How and When to Harvest Arugula

Arugula usually provides a peppery chunk to salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pasta sauces, and even soups. It may be blended right into a pesto as effectively. This plant is prized for its foliage, which is particularly scrumptious when harvested younger and tender. 

This annual edible may be grown in USDA zones 2-11 and tolerates gentle frosts. Arugula tends to desire cooler climate quite than heat climate. In prolonged intervals of warmth, arugula will bolt and go to seed. Arugula will do greatest when grown in spring and fall in zones with high-heat summers. 

This leafy inexperienced vegetable is native to the Mediterranean and has since gained recognition across the globe. It is usually referred to as rocket or “ruchetta” in Italy. Arugula is within the Brassicaceae household, which incorporates crops like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. Like many crops on this household, it’s excessive in antioxidants and nutritional vitamins A and C

Now that you recognize all the explanations to develop your arugula at house and also you’ve obtained your seeds or began your crops, learn on to learn the way and when to reap it! 

Harvesting

Crops have a peak interval when they’re most flavorful.

Realizing how and when to reap your edible crops is usually underestimated. Harvesting on the proper time will provide you with scrumptious produce at its peak in taste and highest storage potential and make sure that your crops proceed to provide for so long as attainable. Most crops have a closing aim of making seeds (or fruits that include seeds) to make sure the continuation of their species.

Arugula isn’t any totally different. When you perceive the very best time to snip your arugula, it is possible for you to to get pleasure from this peppery leafy inexperienced at peak taste and even have the ability to retailer it if want be. Common harvests will encourage your arugula to proceed to push out new progress, which is precisely what we would like, as this can end in extra arugula!

Every time you harvest arugula, you divert the main focus from creating seeds and shift the plant’s vitality again into rising extra leaves. Finally, no matter harvesting, your arugula will do what it’s designed to do and can go to seed, however common harvesting can lengthen the interval throughout which you’ll be able to get pleasure from these contemporary greens. 

When to Harvest

A hand picking a lettuce leaf from a cluster of lettuce in the garden.
There are a number of totally different levels when arugula may be harvested.

Relying on which selection you might be rising, arugula is mostly prepared inside 20-50 days after sowing seeds. Examine your seed packet for specifics. If you need child arugula, begin harvesting when the plant is 4-6 inches tall.

For a extra mature arugula, permit the leaves to develop double the dimensions of the child arugula after which start harvesting. You might also develop arugula as microgreens, which can be prepared a lot sooner. Microgreens may be harvested in as little as ten days. They make a scrumptious garnish or substitute for sprouts on sandwiches.

Examine in your arugula not less than as soon as weekly and harvest as new progress seems. This may encourage your crops to maintain producing. This recommendation solely applies to arugula crops and never microgreens. Microgreens can be a one-time harvest!  

Bolting and Seed Amassing

As talked about above, arugula grows greatest in cooler climate. Because the climate warms up in the summertime, arugula tends to bolt or ship up a middle flower stalk to finally produce seeds. At a sure level within the season, there can be nothing that you are able to do to forestall bolting. It’s the pure life cycle of arugula.

Nevertheless, all shouldn’t be misplaced! You’ll be able to permit your springtime arugula to bolt, accumulate the seeds, after which plant them on the finish of the summer time for a second fall harvest. 

To gather seeds, let the flowers die again, permit seed pods to type, dry absolutely on the plant, after which crack them open to disclose the seeds. Professional tip: arugula flowers are edible and have the identical scrumptious peppery taste. They make an important edible flower garnish for salads, soups, and even avocado toast! 

How one can Harvest

Hand holding a pair of scissors cutting off a chunk of lettuce growing out of a ceramic pot.
Reduce-and-come-again is a well-liked harvest technique.

There are two primary strategies for harvesting leafy greens: the cut-and-come-again technique and the one-time harvesting technique. The cut-and-come-again technique is the only option for arugula because it doesn’t type a head that must be harvested suddenly like with different leafy greens, i.e., leaf lettuce, romaine, and butterhead.  

When rising microgreens, you’ll use a one-time harvesting technique and reduce your microgreens right down to the bottom directly. Use small snips or sharp scissors to take action. Microgreens don’t retailer effectively, so it’s greatest to get pleasure from them instantly.  

When rising arugula crops for child greens or mature leaves, it’s greatest to make use of the cut-and-come-again technique. This may be achieved by harvesting the outer leaves, making certain you harvest not more than one-third of the plant’s total foliage at a single time. Use snips or sharp scissors and reduce the bottom of the leaf the place it meets the principle stem. Remember to permit your arugula to place out new progress earlier than harvesting once more. 

Storage

It’s best to eat your arugula instantly. Nevertheless, you may need a number of crops pumping out greens or must retailer arugula for future meals dishes or meals. When harvested correctly, arugula may be saved within the fridge for as much as one week. 

For those who plan to retailer your arugula, harvest early within the day earlier than the solar has hit the leaves. Make certain the leaves are standing upright and crisp. By no means harvest wilted leaves through the warmth of the day. They received’t bounce again as soon as they’ve been reduce from the plant.

For those who aren’t consuming your arugula instantly, it doesn’t should be washed but. Place unwashed leaves in a paper towel and insert right into a zipper seal plastic bag. Put the bag within the crisper drawer till you should utilize it. 

Ultimate Ideas

Like most leafy greens, arugula is a wonderful edible plant for newbie vegetable gardeners because it’s straightforward and fast to develop. It’s particularly rewarding to make the most of the cut-and-come-again technique for continuous harvests. For those who don’t have numerous area, and even little to no area (save for a sunny windowsill), you’ll be able to even nonetheless develop arugula microgreens! Now that you understand how and when to reap arugula, get on the market and get rising! 

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