Arugula (also known as ‘jarjeer’ in Arabic, or roca/rocket) is such a delightful crop – it’s easy to grow, great in salads and is cut and come again, which means you can harvest from the same plant at least twice. Also, like other crucifers, it is high in antioxidants and fiber and has cancer-fighting properties!
So, of course you want to grow it!
How do you grow arugula at home with little effort?
When to sow arugula in your home garden
First, remember to sow in season!
It is best to grow arugula in cooler weather.
If you live in the Levant, grow in the months: September to March.
If you live in the Gulf, grow in the months: November to February/March. You may try growing it in the early summer, but the pests will likely be more of a challenge.
Depending on where you live, the temperature will either be more temperate (like the Levant) or more arid/desert (like the Gulf and the interior of North Africa) and so follow the guidelines above. For more details, refer to our standard guide for growing vegetables in your home garden.
Follow these 6 easy steps to grow arugula at home
Grow your arugula in a container, in a raised bed or directly in the ground.
If growing in a container or raised bed use potting soil made for growing vegetables, and which will contain peat moss, compost, wood chips, tree bark and vermiculite/perlite.
If growing in the ground, amend your soil with compost (30%) and peat moss (10%).
Arugula needs full sun, so make sure you plant it in an area that receives 8 hours of full sun.
The quality of your seeds matters – so make sure to order from a reputable source. In Kuwait, you can find good quality organic seeds via plantnmore and Organic Value. In the UAE, you can check out Green Souq and Local Roots.
Sow your seeds to a depth of about 1cm, and space them 3 cm apart. Alternatively, you can broadcast (spread seed as you would when feeding birds) them, cover them lightly with 1cm of soil. In 2 weeks, thin them (cut them) with scissors so that each plant is 10cm away from the other.
5. Service with care (Pest Management)
Luckily for you, arugula needs minimal care. If it is affected by flea beetles, these can be treated with neem oil or a homemade solution: 2 cups rubbing alcohol, 5 cups water and 1 tablespoon liquid soap.
Arugula will be ready to harvest in 35 days! Harvest the outer leaves first, and the plant will continue to grow and give more leaves. In this way, you can harvest from the same plant at least twice.
If you would like a continuous supply of arugula, sow your seeds every 2 weeks!