Feature Wednesday – Rocket Arugula

As we talk with many in the area we find that Arugula is one of those leafy greens that either you love it or you hate it greens. We LOVE it! We add it to salad mixes, sautéed it with eggs, and have even made a delicious pesto out of it! It will always have a place on the farm. Here’s what we have learned over the years:

▪︎Here in zone 8 it can be grown year round. This is perhaps my favorite feature of Arugula. Growing it in the dead of Summer will require a bit of shade cloth to keep the flavor from becoming bitter & bolting however it will be considerably spicier!

▪︎It is extremely resistant to pests. Or they just don’t like it. Either way we don’t mind!

▪︎It will grow in just about whatever soil you plant it in!

▪︎Does not require lots of watering. Even in Summer the Arugula beds could go with watering every other day as a opposed to daily.

▪︎It is not a heavy feeder so will not deplete soil of vital nutrients. We do still fertilize with fish emulsion at planting.

▪︎In Spring & Summer it grows extremely quick (35 days for us), thus the name. In Fall and Winter expect it to take about 20 more days to reach maturity.

▪︎ It germinates very well and thus is a great for direct sowing as well as intense planting, both of which we practice with it.

▪︎ If allowed to go to seed it will freely self sow. For some reason these self sown plants seem to be the strongest plants on the farm!

▪︎ Speaking of going to seed, we have found Rocket Arugula to still be palatable even at this point. Just avoid those woody stems. We have even eaten the flowers & believe it or not they are good too!

▪︎Although we harvest the entire plant when growing Arugula, it can be grown as a cut and come again green.

▪︎It is moderately frost tolerant. We have even had it rebound after a hard freeze (19 degrees!)!!!

▪︎Can be used young as a salad green however if it continues to grow it can be harvested and used in cooking. We stew like we would Collards or Mustards. The advantage is it does not require nearly as long to cook! We like this option for large harvests.

▪︎It freezes well. Flash freezing is best. We found this prevents clumping in the bag and allows us to be able to use a little here and there rather than the whole bag.

▪︎It is an excellent edible chop and drop Fall cover crop! Arugula like its cousin the Mustard Green has great antifungal properties for the soil. The next items you plant here will thank you!!!

▪︎Our chickens love it! Well most of them do! Here is a video of our Buff Orphington being very mouthy about getting arugula for breakfast instead of feed!

There you have it folks – all you need to know about Rocket Arugula! Alternatively we plant Astro Arugula with the exact same results. We hope that you find a space or even a pot for arugula this growing season and if you do we hope the above tips help you find success!