One of the easiest crops you can grow in spring is arugula. However, once the weather turns warm, it becomes a bit trickier to grow it. Arugula loves spring weather and will thrive in cool soil. It’s not impossible to grow it as the temperatures begin to creep upwards, but it does take a little special effort to be successful.
Wild arugula is more heat resistant than common arugula, so it would be the best variety to grow in hotter weather. Arugula does not transplant well, so you will want to sow your seeds directly where you want it to grow. When attempting to grow arugula in hotter weather, you’ll probably want to grow it in a container so you can relocate the pot if necessary. Keep in mind, arugula can be eaten as a microgreen (in fact, it’s quite tasty as a microgreen) so you will probably want to harvest it at the smaller stages in hotter weather to keep it from going to flower too quickly.
Arugula is pretty forgiving. It doesn’t need extremely rich soil; moist yet well-drained soil can produce an abundant harvest. You’ll want to pay special attention to moisture and keep your arugula well hydrated during the warmer months.
When summer arrives, arugula will begin to flower and will quickly turn bitter at this stage. When this happens, you should remove the spring crop of arugula and sow a new crop from seed immediately. To keep a continuous supply of young arugula leaves (microgreens) you will want to sow a new crop every 2-3 weeks throughout the summer growing season. Basically, you are harvesting and sowing at frequent intervals to enjoy the small and tender arugula leaves as much as possible.
Arugula plants have compact root systems so you can plant them very close together in a container. Place your container in the shade. Morning sun is okay, but afternoon shade is critical keep the plant from bolting. Keep well watered, and that’s about it!
In extremely hot climates, you may find that arugula is impossible to grow. That’s okay – give it a try, and if it fails, you can sow it again come fall and winter, depending on where you live.