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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 properly. This plant is prized for its foliage, which is particularly scrumptious when harvested younger and tender. 

This annual edible might be grown in USDA zones 2-11 and tolerates gentle frosts. Arugula tends to choose cooler climate fairly than heat climate. In prolonged durations of warmth, arugula will bolt and go to seed. Arugula will do finest 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’s also generally known 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 realize all the explanations to develop your arugula at dwelling and you’ve bought your seeds or began your crops, learn on to find out how and when to reap it! 


Pair of hands holding a bundle of bright green lettuce freshly harvested.
Vegetation have a peak interval when they’re most flavorful.

Figuring out how and when to reap your edible crops is usually underestimated. Harvesting on the proper time gives you scrumptious produce at its peak in taste and highest storage potential and be certain that your crops proceed to provide for so long as doable. Most crops have a remaining aim of making seeds (or fruits that comprise 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 be capable of retailer it if want be. Common harvests will encourage your arugula to proceed to push out new progress, which is strictly what we would like, as this can lead to 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. Ultimately, no matter harvesting, your arugula will do what it’s designed to do and can go to seed, however common harvesting can prolong the interval throughout which you’ll be able to get pleasure from these recent 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 might be harvested.

Relying on which selection you might be rising, arugula is usually prepared inside 20-50 days after sowing seeds. Verify your seed packet for specifics. If you’d like 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 infant arugula after which start harvesting. You may additionally develop arugula as microgreens, which might be prepared a lot sooner. Microgreens might be harvested in as little as ten days. They make a scrumptious garnish or substitute for sprouts on sandwiches.

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

Bolting and Seed Gathering

As talked about above, arugula grows finest 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 might be nothing that you are able to do to stop bolting. It’s the pure life cycle of arugula.

Nonetheless, all is just not misplaced! You possibly can permit your springtime arugula to bolt, acquire the seeds, after which plant them on the finish of the summer season 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 amazing edible flower garnish for salads, soups, and even avocado toast! 


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

There are two major 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 unexpectedly like with different leafy greens, i.e., leaf lettuce, romaine, and butterhead.  

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

When rising arugula crops for child greens or mature leaves, it’s finest 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 general foliage at a single time. Use snips or sharp scissors and minimize 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. 


It’s best to eat your arugula straight away. Nonetheless, you may need a number of crops pumping out greens or must retailer arugula for future meals dishes or meals. When harvested correctly, arugula might 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. Be certain the leaves are standing upright and crisp. By no means harvest wilted leaves in the course of the warmth of the day. They received’t bounce again as soon as they’ve been minimize from the plant.

For those who aren’t consuming your arugula instantly, it doesn’t must 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. 

Last Ideas

Like most leafy greens, arugula is a superb 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 house, and even little to no house (save for a sunny windowsill), you possibly can even nonetheless develop arugula microgreens! Now that you know the way and when to reap arugula, get on the market and get rising! 



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