Arugula - grow a Mediterranean delicacy
At present, among other vegetable salad crops, a Mediterranean delicacy begins to take a firm place - a leafy vegetable salad of arugula (arugula, rucola). For a long time he was unusual for Russian cuisine. If in Italy in the first century, arugula was considered an indispensable vegetable on the dining table, used as a spice, then in Russia it was an annoying weedler and only in the 20-21 century did it start to occupy a worthy place in the kitchen menu of our regions as a salad plant.
At present, in Russia, “Italian” has been adequately rated as a food culture. It does not require special care, grows freely in places with a rather harsh climate.
Arugula can be grown:
- in open ground by sowing seeds and through seedlings;
- in a greenhouse by direct sowing of seeds and through seedlings;
- at home on the kitchen windowsills.
I invite you, dear readers, to get acquainted with the methods of growing arugula, its features and varieties for growing in cottages and gardens.
Arugula in the plant system
In the wild, in Russia, arugula is found in the European part, in the foothills of Dagestan and the Caucasus. In vivo, she prefers dry, light, loose soils.
In different countries of the world it is called differently: rocket salad, rauka, rocca, rocket, arugula, rugola, rughetta, partying, indau, eruca. In the Russian Federation, they often call the gander, the indow sowing, and in some regions - wild mustard. Arugula in the plant system is part of the Brassicaceae family. The international scientific name is Eruca sativa.
Arugula is a very interesting plant. Under the market name "Arugula", two types of salad are hidden:
- garden arugula (Eruca sativa), botanical name sowing indowor sowing caterpillar, or sowing Eruka (Eruca vesicaria).
- wild arugula, or botanical name thin-leaved (Diplotaxis tenuifolia).
Both species have an attractive taste, giving the dishes a delicate aroma of a nutty mustard hue. A quick inspection, they are very similar, but they are still two different plants.
Varieties of garden arugula, or indau - annual plants. A distinctive feature is the lyrical shape of the lower leaves with a jagged, sometimes smooth edge. Flowers in a rare long brush of light tones (white, cream, yellowish, with purple streaks). The leaves are characterized by a spicy-sharp taste with a mustard note. Seeds in pods are arranged in 2 rows, similar to mustard seeds.
Wild arugula, or two-leaved thin-leaved, refers to perennials. Tall, up to 70 cm plants are prone to lodging. A distinctive feature is the shape of the leaf blade of the lower rosette leaves: narrow, long, strongly dissected. To taste, the leaves are sharper than those of annual indows. The flowers are also located in long, loose brushes, but the color of the corolla petals is yellow, turning into orange. Seeds in pods are very small (like poppy seeds), arranged in 2 rows. Fans of spicy dishes prefer varieties of wild arugula.
In the Russian Federation, garden arugula, or Indow sowing (Erica sowing), is more common. Breeders bred more than 30 varieties suitable for cultivation in different regions of Russia.
Arugula Botanical Description
Indau (arugula) is a plant of 40-60 cm with a straight, branched, slightly pubescent stem. The root is rod. Root leaves form a rosette. They are slightly thickened, covered with hairs. They have a spicy-pepper taste with a residual mustard flavor. The shape of the leaf blade depends on the variety and type of arugula. The lower leaves are elongated, obovate with a rugged leaf blade, dissected into lyre-shaped or serrated lobes on long petioles. The edges of the leaf blade can be serrated, with a flat or wavy edge.
Arugula blooms in May – July. Inflorescence is a long, loose brush. The flowers are small, in different shades: white, white-pink, yellowish. Corolla petals with purple veins. They are ovoid in shape. The fruit is an elongated pod on thickened short legs. Inside the pod, seeds arranged in 2 rows are compressed oval or rounded oval. The color is light brown, light brown. Reminiscent of mustard seeds.
Ways of growing arugula
Arugula can be grown:
- in open ground with seeds and seedlings in the southern regions and regions with a temperate climate;
- in regions with a cold short warm period - through seedlings in open ground or in greenhouse conditions;
- in cold regions - in heated greenhouses in bed crops, in hydroponic solutions;
- year-round in pot culture at home.
Growing arugula in the open field
Arugula needs bright but diffused lighting. In culturological circulation, its beds are protected from the sun by tall plants (corn, beans curling on a trellis) or areas with partial light shading are used. In open areas at high solar temperatures, the arugula proceeds to rapid shooting, forms coarse leaf blades with wormwood.
For arugula, slightly alkaline and neutral fertile soils, water- and breathable, are optimal. Arugula dies on acidic soils, and established bushes form poor-quality greens.
If for a long time the soil was fertilized only with mineral tuks, then under the autumn digging it is necessary to add lime in order to remove the accumulated acidity and provide the plants with calcium.
If there was autumn liming, then in the spring before sowing, 35-40 g / sq. m. Kemira or nitrophoski. If in previous years the soil was sufficiently fertilized, green manure was used, then fertilizer should not be applied under the arugula when preparing the soil.
If liming is not carried out, and the soil needs fertilizer, then you can make a digging on the square. m area of 30-40 g of nitrophosphate or urea.
During the growing season, it is better not to fertilize the arugula, since the leaves accumulate nitrites and nitrates, which adversely affect human health. If there is a delay in development, you can carry out foliar dressing with microelements (you can buy them in a flower shop).
Location in the cultural revolution
The best predecessors are peas and other legumes, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots. After arugula, cruciferous plants should not be planted and sown for 3-5 years due to possible common diseases and pests.
Arugula refers to cold-resistant, early ripe spicy-vegetable crops.
Seeds begin to be sown when the soil warms up in a 7-10 cm layer to + 6 ... + 10 ºС. Since arugula is a precocious crop, it is possible to carry out several crops with a gap of 1.5–2.0 weeks in March – April and the entire first half of summer by repeating a couple of crops in late August – early September. In warm regions, the harvest of autumn crops can be harvested from September to November.
Arugula can be sown with winter sowing and get an extra early harvest. Sowing is carried out in the regions with a steady zero temperature without long autumn thaws, which can lead to swelling and germination of seeds (then the future crop will die). Sowing is carried out approximately in October-November, and in the south - in February windows.
Arugula seeds are sown in an ordinary way with row spacing of 30-45 cm. Seeds are buried by 2-4 cm, depending on the type of soil. A feature of the culture is an extended period of seed germination. Therefore, with the advent of seedlings, several thinning is carried out, leaving the strongest in each row every 8-10 cm. Thickened plantings form small leaves, with rough veins. Arugula seeds begin to germinate at an air temperature of + 9 ... + 10 ºС, but the optimum for obtaining fast and friendly seedlings is + 17 ... + 23 ºС.
Outdoor Arugula Care
Protecting plants from pests and diseases
Arugula refers to precocious crops. A crop of leaves ready for cutting is formed within 1-1.5 months. Therefore, no treatment of plants with chemicals can be carried out.
Changing the color of the leaves, the appearance of various spots, wilting of plants indicate a disease or damage by their pests. The main way to prevent preventive:
- high-quality soil preparation;
- cultural observance;
- weed control;
- the use of healthy seeds prepared for sowing.
With the defeat of fungal and bacterial diseases, the use of biofungicides (phytosporin-M, gamair, alirin, etc.) is allowed. Processing plants is carried out in accordance with the recommendations. With severe damage, diseased plants are best removed from the garden and destroyed, and this place is shed with a potassium permanganate solution.
The green mass of arugula is attractive for caterpillars of cabbage, cabbage moth and other lepidoptera, cruciferous fleas, slugs. When planting seedlings in the ground or when seedlings appear, some gardeners advise covering plants with cover material (but not with a film) to protect them from the cabbage flea. It is effective to sprinkle soil and plants with tobacco dust, finely sifted ash. Treatment with grass solutions, especially wormwood, is undesirable. Remaining on the leaves, the solution gives them an undesirable aftertaste.
During the growing season, the arugula of slugs and caterpillars with their limited number is collected manually. You can use the treatment of plants with bioinsecticides (bitoxibacillin-BTU-r, aversectin-C, planriz, tabazole, etc.) according to the recommendations.
Watering is very important for the formation of a quality crop. The lack of water coarsens the leaves, gives them bitterness. Watering is carried out between the aisles, low pressure, so that the soil with spray of water does not contaminate the leaves of arugula. Watered every 2 days, preferably in the morning until 9-10 hours or after 16 hours of the day. With sparse watering (1-2 times a week, high standards), spicy salad leaves become coarse, acquire a wormwood-bitter aftertaste and are not suitable for use in cooking.
You can save arugula seedlings during the period of spring return frosts by shelter. After frost, the insulation must be removed. Arugula is hardy and can withstand short-term freezing up to -7ºС.
The soil under the arugula is constantly cultivated loose and weed-free. After watering, the soil is mulched, which allows not only to retain moisture, but also to protect the leaves from soil contamination during subsequent watering. Mulch with small humus and chopped grass. The layer of mulch is gradually increased - from 2 to 3 cm or more. The mulch under the bushes is laid out so that the leaves do not lie on the bare ground.
Harvesting and storage of arugula
The first cut of leaves of arugula is carried out with a leaf length of 8-12 cm. The subsequent ones, as necessary. At the final harvest of green mass, the crop is stored in the refrigerator, in a cold cellar, but not more than 7-8 days. The cut leaves are washed, brushed off from excess moisture, wrapped in thick paper or film and placed on the lower shelf.
Growing arugula in a greenhouse
In greenhouse conditions, arugula can be grown year-round by sowing seeds or through seedlings.
If the soil in the greenhouse has not been replaced for a long time, all the necessary work is carried out to disinfect and colonize with live microbial material (Baikal EM-1, Ekomik yielding, etc.), you can sow siderat and, with a biomass height of 10 cm, dig it into the soil by digging it into a layer of 5-7 cm .
If the soil is systematically updated, digging is carried out, if necessary, make kemir or nitrophoska at the rate of 15-25 g / sq. m square.
After digging, soil clods are crushed and beds are formed. A few days later, they sow.
Before sowing, the soil is moistened. After 15-25 cm, rows of 1.0 cm depth are cut.
Seeds are sown to a depth of 0.5-1.0 cm. Sprinkle on top with dry soil. Sowing is covered with a film.
With the advent of the first shoots of arugula, the film is removed. The soil contains loose, without weeds, do not allow the formation of dry soil crust. Watering is carried out often (after 2 days), but in small portions (without flooding). Lighting is diffuse but bright. The first cut of greens is carried out when the leaves grow to 8-10 cm. The following - if necessary.
To use fresh arugula for a long time, sowing seeds can be repeated after 10-15 days until mid-April.
Growing arugula at home
At home, you can grow this healthy crop year-round, providing the family with fresh herbs, especially necessary in early spring.
Growing a spicy salad is best on kitchen windowsills. Sometimes arugula pots serve as natural landscaping for housing. The culture is placed on window sills and coasters and in other rooms. Spicy salad loves bright lighting. With a lack of light, additional lighting with fluorescent lamps or phytolamps is necessary. The optimal ambient temperature in the room is + 18 ... + 20 ºС. At higher temperatures, airing is carried out (without drafts), the surrounding area is moistened from a finely dispersed atomizer.
Sowing and care
For sowing arugula, the soil can be purchased at a store (soil “for vegetables”) or prepared independently using turfy soil, humus and sand in a ratio of 2: 2: 1. Self-prepared substrate must be disinfected with one of the generally accepted methods.
Small boxes or containers fill the prepared or purchased soil. Humidify the soil and conduct ordinary sowing with row spacings of 6-8 cm to a depth of 0.5-1.0 cm. Cover the sowing with a film. After 4-6 days, with the advent of seedlings, the arugula removes the film and place the box on the windowsill or in another fairly bright place.
Dry air is humidified through a fine atomizer. The soil is constantly kept moist.
When forming 2 true leaves, young arugula seedlings are transplanted / dive 1-2 plants in a separate container or in boxes with free placement of seedlings.
During the vegetation of plants, do not allow the formation of inflorescences. They are immediately cut off. With the advent of flowers, the leaves of this culture become coarser and acquire an unpleasant bitterness. A box with seedlings can be used for the next sowing of seeds. Re-sowing is carried out after two weeks.
Growing arugula seedlings
Above, we examined the cultivation of arugula from seeds in different conditions: open ground, in a greenhouse and at home. Arugula bushes occupy a fairly large area and, to increase the yield, it can be grown through seedlings. Growing through seedlings is economically more profitable:
- the plant forms the greatest yield;
- seedling method saves time on harvesting when planting in a permanent place.
It is especially beneficial to grow arugula through seedlings in regions with a late onset of steady warm weather (you can lay up to three turns with a full harvest).
Depending on the region, arugula seeds are sown for seedlings in late February - early March and continue sowing with a two-week break until mid-April.
Soil preparation, sowing seeds and seedling conditions are the same as when growing arugula at home. Arugula seed disinfection is necessary when using self-assembled or purchased from private traders on the market.
After the formation of 2 true leaves, the seedlings dive:
- in boxes with a landing pattern (20-25 cm - row spacing, 10-15 cm - in a row);
- in separate peat cups, which are planted with the plant in a permanent place;
- in separate pots or other containers of 1-2 plants.
The age of arugula seedlings for planting in a permanent place is 25-28 days. The soil should warm up to a temperature of + 6 ... + 10 ºС. Air temperature from + 14-16 ºС to + 18-20 ºС.
Roughly in warm regions, seedlings in individual peat cups (resulting in less injury during planting) are planted in the ground in late March - the first decade of April (depending on the onset of constant spring warming).
In cold regions, arugula seedlings are laid in the first decade of April, and planting in the ground is carried out from the second half of May.
Before planting the arugula in a permanent place, hardening of seedlings is necessary. Seedlings are usually planted in the greenhouse in the evening, in the open ground in the afternoon, which helps plants better adapt to new environmental conditions.
Varieties of arugula for summer cultivation
In a garden culture, 2 types of arugula are grown:
- cultural (sowing indow, sowing eruca);
- wild, known as wild rocket, a two-leaved thin-leaved.
Arugula is an annual plant, but among garden varieties there are also biennial crops. The roots left in the soil after the last winter cut under shelters form an early harvest of vitamin greens in early spring. For summer cottage conditions, early and middle varieties of annual arugula, presented below, are more suitable.
Variety of lettuce arugula olivetta. Early, from germination to harvesting greens 20-25 days. Height is 20-25 cm. Leaves are lyre-shaped, the general form is oval. Juicy, rich green, fragrant. Taste mustard-nutty with a bitter taste. The aroma is nutty pronounced, which is very appreciated by the culinary specialists.
Variety of lettuce arugula spartak. Early, from seedlings to harvesting greens 24-28 days. The height of the plants is up to 70 cm, the leaf rosette is 18-22 cm. The leaf rosette is half-raised. The leaves are lyre-shaped, smooth. Spicy greens. Cream flowers. The variety is dietary.
Variety of lettuce arugula victoria. Mid-season, from germination to harvesting greens 28-32 days. Shrubs up to 70 cm, leafiness is high, rich in vitamins. The socket is semi-raised. Leaves are smooth, lyre-shaped, light green. The variety is dietary.
Variety of lettuce arugula poker. Early ripening, from germination to harvesting greens 20-25 days. Branching plants, 40-80 cm tall. The leaves are dissected, large, rosette up to 20 cm tall, have a sweet mustard flavor. Forms up to 12 cut leaves in the greenhouse, up to 28 in open ground. Variety for conveyor summer cultivation.
Variety of lettuce arugula Lybed. Ultra early, from germination to harvesting greens 8-20 days. The first leaves without dissection of the leaf blade, moderately green. The variety is resistant to shooting. Depending on the region, it can be grown in open and closed ground.
Variety of lettuce arugula sicily. Mid-season, from germination to harvesting greens 27-30 days. Bushes up to 60 cm tall. Leaves are lyre-shaped, pinnately dissected with a nutty taste and aroma. The flowers are yellow-white, there are purple streaks. In the heat and in violation of irrigation, the variety is rapidly moving.
Variety of lettuce Arugula Cupid's Arrows. Medium late, from germination to harvesting greens 35-38 days. Bushes up to 20-30 cm with narrow long carved leaves. Yellow flowers. A distinctive feature - inflorescences are similar to dandelions.
Variety of lettuce arugula Rococo. Early ripening, from germination to harvesting greens 20-25 days. Forms a high (up to 18 cm) rosette of wide leaves. The leaf blade is serrated along the edge. The leaves have a sharp taste and strong aroma. The flowers are white.
Variety of lettuce arugula corsica. Medium, from germination to harvesting greens 30-32 days. A semi-raised rosette of leaves, up to 60 cm high, is characteristic. The leaf blade is narrow, smooth. The shape of the sheet is lyre-shaped with notched edges. The flowers are white with pink shades. In heat and drought, the variety spins quickly.
Variety of lettuce arugula coltivata. Rosette of strongly dissected leaves up to 10-15 cm in height. The leaves are very fragrant. Contain increased amounts of essential oils. They have a sharp mustard taste with a nutty finish. It is used for cultivation in the open and closed soil.
Variety of lettuce arugula Dikovina. Mid-season, from germination to harvesting greens 22-25 days. Plant height up to 20 cm. Leaves are lyre-shaped, smooth, collected in a semi-raised rosette (18-20 cm). Resistant to shooting, which allows for a long time to maintain the nutritional qualities of greens.
The text shows the most striking in terms of taste, varieties bred in Russia (with the exception of the Ukrainian variety Lybed and the Dutch variety Koltivata). Relatively young varieties of Russian selection (entered in the state register of varieties no earlier than 2005-2010) have proven themselves when grown in open and closed ground. The raised socket allows you to collect a clean crop of greenery. Varieties provide more than 1.0-1.5 to 2.5 kg of greens per square meter. area.
Finishing the article on methods of growing different varieties of arugula, one cannot ignore its value as a food and medicinal plant.
Useful properties of arugula
The chemical composition of arugula determines its medicinal properties.
- a large list of vitamins - A, C, B9 and others from the group K, E, T, PP;
- a set of vital micro and macro elements - iodine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, manganese, copper, sodium, etc .;
- flavonoids and bioactive substances have a beneficial effect on water-salt metabolism, work and health of the digestive tract, blood sugar, strengthen the nervous system, have the ability to burn fats, lower cholesterol and increase hemoglobin; Arugula is recommended by doctors to patients with vein disease and high blood pressure.
- Italians call ruccola a golden salad for its excellent healing properties in certain kidney diseases, cancer susceptibility, anemia, iodine deficiency, maintaining male strength (natural aphrodisiac), and increasing immunity to a number of other diseases.
Attention! Saturation of the green mass of arugula with essential oils and flavonoids can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, before moving on to taking drugs containing arugula, consult a doctor.