Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Successive, Single, or Continuous

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Direct sow

When to Plant: Plant arugula as soon as the soil thaws.

Days to Germinate:  7 days

Days to Maturity:  30-60 days

Planting Depth:  1/4”

Germination Temp:  40°F

Seed Spacing:  1” and then thin to 4” when seedlings are 1" tall

Rows:  1' wide 

Light:  Full Sun to light shade

Soil pH:  6.0 - 7.0

Water:  1” per week or whenever the top inch or so of soil is dry.

Soil Temperature:  40-60°F

Fertilizer:  High nitrogen fertilizer worked into the soil before planting seeds or transplants.

Rotation:  Keep with other brassica and rotate each planting. 


Arugula is a plant that is related to cabbage, broccoli and other brassica plants. People love it for that mildly hot taste that goes so well in many recipes. Arugula is a fast-growing and easy to care for addition to your garden. 

 Harvest Type

Many people harvest arugula as they need it. It is a beautiful cut-and-grow crop which means you snip off what you need and let the plant continue to grow. 

 Transplant / Direct Sow

Most people direct sow arugula seeds. You can plant seeds in trays indoors early and then transplant the seedlings outdoors when the soil is workable. 

 When to Plant

Arugula is a cool-loving plant. In warmer hardiness zones, plant in late fall. In cooler hardiness zones below Zone 8, plant when soil has thawed. Arugula can handle light frosts. If seedlings are small, they can be covered with a row cover or even a cardboard box to protect them from heavy freezes. 

 Days to Germinate

Generally, arugula needs only 5-7 days to germinate - fewer days in warmer climates and full sun and a few additional days if the weather remains cool. 

 Days to Maturity

Full plant maturity takes about 45-60 days; however, you can start to harvest arugula at 30 days. If you are planting arugula as a snipping crop, begin to take leaves when the plant is about 6" tall. 

Tip: Arugula is a shallow root plant, so plant it in areas or containers that are not overly deep. Doing so will save valuable raised bed space for plants that require deeper root space. 

 Planting Depth

Plant arugula seeds about 1/4" deep. Seed can be broadcast to the soil surface followed by a dusting of fine soil. 

 Germination Temperature Range

Arugula germinates in cool weather. The soil can be as cool as 40°F, but the plant does exceptionally well when the soil is 60°F. 

Tip: Arugula, like other brassica plants, will bolt if the weather becomes too warm. Aim to plant and harvest as a spring, early summer, or fall/winter crop. Arugula will usually not survive in hot summer weather. 

 Spacing Between Plants

Arugula needs only 3-4" per plant to thrive. 

 Growing Conditions

Arugula prefers full sun but can tolerate light shade or afternoon shade just fine. The soil should be slightly acidic with a pH of 6.0-7.0 that holds moisture but does not become soggy.

 Companion Plants 

Arugula grows well with most plants except strawberries. It will grow with other brassica plants, greens, such as lettuce, and herbs. 


Rotate all brassica plants each time you replant them. Arugula likes nitrogen-rich soil, which is what helps keep its leaves dark green. 

 Anticipated Yields 

Plan your garden yield at five or six arugula plants per person. 

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