Arugula is a type of salad. This green plant in the wild can be found in many hot countries, but they began to cultivate arugula in the Mediterranean. Another name for this salad culture is eruka. It belongs to the cabbage family, therefore, turnip, radish, radish, horseradish, cabbage can be considered relatives of arugula.
In Russia, the eruka began to spread along with the popularity of Italian and Mediterranean culinary dishes, because it is a constant component of most salads, pastas, risottos, pizzas, seasonings and sauces.
How to grow arugula in Russia, and what sort of this strange plant is better to choose - everything in our article.
What are the different types of arugula?
Eruki bushes resemble lettuce bushes in structure: the lower leaves are collected in rosettes, the upper ones are covered with a small fluff or glossy, the shape of the leaves depends on the variety, it can be round with smooth edges or elongated with a wavy, zigzag edge.
The stems are slightly pubescent, even, their height reaches 30-60 cm. The inflorescences are rare, the shade of flowers can be white, yellow, purple. Arugula is considered a good honey plant, it is loved by bees and other pollinating insects.
The taste qualities of eruki leaves are largely dependent on the plant variety. But the general notes are the same - it is a nut and mustard. The taste of greens is spicy, slightly bitter, with sourness. Eruka can add spice to any dish, it can be added not only to sauces and seasonings, arugula decorate sandwiches and snacks, add it to soups and stews, it is an excellent filling for the cake.Important! To the leaves of arugula were not too bitter, the bushes need to be watered very often.
Arugula fruits are oval-shaped seed pods, in which small peas are arranged in two rows - brown or brown seeds.
Seeds appear quickly enough - 3 weeks after the first shoots. They can immediately be collected and sown, because arugula is quite possible to grow the whole season - from April to the end of summer.
Vegetation period of arugula is very short - from 25 to 35 days. After this period, the leaves become too hard and no longer fit for human consumption. By the time of ripening, the leaf reaches a length of about 10 cm. Eruki varieties are divided into early and middle ripening.
This arugula can be attributed to the mid-season varieties - greens ripen around 30th day after sowing seeds into the soil. The height of the plant is about 20 cm, the stem of the Eruki of this variety is flat, slightly pubescent. The lower part is a rosette assembled from lyre-shaped leaves. Blossoms arugula "Curiosity" small cream-colored inflorescences.
The variety has a high taste characteristics, so it is often used to prepare a wide variety of dishes.
Variety "Arrows Cupid"
One of the most popular among gardeners and culinary specialists is the Eruki variety. This arugula is mid-season - the leaves mature to the 35th day after the first shoots.
The stems of salad greens of this variety can reach 30 cm in height, straight and smooth. The leaves are collected in rosettes, the shape of the leaves is carved, they are long and narrow. Inflorescences varieties "Arrows Cupid" can be recognized by the characteristic yellow shade. The bushes of this variety of arugula are a bit like dandelions.
Arugula refers to the early ripening varieties - the growing season is only three weeks. Bushes are straight, even, their height does not exceed 15-20 cm. The leaves have a lyre, slightly oval shape, painted in a rich green color.
It is possible to distinguish the greens of the variety “Olivetta” by the characteristic, slightly bitter taste and the pronounced nut flavor. These tastes are highly appreciated by the chefs, the arugula of the “Olivet” variety gives the dishes a special piquancy.
Such a variety of eruki also ripens very quickly - just 20-23 days after the first sprouts break out of the ground, it is possible to harvest arugula.
Arugula bushes are low - only 20 cm, the leaves are collected in rosettes, the shape of the leaves of the variety resembles feathers - they have carved, slightly rounded edges. Painted leaves in a dark green hue. In the taste of this green, there is also such a valuable nutty flavor, Rocket variety arugula can turn any unleavened dish into a culinary masterpiece.
The early ripe grade of arugula ripening in only 20-25 days after seeding of seeds on beds. Bushes are formed by straight stems and rosettes of oval leaves. The height of the bushes of arugula varieties "Victoria" do not exceed 15-20 cm.
This eruku is especially appreciated for the extremely high content of vitamins in delicate leaves.
The early variety of arugula, the growing season of which is only three weeks. After this period of time you can harvest useful greens.
The leaves of this variety are large, long, painted in a rich green tint. Eruka blooms with cream-colored flowers, the variety reaches a maximum height of 20 cm.
A distinctive feature of the variety is a slightly sweet taste with mustard notes.
Belongs to the middle-ripening varieties, full ripening of greenery occurs only on the 35-40th day after the seeds have been sown. The leaves of the plant are dark green, their shape is dissected, elongated.
A characteristic feature of the arugula variety is the mustard-nut flavor, especially valuable in cooking. It will be excellent to be on sale in shops and in the markets such eruka!
Early variety, the growing season is only 19-25 days. The height of the bushes can reach 18-20 cm. Eruka variety "Spartak" is unique in its dietary composition, it contains the maximum amount of essential oils and vitamins.
Arugula of this variety can be grown in heated greenhouses, it will allow to harvest greens all year round.
How to grow arugula
In the climate of Russia, salad culture can be grown in several ways:
- In the southern regions or the temperate climate of the middle zone, a method of planting seeds directly on the beds is quite suitable. In order for the seeds to slip and the first shoots appear, the earth must warm up to 9-16 degrees. Such a temperature in the middle part of Russia is set mainly by mid-April - early May. During this period, and sow seeds of arugula for open ground. The best varieties for such plantings - early maturing. After three weeks, when the first plantings of the Eruki are ripe, you can collect the seeds and sow the arugula again. So, during one season it turns out to grow several harvests of salad greens, and on the table always have fresh arugula.
- In the northern regions, where the springs are long and cold, to accelerate the maturation of the Eruka can be the planting of seeds in a protected ground. The beds are prepared in advance (two to three weeks), they dig up the ground, remove weeds, and shed the soil with boiling water for disinfection. Seeds are sown in the same way as in open ground - with an interval between rows of 35-40 cm, and between seeds - 2-3 cm. Arugula is grown in greenhouses and greenhouses all year round.
- Seedlings will suit those who want to further accelerate the ripening of green lettuce. For this, seeds are sown in cups, pots or boxes. Germination of arugula seeds is quite high, so do not need to soak and pre-germinate them. Seeds deepen no more than 1.5 cm into the ground (ordinary garden soil or any seedling mixture that is sold in agricultural stores will do). After 4-5 days, the first shoots appear. When the plants have two true leaves, they dive into peat or disposable cups. Grown up seedlings are transferred to the beds or in the greenhouse, arugula should be transplanted along with the earthy clod. The distance between the bushes should be at least 15-20 cm.
- Another way to get delicious greens is to cultivate arugula on the windowsill or on the balcony. This plant is very unpretentious, eruk does not need special conditions and complex care. Greens grow at a temperature of 18-20 degrees, it needs to be watered well and cut ripe leaves in time. Seeds are sown in pots or boxes, observing a certain interval. After 25-30 days, you can harvest the first harvest, and in order to feast on the greens a little longer, arugula seeds are sown again in other pots.
Do this when the plants will be on two leaves. Between adjacent sprouts leave about 15-20 cm, the rest are pulled (they can be used for salads and other dishes).
Gardeners claim that too thick planting worsens the taste and nutritional characteristics of arugula - the plants do not have enough water and trace elements from the soil.
Regardless of the variety, arugula has a number of useful and even healing properties. Eruka is a good "doctor" from a variety of diseases:
- gastric or intestinal ulcers;
- susceptibility to cancer;
- some diseases of the kidneys and bladder;
- skin diseases and hematomas;
- reduced immunity;
- iodine deficiency;
- vitamin deficiency and scurvy.
In this green high content of essential oils and flavonoids, which significantly increases the risk of an allergic reaction. Also, caution should be exercised pregnant and lactating mothers.
Such a large number of medicinal properties due to the rich composition of arugula. There are not only flavonoids and alkaloids that prevent the development of cancer and other serious diseases, but also a lot of vitamins and minerals, such as:
- acetic and malic acid;
- mustard oil;
- vitamins of group C and B.
Due to the fact that arugula has a very pleasant spicy taste, it can be added to almost any dish. So to get all the useful vitamins and trace elements is not difficult.
Important! To mature arugula contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals, the plant must be properly grown, observing all the rules and regulations.
Terms of care for planting arugula
Care for arugula plantings, in principle, uncomplicated. But non-observance of simple rules will inevitably lead to a deterioration in the taste of this salad greens.
In order for arugula to have a delicate taste and spicy aroma, it is necessary to observe the following conditions when growing it:
- Seeds of arugula of any variety can be bought in specialized stores, and you can collect yourself from your own harvest.
- The optimum temperature for growing arugula is the range of 14-18 degrees. Based on this, and you need to choose a way of planting greenery and the place of its cultivation.
- Some varieties of arugula are able to withstand temperatures as low as -7 degrees. However, prolonged frosts tender greens can not stand. If there is a risk of frost, it is better to cover the eruka with film or agrofiber (at least for the night).
- Watering beds often need, almost every day. The ground near arugula should always be slightly damp. If this rule is not respected, the greens become bitter and goes into color.
- Soil looseness is also important. After each watering of the bed it is necessary to push up with a hoe, so the roots of the Eruka will receive the necessary amount of air and oxygen.
- It is necessary to fertilize bushes once or twice during the whole growing season. Given that arugula fully matures in three to four weeks, it cannot be fertilized with mineral and organic preparations. The leaves accumulate toxins that do not have time to decompose in such a short period. Fertilize erucus need nitrogen composition, bringing it to the beds along with irrigation. Chicken droppings that are dissolved in water or rotted cow dung are also suitable.
- It is not allowed to fertilize only very nutritious soil. If arugula does not receive all the necessary trace elements, its composition will also become depleted - it will no longer be so useful.
- There should be a high calcium content in the land for growing Eruki, therefore the soil is lime before seed is sown.
- When growing arugula, it is important to observe crop rotation: greens are best planted in the place where pumpkin crops, legumes, carrots, and potatoes grew last season. However, the beds on which cabbage and other cruciferous crops were grown for three years should be avoided. Arugula and these plants have the same diseases that can be transmitted through contaminated soil.
- Cut mature leaves of Eruki must be on time, otherwise they will become hard and bitter in taste. Maturity can be determined by the length of the leaf - it should be optimally up to 10 cm.
All arugula varieties perfectly tolerate the domestic climate, so they can be grown just on the beds. In order not to go to the supermarket in the winter either, you can put an erucca on the windowsill or in a heated greenhouse.