Botanical Name: Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa
Days to Maturity: 20–28 days
Native: Africa, Asia, Europe; exact native range obscure
Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annual
Variety Information: Soft, green leaves are slightly lobed as a baby green, with hints of red in the veins. Flavor can be described as peppery.
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, when soil temperature is at least 40°F; ideally 50°-70°F. Successive Sowings: Every 2 weeks until 2 weeks before your average first fall frost date.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. Sow indoors any time of year, with indoor temperatures 60°-75°F. Successive Sowings: Every 2 weeks for a continual supply. Transplanting baby greens is not recommended because they are so quick to harvest. Transplanting will slow growth and may cause plants to bolt (prematurely flower).
Days to Emerge: 10–15 days
Seed Depth: ⅛"–¼"
Seed Spacing: ¾"
Thinning: Not required.
Harvesting: When seedlings emerge, the first pair of leaves to show are the cotyledons, which can look very different from the leaves that follow, called "true" leaves. Arugula baby greens are ready to harvest 20 to 28 days after sowing, when they have true leaves at 2"-4". Cool growing temperatures may slow germination and growth. For the freshest and most healthful baby greens, harvest them directly from their growing container as needed by cutting just above the soil line. For more than one harvest (up to 3 before flavor declines) leave about 1/2" of leafy growth on the small plants so they can regenerate.