Arugula: planting and care in the open ground, growing on the windowsill
The herbaceous annual plant of arugula (Eruca sativa), or Indau, or mustard grass, or rocket salad, or a caterpillar-sowing, or arugula, or Eruka, is a representative of the Indus genus of the Cabbage family. Under natural conditions, it is found in Asia (in India, as well as from Asia Minor to Central Asia), in Central and Southern Europe, and also in northern Africa. Arugula is cultivated in Italy, however, it is also popular in other countries, for example, in America and in the northern part of Europe. For a long time this culture was considered an aphrodisiac, and the first mention of it dates back to the first century BC. In Egypt, arugula was put in pea and bean dishes to improve their taste, while in ancient Rome it was used as a spice, adding to meat and vegetable dishes. To date, scientists have found that this plant has unique medicinal properties.
Short description of growing
- Landing. Sowing seeds in open soil is carried out in April, and for seedlings - in the first days of March. Seedlings are planted in open ground in April.
- Illumination. In the morning, it needs diffused light, and in the afternoon it needs shading.
- Priming. It should be nutritious, not too dry, neutral or slightly alkaline.
- Watering. Needs regular systematic watering, make sure that the soil on the site is always slightly moist (not wet). In a dry and hot period, you need to water every day.
- Fertilizer. It is not necessary to feed, however, during the season, the surface of the bed is mulched several times with a layer of old peat or humus.
- Breeding. The seeds.
- Harmful insects. Cabbage moths and cruciferous fleas.
- Diseases. Fusarium and peronosporosis.
- Properties This plant is considered a diet plant, it contains a large number of biologically active substances and vitamins.
The height of the arugula varies from 0.3 to 0.6 m. There is a slight pubescence on the straight branchy stem. Juicy leaf plates, as a rule, are scattered-hairy, but there are also naked, they have a specific nutty smell. The lower foliage has a dissected or lyre-pinnatipartite shape with serrated lobes along the edge. Rare, long racemose inflorescences are formed in May, they include light yellow or saturated yellow flowers with streaks of purple. The fruit is a pod in which seeds of light brown or pale brown color are placed in 2 rows.
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Planting arugula on seedlings
What time to sow
Arugula is grown from seeds, while using both seedling and seedling method. In the Moscow Region and in regions with a warmer and milder climate, sowing of seeds is carried out directly in open soil in April. In areas where the spring is pretty cool, it is recommended to grow such a culture through seedlings, while sowing seeds is carried out in early March.
Fill the sowing tanks with soil from the area where arugula will then be grown. But remember that before sowing the soil must be disinfected, for this it is spilled with freshly boiled water or calcined in the oven. Also, to fill the containers, if desired, you can use the purchased ready-made soil mixture for vegetable seedlings. When 2-3 hours remain before sowing, the seed material is poured with a pinkish solution of potassium permanganate. The depth of the selected box or container should be at least 10 centimeters, it is filled with prepared soil, which is pre-moistened. Level its surface and evenly distribute seeds on it, observing the distance between them from 15 to 20 mm.They are sprinkled on top with a centimeter layer of sand, after which the crops are transferred to a well-lit place, and you do not need to cover them from above.
Under favorable conditions, seedlings appear together and only 3-5 days after sowing. It is very simple to take care of seedlings, for this purpose it is systematically abundantly watered and the soil surface loosened near the bushes. A pick is carried out after two real leaf plates are formed on the plants. To do this, they are planted in 2 pieces in peat pots or seedlings can be transplanted into a larger box, while the distance between them should be from 10 to 15 centimeters, with a row spacing of 25 to 30 centimeters. Experienced gardeners argue that thanks to such a spacious planting of foliage in adult bushes, it will have a rich characteristic odor and taste.
Growing arugula on the windowsill
In order for you to have healthy fresh greens in the winter, arugula can be grown indoors. For sowing seeds, a soil mixture of a neutral or slightly alkaline reaction is used, for its preparation it is necessary to combine humus, turfy soil and sand (2: 2: 1). Before sowing, the soil mixture is subjected to disinfection, for this it is spilled with freshly boiled water or placed in an oven for calcination.
For sowing arugula, you can use containers or drawers, but if you plant it in a pot, it will not only please you with fresh herbs, but will also become an ornament of any room. Take a container at the bottom of which there are holes for drainage, at its bottom lay a layer of pebbles, pieces of brick or expanded clay 20-30 mm thick. Then the container is filled with moistened soil mixture, its surface is leveled and slightly compacted, after which seeds are sown (exactly the same as when sowing for seedlings).
When growing arugula in room conditions, it must be systematically and often watered (once every two days), since the soil mixture in the tank should be slightly moist all the time. Also, the bushes should be regularly moistened with clean water from a spray bottle. And remember that if the arugula feels a lack of water, then the taste of its foliage will become bitter.
The surface of the substrate near the bushes must be systematically carefully loosened. After 7-10 days have passed since the seedlings appeared, they will need to be thinned out, while all the weakest and lowest plants are pulled out, you can make a delicious salad from them. The temperature at which mustard grass on the windowsill grows and develops best is about 18 degrees.
If the bushes grow in a nutrient-rich soil mixture, then they can not be fed. But some gardeners argue that they still need to be fed with nitrogen fertilizer. To prepare the nutrient mixture, 10 grams of fermented mullein or chicken droppings is taken and diluted with water 10-15 times. The resulting mixture is combined with 10 l of water and everything is mixed well. Since the crop has a short ripening period, it is not recommended to feed it with mineral fertilizers or manure, because of this, toxins can accumulate in the foliage.
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Growing arugula in the open field
Arugula seedlings are planted in open soil in April after the air warms up to 9-10 degrees. A well-lit outdoor area is not suitable for growing it, nor is a shaded area. For its landing, a plot is ideally suited, which is well lit until noon, and then until about 16 hours in partial shade.
Best of all, such a culture will grow on neutral or slightly alkaline soil. Good predecessors for it are tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, as well as pumpkin and bean crops.And in those areas where representatives of the Cabbage family were grown before arugula, namely, various types of cabbage, radish, radish, rutabaga, horseradish, turnip and daikon, arugula should not be grown for at least three years. When growing seedlings in peat pots, it is planted in the soil right in them. And if a box, a separate cup or container was chosen for its planting, then the plantlet is carefully pulled out of them together with a large earthen lump. When planting seedlings, they adhere to a 10x30 centimeter scheme. Remember to moisten the prepared pits before planting. And when the plants are planted, they are sure to be watered well.
Arugula is a frost-resistant plant, and it is not afraid of freezing to minus 7 degrees. However, if more severe frost is expected, then the bed should be covered with a film overnight, which is removed in the morning. Instead of a film, each plant can be covered with a cropped plastic bottle.
Basic care rules
Arugula is grown in open ground in much the same way as lettuce. To do this, she is provided with timely watering, weeding, as well as loosening of the soil surface in the aisles and around the bushes. If the plantings are excessively thick, they must be thinned out, otherwise the characteristic smell and taste of the foliage becomes less pronounced. It should be remembered that in the summer months during a long dry sultry period, bushes can begin to bloom, and this extremely negatively affects the taste of foliage.
How to water
The main rule for successfully growing mustard grass on the site is moist and loose soil. In this regard, it is necessary to water the bushes regularly, often and abundantly. Also, special attention is paid to loosening, which is carried out every time after the rain passes or the bed is watered, at the same time weeding is carried out. During a long hot dry period, the frequency of irrigation is increased and moistened area every day. You can water the arugula by sprinkling or lay a hose on the surface of the soil and fill the aisles well with plenty of water.
Tearing foliage for food is possible after its height reaches 10 centimeters. If she outgrows, she will become rude and lose her taste. From the appearance of seedlings to the first harvest, three to five weeks pass.
There is no need to feed culture. However, to increase the nutritional value of the soil, it is recommended to mulch it several times during the season with a thin layer of humus or old peat.
What can be grown after arugula
Almost every gardener or gardener tries to adhere to crop rotation rules, which are very important for maintaining healthy crops. Therefore, you should know that arugula is a good precursor for pumpkin and bean crops, as well as potatoes and carrots. But cruciferous plants on this site can not be grown for at least three years, since they have common diseases and pests with arugula.
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Pests and arugula diseases
If the arugula is affected by peronosporosis (downy mildew), then spots of brown color are formed on its leaf plates. If the bush is struck by fusarium, then its foliage will turn yellow, while its vascular system will turn brown or black. Adult diseased bushes can no longer be cured, so they are dug up and burned, and for planting a new arugula, another site is selected, while the soil on it is prepared with special care. In order to prevent these diseases, it is necessary to adhere to crop rotation rules and remove weed grass from the site in a timely manner.
When grown in open soil, cabbage moth can settle on the bushes, but the cruciferous flea poses the greatest danger to the crop, as for all representatives of the Cabbage family. Both of these pests gnaw holes in the foliage.
In order to prevent the appearance of fleas on the arugula bed immediately after the seedlings are planted on the site, it is covered with non-woven material (for example, agrospan). Also, the plant can be sprinkled with ground red pepper, tobacco dust or wood ash. To get rid of cabbage moth, it is recommended to spray bushes with infusion of wormwood, as well as tops of tomato or potato. In order to prevent during the preparation of the site for landing, it must be dug up.
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Types and varieties of arugula
Among all types of arugula, both annuals and biennials are found. When growing a two-year-old species, its root hibernates perfectly in the soil, and with the onset of spring, juicy greens grow. The most popular is such a biennial as arugula Solitaire: this variety is mid-season, the bush reaches a height of about 20 centimeters, the average size of the dissected leaf-shaped lyre-shaped edges has notches along the edge, their taste is nutty mustard. The ripening period of this variety is from 35 to 45 days.
The most popular annual varieties include the following:
- Curiosity. The height of the bush in this mid-season variety is about 20 centimeters, the foliage has a lyre shape. The ripening duration of this variety is from 22 to 25 days.
- Cupid's Arrows. In this medium-ripening variety, the height of the bushes can vary from 0.2 to 0.3 m. The foliage is narrow and long, and the flowers are yellowish. The ripening period is from 35 to 38 days.
- Olivetta. Early ripe variety with bushes with a height of 15 to 20 centimeters. The taste of juicy foliage is nutty mustard, it contains a large amount of vitamins, carotene and essential oils. The variety ripens in 20–25 days.
- Rocket. The height of the bushes in this early variety is from 15 to 20 centimeters. Dark green cirrus-dissected leaf plates are distinguished by a mustard-nutty taste. Ripening duration is from 20 to 25 days.
- Poker. This early ripe variety has bushes about 20 centimeters high. Large leaf plates have a mustard slightly sweet taste, the color of the flowers is light cream. The ripening period is 22–28 days.
- Victoria. Lush low bushes have foliage of a dietary taste, which contains a large amount of vitamins. Ripening duration is 20–25 days.
- Spartacus. The height of the bushes in this early ripe diet varieties is about 22 centimeters. Spicy foliage contains a large amount of essential oils and vitamins. Ripening varieties lasts from 20 to 25 days.
Still popular varieties of arugula are such as: Sicily, Corsica, Euphoria, Taganskaya Semko and Rococo.
Arugula Properties: Harm and Benefit
The healing properties of arugula
Healers from ancient times used arugula oil in the treatment of boils, sprains, bruises and headaches. To date, this culture is widely used to care for problem skin, in the treatment of dermatitis, and also for bleaching freckles and removing 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 biological activity, such a plant has a beneficial effect on the digestive processes and the work of the digestive tract. It increases the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, and reduces sugar, fights against 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 coagulation and accelerates wound healing, it is recommended to use it for those who have a venous disease or high blood pressure.
Arugula differs in diuretic, lactogonous and expectorant action. American experts have successfully used it in the treatment of gastritis and stomach ulcers, as it helps to protect and strengthen the walls of the stomach.It is also one of the diet foods, as it contains a lot of fiber. People who adhere to a strict diet are advised by specialists to include arugula in their daily diet, as it helps to maintain working capacity and energy throughout the day. Still mustard grass is good in that it contains very few calories, so, for 100 grams of the product, only 25 calories are consumed. Mustard oil, which is part of arugula, helps strengthen hair, improve its structure and prevent hair loss.
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Since arugula contains a large amount of volatile, it can cause the development of allergic reactions. In this regard, if you do not tolerate radishes or turnips, then you should not 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 bring much benefit to those who suffer from an autoimmune disease or gout. If you do not have obvious contraindications for the use of arugula in food, then before preparing a salad from it, make sure that it was grown in an ecologically safe area, where the soil does not contain a large amount of heavy metal salts.