Arugula microgreens are young, edible greens that are harvested at an early stage of growth, typically within 7–14 days of germination. They belong to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, broccoli, and cabbage. Arugula microgreens are known for their tender leaves, intense flavor, and high nutritional content. They are commonly used as a flavorful garnish in salads, sandwiches, and various dishes, adding a peppery and slightly nutty taste.
Growing Arugula Microgreens:
Grow arugula microgreens is a straightforward process that can be done indoors with minimal space and equipment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:
- Choose a suitable container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. It can be a seed tray, shallow pot, or even a recycled container like a clamshell from a salad mix.
- Fill the container with about 1 to 1.5 inches of growing medium. A well-draining, sterile medium like coconut coir or a microgreen-specific soil mix is ideal.
- Evenly scatter arugula seeds across the surface of the growing medium. Aim for thorough coverage but avoid overcrowding, as this can lead to poor airflow and mold growth.
- Gently press the seeds into the soil using your hand or a small board to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Don’t bury the seeds too deeply; they should be just beneath the surface.
Misting and Watering:
- Mist the seeds with water using a spray bottle. Arugula microgreens are delicate, so using a misting spray helps prevent disturbing the seeds.
- Keep the growing medium consistently moist but not soaking wet. Use a spray bottle to mist the surface as needed to maintain moisture.
Germination and Growth:
- Arugula microgreens will germinate within a few days to a week, depending on temperature and conditions.
- As they grow, continue misting and ensuring they receive adequate light. Proper air circulation is important to prevent mold growth.
- 10×20 plant growing trays or any similarly sized container that allows for proper drainage
- Organic potting soil mixed with coconut coir works well for growing arugula microgreens. This mixture provides a suitable growing medium that retains moisture and promotes healthy root development.
- A 4′ T5 CFL grow light is recommended for providing adequate light to the arugula microgreens during their growth. This type of light is energy-efficient and provides the right spectrum for optimal growth.
- A spray bottle filled with water will be used to mist the arugula microgreens. Misting helps to keep the growing medium moist without oversaturating it.
Remember to sanitize your container and any other tools or equipment before starting. This reduces the risk of diseases or pests affecting the growth of your arugula microgreens. Additionally, follow proper watering and lighting schedules, and monitor the growth progress to ensure healthy and vibrant microgreens.
Arugula microgreens offer a multitude of benefits and are known for their fast growth and harvesting time.
Benefits of growing arugula microgreens:
Nutritional powerhouse: Arugula microgreens are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and calcium. These nutrient-dense greens provide a concentrated source of antioxidants and contribute to overall health and well-being.
Intense flavor: Arugula microgreens have a distinct peppery and slightly bitter taste, adding depth and complexity to a range of dishes. Their bold flavor enhances salads, sandwiches, wraps, and even pizza.
Quick turnaround time: One of the key advantages of growing arugula microgreens is their rapid growth and short harvesting time. Within just 8-10 days, you can enjoy a fresh batch of fully grown microgreens, allowing for a continuous and abundant supply.
Accessibility and cost-effectiveness: Arugula microgreens can be easily cultivated in small spaces, such as your kitchen or balcony, making them accessible to urban dwellers with limited gardening space. Growing these microgreens at home also reduces expenses, as store-bought varieties can be costly.
Fast growth and harvesting time:
Germination: Arugula microgreens germinate quickly, often within 3-5 days of sowing the seeds. Their rapid germination provides a head start for the growth process.
Speedy development: Once germinated, arugula microgreens exhibit rapid growth, with noticeable increases in size and leaf development each day. This swift growth allows for a short turnaround time from seed to harvest.
Harvesting: Arugula microgreens are typically ready for harvest within 8-10 days, depending on growing conditions and preferences. At this stage, the microgreens will have developed their first set of true leaves, offering optimal flavor and nutritional value.
By cultivating arugula microgreens, you can experience a range of benefits, from their nutritional profile to their quick growth and harvesting time. Incorporate these vibrant greens into your diet and enjoy their fresh, peppery taste.
A. Prepare the container: Before getting started, choose a container that allows for proper drainage and ensures a flat and smooth surface. This stability will support the growth and development of your arugula microgreens.
Moisten the soil adequately: To provide the ideal environment for your arugula microgreens to flourish, ensure that the potting soil (preferably organic potting soil mixed with coconut coir) is evenly moist. This moisture will aid in seed germination and promote healthy root growth.
Use the right amount of arugula seed: For a 10×20 tray, it’s generally recommended to use approximately 1 oz (28 grams) of arugula seed. However, the amount can be adjusted based on personal preference and desired density.
Achieve optimal seed distribution across the planting surface: To ensure even and robust growth, aim for an optimal distribution of arugula seeds across the planting surface. Sprinkle the seeds uniformly over the moistened soil, avoiding clumping or overcrowding. This will allow each seed to have sufficient space to develop into vibrant microgreens.
Remember to provide adequate care and attention to your plants throughout the growth process, including regular misting with a spray bottle, proper watering, and sufficient exposure to a 4′ T5 CFL grow light. Before you know it, you’ll have a bountiful harvest of fresh and healthy arugula microgreens to enjoy in your salads, sandwiches, and more.
Cover the container for optimal germination: To promote successful germination, it is crucial to create an ideal environment for the seeds. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap to block all light. This darkness helps the seeds initiate the germination process.
Choose a suitable location with the right temperature: Place the covered container in a low-light area with a temperature of around 70°F (21.1°C). The warmth facilitates the germination process and ensures the seeds receive the optimal conditions to sprout.
Daily misting for moisture: Uncover the container once a day and gently mist the seeds using a spray bottle. This adds necessary moisture to the growing medium and helps prevent the seeds from drying out. Avoid over-saturating the seeds, as excessive moisture can lead to mold or rot.
Monitor germination progress: Proper germination of arugula seeds takes approximately three days. Keep an eye on the container and observe the progress of the sprouting seeds. If any seeds fail to germinate within the expected timeframe, they may be non-viable and should be removed to ensure optimal growth for the remaining microgreens.
Remember to provide a dark environment for initial germination, maintain the right temperature, and mist the seeds daily for moisture. Be patient and monitor the progress of the seeds as they sprout and develop into vibrant arugula microgreens. Soon, you will be able to harvest and enjoy the flavorful and nutritious rewards of your hard work.
Keep the growing medium moist: Once your arugula microgreens have germinated, it’s crucial to maintain the moisture of the growing medium. Water the microgreens as needed to keep the soil moist but not overly saturated. This will provide the optimal conditions for their growth and development.
Monitor growth and development: Regularly observe and monitor the growth of your arugula microgreens. Observe the color and texture of the leaves, as well as the overall health of the plants. Any signs of discoloration or wilting may indicate issues with watering, light exposure, or nutrient deficiencies. Adjust the growing conditions accordingly to ensure healthy growth.
Identify root development: As your arugula microgreens grow, you may notice the development of roots and root hairs. These fine, white structures are often mistaken for mold. It’s important to differentiate between the two to avoid unnecessary concern. Remember that root hairs are a natural part of the growing process and are not harmful to plants.
Remember to keep the growing medium moist, monitor growth and development, and identify healthy root development. In no time, you’ll be enjoying the fresh and tangy flavors of your homegrown arugula microgreens in your salads, sandwiches, and more.
Timing is key: Wait until your arugula microgreens have reached a height of around 8–10 days after planting. At this stage, they will have developed their first true leaves and reached an ideal size for harvesting. Harvesting too early or too late can impact the taste and texture of the microgreens.
Proper cutting technique: Using a pair of clean, sharp scissors or a sharp knife, carefully cut the microgreens just above the soil level. This ensures you get the tender stems and leaves while leaving the roots behind. Keeping the roots in the soil allows for regrowth and potential subsequent harvests.
Remember, Timing is crucial, so wait until they reach the right stage of growth. Use sharp tools to carefully cut the microgreens just above the soil level. With proper harvesting techniques, your arugula microgreens will be ready to add a burst of fresh flavor to your salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.
Usage and Storage:
Explore culinary possibilities: Arugula microgreens add a fresh and zesty flavor to a wide range of dishes. Sprinkle them over salads for an extra burst of taste, incorporate them into sandwiches and wraps for added crunch, or use them as a flavorful garnish for soups and pasta dishes. Get creative and experiment with the possibilities to enhance your favorite recipes.
Proper storage for freshness: If you have any leftover arugula microgreens, it’s important to store them correctly to maintain their freshness. Place the microgreens in a sealed container or airtight bag and store them in the refrigerator. This will help preserve their vibrant color and crisp texture for several days. Just remember to use them within a week for the best quality.
Arugula microgreens offer a delightful flavor and a touch of sophistication to your culinary creations. Experiment with using them in salads, sandwiches, and various dishes to elevate the taste and add a vibrant visual appeal. When storing any leftovers, keep them in a sealed container in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness and quality.
Growing arugula microgreens is a rewarding and straightforward process that allows you to enjoy the fresh and zesty flavors in your culinary creations. Remember to gather the necessary supplies, prepare the seedling tray, sow the arugula seeds, provide optimal growing conditions, and harvest the microgreens when they have developed their first true leaves. Properly storing any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator ensures their freshness for later use.
Remember to gather the necessary supplies, prepare the seedling tray, sow the arugula seeds, provide optimal growing conditions, and harvest the microgreens when they have developed their first true leaves. Properly storing any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator ensures their freshness for later use.
How long does it take to grow arugula microgreens?
Arugula microgreens typically take around 7 to 14 days to reach maturity, depending on various factors such as temperature, light conditions, and seed quality.
Can I use regular arugula seeds to grow microgreens?
Yes, regular arugula seeds can be used to grow arugula microgreens. However, it is recommended to use specifically designated microgreen seeds, as they are often untreated with chemicals and have a higher germination success rate.
Do arugula microgreens require direct sunlight?
Arugula microgreens prefer indirect sunlight but still require a significant amount of light to grow properly. Place them near a window where they can receive 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight each day, or use grow lights as an alternative light source.
How do I know when to harvest arugula microgreens?
Arugula microgreens can be harvested when they have developed their first true leaves and reached a height of around 2-3 inches. Use clean scissors or a sharp knife to cut the microgreens just above the soil level.
Can I reuse the soil after harvesting arugula microgreens?
It is generally recommended to refresh the potting mix or soil after harvesting arugula microgreens, as they deplete the nutrients in the soil. Removing the old roots and adding fresh potting mix or compost will provide a healthy environment for the next microgreens.