How to Grow Arugula – A Beginner’s Guide

arugula plant growing in garden
Arugula, which are known botanically as Eruca Vesicaria, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing arugula as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Arugula

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the arugula seeds  during the cool days of early spring or fall. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when arugula are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Arugula the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing arugula in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your arugula grow. Generally, your soil should be loose fertile loams, and muck soils are best. Soil PH levels should be around 6 to 7.

roughly 1.5′ apart in rows. 9″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about .25″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your arugula seedlings seed every 3″ and once plants are well established.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Arugula

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your arugula. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your arugula should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Arugula

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your arugula do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your arugula begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Arugula to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your arugula grow.

It takes approximately 8-10 days to germinate, and a total of 40 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Arugula

The best time to harvest your arugula is anytime after the leaves are large enough to eat.

Arugula can grow up to about 3 to 6 inches long.

What Can Arugula Be Used For?

Food Use: hearty grains and small pastas such as farro, couscous, wild rice, and whole wheat couscous.

Flavor Profile: Pungent, tangy, and peppery!

Can Arugula Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you will ideally need a 12″+ containerfor each plant. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your arugula around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Arugula Safe for Bees?

Yes, arugula are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing arugula is bee-friendly.

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.