Rucola: Planting And Care In The Open Field, Growing On The Windowsill

The herbaceous annual plant arugula (Eruca sativa), either indaw, mustard grass, rocket salad, caterpillar grass, arugula, or eruca, is a member of the genus Indaw in the cabbage family. Under natural conditions, it is found in Asia (in India and also from Asia Minor to Central Asia), in Central and Southern Europe, and also in northern Africa. Arugula is cultivated massively in Italy but is also popular in other countries, for example in America and northern Europe. It has long been considered an aphrodisiac and was first mentioned in the first century before Christ. In Egypt, arugula was put in pea and bean dishes to improve their flavor, while in ancient Rome it was used as a spice in meat and vegetable dishes.

To date, scientists have discovered that this plant has unique medicinal properties.

Cultivation Summary

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

  1. Planting. Sow seeds in open soil in April and seedlings in the first days of March. The seedlings are planted in the open ground in April.
  2. Lighting.

    It needs diffuse light in the morning and shade in the afternoon.

  3. Ground. It should be nutritious, not too dry, neutral or slightly alkaline.
  4. Pouring. Must be watered frequently and the ground must always be slightly moist (not damp).

    In dry and hot periods water every day.

  5. Fertilizer. It is not necessary to fertilize, but during the season the surface of the bed should be mulched several times with a layer of old peat or humus.
  6. Propagation. By seeds.

  7. Pests. Cabbage moths and cruciferous fleas.
  8. Diseases. Fusarium and peronosporosis.
  9. Properties.

    This plant is considered a dietary plant and contains a large amount of bioactive substances and vitamins.

Properties of arugula

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

The height of arugula varies from 0.3 to 0.6 m. There is faint pubescence on the straight, branched stem.

The juicy leaf laminae are usually spreading hairy, but sometimes bare, and have a specific nutty odor. The lower foliage is split or lyre-shaped with lobes serrated along the edge. Rare long, tassel-shaped inflorescences form in May and include pale yellow or deep yellow flowers with veins of purple. The fruit is a pod with two rows of light brown or pale brown seeds.

Rucola salad in greenhouse.

The secrets of growing rucola from a farmer! How to grow rucola. Ruccola

Planting arugula for seedlings

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

What time to sow

Rucola is grown from seed, using both the seedling and the no-plant method. In the Moscow area and in regions with warmer and milder climates, seeds are sown directly into the open soil in April. In areas where the spring is rather cool, it is recommended to grow such a crop through seedlings, with the seeds being sown in early March.


Fill the containers for sowing with soil from the area where arugula will then be grown.

But remember that before sowing, the soil must be disinfected by either pouring it over with freshly boiled water or by baking it in the oven. Also, for filling the containers if you want you can use readily available purchased soil mixture for vegetable seedlings. When there will be 2-3 hours before sowing the seed is poured into a pinkish solution of potassium permanganate. The depth of the selected box or container should not be less than 10 centimeters, it is filled with prepared soil, which is pre-moistened. Level its surface and evenly distribute the seeds on it, observing the distance between them from 15 to 20 mm.

Put a centimeter layer of sand on top of the seeds and move them to a well-lit area without covering them from above.

Seeding care

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

Seeding in the right conditions will appear quickly and in only 3-5 days after sowing. It is very easy to take care of the seedlings by systematically watering them abundantly and loosening the soil surface near the bushes. Pricking is carried out after the plants have formed two true leaf plates. For this purpose, they are planted 2 pieces in peat pots or the seedlings can be transplanted into a larger box, and the distance between them should be 10 to 15 centimeters, with a row spacing of 25 to 30 centimeters.

Experienced gardeners claim that this spacious planting will give the leaves of the adult bushes a rich characteristic smell and taste.

Growing arugula on a windowsill

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

To ensure that you have healthy fresh herbs even in winter, arugula can be grown in room conditions. A neutral to slightly alkaline soil mixture is used for sowing, made by combining humus, clay soil and sand (2:2:1). Before sowing, the mixture should be disinfected by either pouring it over with freshly boiled water or placing it in the oven for burning.

Boxes or crates can be used for sowing arugula, but if it is potted, it will not only bring you fresh greenery, but will also be a decoration of any room.

Take a container, on the bottom of which there are holes for drainage, on its bottom lay a layer of pebbles, pieces of brick or expanded clay with a thickness of 20-30 mm. Then fill the container with a moistened potting soil mixture, level and compact it a bit, then sow the seeds (exactly as for the seedlings).


Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

When growing rocket at home it has to be watered regularly and often (once in two days) as the potting soil has to be a bit wet all the time. Also shrubs should be regularly moistened with clean water from a sprayer. And remember that if the rocket leaves lack water they will have a bitter taste.


Surface of the substrate around the bushes should always be thoroughly loosened. Once the seedlings have emerged in 7-10 days you should thin them out by pulling out all the weakest and lowest seedlings, from which you can prepare a tasty salad. The temperature at which mustard grass on a windowsill grows and develops best is about 18 degrees.


Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

If the bushes are growing in a nutrient-rich soil mixture, they may not need to be fertilized. But some growers say you should still give them nitrogen fertilizer.

To prepare a nutrient mixture, 10 grams of fermented cowpea or chicken manure are taken and diluted with water 10-15 times. The resulting mixture is combined with 10 liters of water and everything is well mixed. It is not recommended to fertilize with mineral fertilizers or manure as the crop has a short maturity period because this could lead to the accumulation of toxins in the leaves.

Growing arugula on a window sill.

Growing arugula outdoors

Potting outdoors

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsillRucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

The arugula seedlings are planted in open soil in April after the air warms to 9-10 degrees.

A well-lit outdoor area is not suitable for its cultivation, nor is a shady place. A site which is well lit until midday and then in the penumbra until about 16 o'clock is ideal for its planting.

This crop will grow best in neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Good predecessors for it are tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and also pumpkin and leguminous crops. And in those plots where before arugula were grown representatives of the cabbage family, namely various types of cabbage, radish, radish, rutabaga, horseradish, turnip and daikon, arugula cannot be grown for at least three years.

When growing seedlings in peat pots, it is planted in the soil directly in them. And if a crate, a separate cup or container was selected for its planting, the plants are carefully pulled out of them together with a large earth clod. When planting seedlings adhere to the scheme of 10x30 centimeters. Do not forget to moisten the prepared holes before planting. And when the plants are planted, be sure to water them well.

Ruccola is a frost-resistant plant, and it is not afraid of frosts up to minus 7 degrees. However, if a harder frost is expected, the bed should be covered with cling film overnight and removed in the morning. Instead of the film, each plant can be covered with a cut-off plastic bottle.

General rules of care

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

Growing arugula outdoors is about the same as lettuce. It does this by providing timely watering, weeding, and loosening the soil surface in between the rows and around the bushes.

If the plantings are too dense, they must be thinned, otherwise the characteristic smell and taste of the leaves becomes less pronounced. Remember that during the summer months during a long dry heat period the bushes may start to bloom, which is very bad for the taste of the leaves.

How to water

The main rule for successful cultivation of mustard grass on a plot is a moist and loose soil. In this regard, the bushes should be watered regularly, frequently and abundantly. Also, special attention is paid to loosening, which is carried out every time after it has rained or the bed has been watered, at the same time weeding is carried out.

During prolonged hot dry periods, the frequency of watering is increased and the area is moistened every day. Water the arugula by sprinkling or by running a hose over the soil and letting plenty of water in between the rows.


Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

Gather the leaves for food after they have reached 10 centimeters in height. If overgrown, it will become coarse and lose its palatability. It takes three to five weeks from the emergence of seedlings to the first harvest.


Feeding the crop is not necessary. However, it is recommended to mulch the soil several times during the season with a thin layer of humus or old peat to increase its nutritional value.

What you can grow after arugula

Virtually every vegetable grower or gardener tries to follow crop rotation rules, which are very important for maintaining crop health. Therefore, you should know that arugula is a good precursor for pumpkin and legume crops, as well as potatoes and carrots. But crucifers should not be grown in this area for at least three years, because they have diseases and pests in common with arugula.

Rucola - My Growing Mistakes

Arugula Pests and Diseases

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill


If arugula is affected by Peronosporosis (false powdery mildew), it will develop brown colored specks on its leaf plates. If the shrub is affected by fusariasis, it will turn yellow and its vascular system will turn brown or black. Adult diseased bushes cannot be cured anymore, so they are dug up and burned, and another area is chosen for planting new arugula, and the soil on it is prepared with special care. To prevent these diseases, it is necessary to follow crop rotation rules and remove weeds in good time.


Cabbage moth may infest in open soil but the cruciferous flea is the most dangerous pest for the crop as well as for all members of the cabbage family.

Both of these pests gnaw holes in the foliage.

To prevent fleas from appearing on a bed of arugula immediately after the seedlings are planted on the plot, they should be covered with a fleece material (agrospan, for example). You can also sprinkle ground red pepper, tobacco dust or wood ash on top of the plants. To get rid of cabbage moths, it is recommended to spray bushes with an infusion of wormwood, as well as tomato or potato haulm. As a preventative measure, while preparing the plot for planting, it should be sure to dig it over.

What is arugula and how to grow it

Arugula species and varieties

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

All arugula species are found as both annual and biennials. When grown as a biennial, its root overwinters well in the ground and grows succulent greens when spring arrives. The most popular is a biennial such as arugula Solitaire: this variety is medium-ripening, the bush reaches a height of about 20 centimeters, medium-sized dissected leaf plates of liriform shape on the edge have notches, their taste is nutty and mustardy. The ripening period of this variety is from 35 to 45 days.

The most popular annual varieties include the following:

  1. Dikovina.

    This medium-ripening variety is about 20 centimeters tall and has foliage that is lyre-shaped. This variety has a ripening time of 22 to 25 days.

  2. Cupid's Arrows. This medium ripening variety can vary in height from 0.2 to 0.

    3 m. The foliage is narrow and long and the flowers are yellowish. The ripening period is 35 to 38 days.

  3. Olivetta. An early maturing variety with bushes 15 to 20 centimeters tall.

    The taste of the juicy leaves is nutty and mustardy and contains a large amount of vitamins, carotene and essential oils. The variety matures in 20-25 days.

  4. Rocket. Bushes are 15 to 20 centimeters tall in this early variety. The dark green, pinnately dissected leaf plates have a mustardy-nutty flavor.

    Maturation time is 20 to 25 days.

  5. Poker. This early maturing variety has bushes about 20 centimeters high. The large leaflets have a mustardy, slightly sweet taste and the flowers are light creamy in color. The ripening period is 22-28 days.

  6. Victoria. Lush, low bushes have dietary-flavored foliage, which contains large amounts of vitamins. Ripening time is 20-25 days.
  7. Spartacus. The bushes of this early maturing dietary variety are about 22 centimeters tall.

    The spicy foliage contains large amounts of essential oils and vitamins. The cultivar takes 20 to 25 days to ripen.

Ether popular arugula varieties are such as: Sicily, Corsica, Euphoria, Taganka Semko and Rococo.

Arugula properties: harms and benefits

Rucola: planting and care in the open field, growing on the windowsill

Therapeutic properties of arugula

Snakharis have used arugula oil to treat boils, sprains, bruises and headaches since ancient times. Today, it is commonly used to treat problem skin, dermatitis, remove freckles and remove age spots.

This plant contains vitamin A (beta-carotene), B vitamins, vitamins C, K and E, as well as zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron. Due to the biological activity of this plant has a beneficial effect on the digestive processes and on the function of the gastrointestinal organs. It increases the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, and lowers sugar levels, fights pathogenic bacteria and viruses, has a beneficial effect on the immune system and is involved in the regulation of water-salt metabolism. Since it contains vitamin K, which increases blood clotting and accelerates wound healing, it is recommended for those who have venous disease or high blood pressure.

Ruccola is distinguished by its diuretic, lactophone and expectorant action.

American experts use it successfully in the treatment of gastritis and peptic ulcers because it helps to protect and strengthen the walls of the stomach. It is also among the dietary products, as it contains a lot of fiber. People who adhere to a strict diet, experts advise to include arugula in the daily diet, as it helps to maintain efficiency and energy throughout the day. Another good thing about mustard grass is that it contains very few calories, for example, only 25 kilocalories per 100 grams of product. Mustard oil contained in arugula helps strengthen hair, improving its structure and preventing hair loss.


Since arugula contains a lot of phytoncides, it may cause allergic reactions. Therefore, if you cannot tolerate radishes or turnips, it is better not to eat mustard grass. You should not eat too much arugula for people with biliary dyskinesia, with kidney disease, with colitis, with gastritis with high acidity, as well as during pregnancy and lactation. Also, it will not be of much benefit to those who suffer from autoimmune disease or gout. If you have no obvious contraindications to eating arugula, however, before making a salad with it, make sure that it has been grown in an environmentally friendly area where the soil does not contain large amounts of heavy metal salts.


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