Today we planted arugula with the first graders. We planted the small seeds directly in the garden bed and later drew a picture of the plant in their journal. The children all thought it was fun to know that arugula is a form of weed and that you can eat it. Some knew that it had a spicy flavor. Our arugula is from Renee’s Garden Seeds and is called Rustic – the thinner and spikier the leaves, the more peppery the flavor will be. We’ll see if the kids will like it!
We also observed some plants in our garden bed that had sprouted without us planting anything. We’re all curious about what it might be (see above slideshow). Any ideas? Leave a comment below.
Some fun arugula facts:
- Arugula is a salad green also sold as rocket or by its French name, roquette. This member of the mustard family is truly a rocket: it germinates quickly — even in cold, wet soil — and grows rapidly. Full-sized plants are often ready to eat just a month after germination.
- Arugula is not fussy — it is only a slightly modified weed — so it will grow in most soils. It does best in rich soil with plenty of organic matter, and has its best flavor when it is not stressed by heat or lack of water.
- Because arugula plants are relatively small and have compact root systems, you can plant them close together, or even in a pot. As leafy greens, they have less need for full sun and will even grow in partial shade or where tall plants create shade. In hot regions, afternoon shade is better than full sun, as the plants will not bolt as quickly.
- Arugula has many vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can immensely benefit health.