you’re planting during the summer season (March - June) it would be best to place them in a partially shaded spot especially in the afternoon. 

B. FERTILIZATION. That frequent watering tends to wash out nutrients from the pot’s soil, as well as some of it was already acquired by the plant so you will need to replenish it with fertilizer. Start to fertilize 14-21 days after  emergence of sprout and every 10 days. Sprinkle at least 5-10 pcs of DURABLOOM Pellets to the soil for its nutrients requirements. You can crush the pellet and sprinkle indirectly around the arugula for faster absorption. It is a must that you water the pot after fertilizer application or apply it before you do your watering.You can also enhance the Arugula development by giving it direct nutrients, dilute ½ teaspoon of DURABLOOM Foliar in 2Litres of water and spray it to the leaves of the plant. This will boost root development and ensure that the plant will utilize all nutrients available in the potting media. You can do this once a week.

4. Protection & Harvesting

A. BOLTING PREVENTION AND PEST MANAGEMENT. When you see flower buds, pinch them (and the two pairs of leaves under them) off. Flowers blooming create a hormone change which dramatically reduces the flavor of the leaves, as well as reducing the amount of foliage which grows. This is called "bolting" and is more likely to happen when there's extra amount sunshine and heat. You'll notice that if you can’t let go of the flowers, the plant will become lanky and the leaves won't be as full or tasty.

Watch for pests and molds. Arugula plants are attractive to Japanese beetles; the best way to control these pests is to pick-off the plants by hand. If your plants show signs of mold growth, they may not be getting adequate sunlight, or they may be too close together. Weed out the smaller plants to give the larger ones more space.

B. PRUNING AND SEEDS HARVESTING. As the plant matures, pinch off the top two pairs of leaves once a stalk reaches a reasonable height. If you’ll look closely, you can see two tiny leaves at the base of the every leaf. Cut them, but be very sure not to damage them.

You can now eat your own organic Arugula! Throw an organic salad party, or put some on your sandwich for a quick peppery punch! :)