Useful gardening information
Arugula (Eruca vesicaria) is sometimes called rocket or roquette. Long popular in France and Italy, the leaves of arugula provide a spicy zap when added to a salad. This is the same plant sold in cellophane bags in the grocery store and usually labelled 'baby arugula.' You can also saute or steam the leaves like spinach or other leafy greens. Plants look a little like dandelions, but are bigger and more open. Leaves grow best in cool weather. Leafy plants grow 6 to 12 inches tall while in the harvest stage.
Arugula should be planted in the garden in early spring or fall. It will grow in a rosette about a foot wide and equally tall. Like leaf lettuce, mustard, or collards, arugula stretches skyward in hot weather, blooming and setting seeds. You can pull it up when plant start to send up a bloom stalk from the center, or you can continue harvesting the leaves until they taste too strong.
Some gardeners cut the plants back to get another harvest as it tries to grow back. The bloom stalks may grow 24 to 36 inches tall and have little white flowers on top. These are edible and look pretty in a salad. Flowering signals that the season is ending for arugula and you can replace it with a warm weather crop, unless you want to try cutting it back and eating it just a little longer.
Links to useful information on the web:
Growing Arugula in containers
H802 Arugula/Roquette ( Eruca vesicaria sativa )
Also known as rocket, rucola, or roquette, this peppery green has been cultivated in the Mediterranean for thousands of years. With high levels of potassium and vitamins A and C, arugula is a nutritional powerhouse. It makes more of a punch, flavor-wise, than most other leafy greens, which lends itself nicely to a variety of dishes.
Long, dark, lobed leaves are suitable for salad mix or bunching. White flowers with dark pink veins make attractive spicy additions to salad mixes.
Another old time heirloom herb growing to 2' tall. The young leaves have a horseradish flavor and are deeply toothed resembling turnip greens. The scent and flavor are reminiscent of peanuts.
This is a cool weather crop that gets bitter in midsummer heat. Make several plantings in early spring and again in midsummer. Harvest by shearing off the entire plant at ground level.
TRM523 Wild Child Arugula ( Diplotaxis tenuifolia )
A versatile and hardy annual herb also known as Wild Rocket. It is not a true Arugula, but named for it's similar flavor and uses. This is a herbaceous plant found in the wild in Italy. Wild Child has thin, serrated leaves which are bright-green in color and have an intense aroma. Owing to its strong but pleasant flavor it is particularly suitable for mixed salads or on pizzas. The plant grows well in any type of soil and requires little care.
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