Botanical Name: Eruca vesicaria subsp. sativa
Days to Maturity: 20–45 days
Native: Africa, Asia, Europe; exact native range obscure
Hardiness: Frost-tolerant annual
Plant Dimensions: 12"–24" tall at maturity
Variety Information: 2"–6" soft, green leaves are deeply pinnately lobed, shaped much like an elongated oak leaf, with hints of red in the veins. Flavor can be described as rich and peppery. Edible flowers are creamy white with purple veins.
Attributes: Good for Containers
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 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 3 weeks until 4 to 6 weeks before your average first fall frost date. Mild Climates: Sow in fall for winter harvest.
When to Start Inside: Not recommended.
Days to Emerge: 10–15 days
Seed Depth: ¼"
Seed Spacing: A group of 6 seeds every 6"
Row Spacing: 6"
Thinning: When ½" tall, thin to 1 every 6"
Harvesting: For the mildest, best-tasting baby greens, pick leaves when 2"–4" long. Pick individually or cut off the plant at ground level. For the best flavor, harvest before plant begins to flower, unless you plan to eat the flowers.