How Do You Care For And Harvest Arugula?

  • little care required
  • no pruning necessary
  • blossoms can be eaten
  • self-seeding possible, planting is then superfluous


To the location of the salad rocket does not make any special demands. It should only not be too wet or compacted, otherwise the roots will rot. Humus-rich soil and a sunny location promote growth. The vegetable grows equally well in sandy and loamy soils. It is also suitable for raised beds, provided they are not newly created and thus very rich in nutrients.

Note: Since rocket roots shallowly, sufficient moisture or a dense mulch cover is important.


Planting arugula can be done in rows, but it can also be broadcasted. Sowing in rows has the advantage that it is easier to remove weeds in between. Broad-cast sown rocket is suitable as a green manure. Its leaves shade the soil, and remnants of the lettuce plants can be incorporated into the soil. Because of the short duration of cultivation, rocket is well suited as an intercrop. It can also be sown well between other vegetable plants before they grow too large and cast too much shade.

Rucola Samen

For row sowing applies:

  • in the row about 2 – 3 cm distance
  • row spacing 15 – 20 cm
  • sowing depth about 1 cm
  • after sowing press the soil well
  • water
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Note: If broad-cast sowing is used, the seed is worked into the soil with a rake and pressed down well before watering.


You can plant arugula year-round. In the open field, sowing is mainly done between April and September. If planting is done continuously, fresh salad greens are always available. When grown in a cold frame or greenhouse, arugula can thrive even in winter. The leafy vegetable is relatively insensitive to cold, only for germination it needs some heat. For this reason, it is also possible to preplant the seeds in pots in the warm and then put them in the greenhouse or plant them out.

Rucola anpflanzen


Arugula makes few demands. Since it is a weak grower, fertilizing is superfluous. Sufficient water is important so that the leaves do not become too sharp. Watering should therefore be done regularly during prolonged drought. A mulch cover not only protects against too much evaporation, it also keeps the soil loose and suppresses weeds. Pruning or anything similar is not necessary.


The total culture period of arugula after planting lasts between 4 and 6 weeks, after which it begins to bloom. Flowering does not make the vegetable inedible, but it makes the leaves even sharper. They are then more suitable for drying and seasoning than fresh for a salad. The flower of rocket is edible and can simply be eaten as decoration. After flowering, the plant forms seeds. Collect the seeds, so you can sow them again later, otherwise the vegetable also likes to sow itself.

Rucola Blüht


The first leaves can be harvested at a length of 10 cm. They are cut directly fresh from the plant, more leaves will grow. If the plants are larger, all leaves are cut directly above the root and used together. Since the vegetables do not keep fresh for long, only as much should be harvested as will be used. It does not matter if the plants stand a little longer in the bed.

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Crop rotation

Rocket belongs to the cruciferous vegetables. It should not be preceded or followed by other cruciferous plants on the same bed. This includes other types of lettuce as well as cabbage vegetables or mustard. Rocket is only suitable for mixed cultivation to a limited extent because it has such a short cultivation period; it is more of a gap filler in the vegetable garden.

Frequently asked questions

What is rocket used for?

Mustard rocket is mainly eaten fresh in salads. However, it also tastes very good briefly fried or deep-fried. Dried arugula adds pleasant spiciness to various dishes. Another possibility is to process the vegetable into pesto.

What other salads does arugula go well with?

In mixed salads, rocket leaves go well with milder varieties, such as lamb’s lettuce or lamb’s lettuce. Rocket also tastes good in a salad with oranges and sunflower seeds.

What diseases or pests can occur?

Since rocket has only a short cultivation period, it is hardly affected by diseases or pests. At most downy mildew under glass or earth fleas can harm the rocket.

Are there different varieties of rocket?

Although there are different varieties to buy, there is little difference between them. Those who like to continue sowing with their own seeds, prefer seed-resistant varieties.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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