The Q&A Archives: Types of Arugula

Question: I have successfully grown Arugula from Burpee seeds in northern Virginia the past two spring seasons, however, the leaves are much smaller than the arugula I find at the supermarket. Would please let me know if there are different varieties of arugula, and if so which one has large leaves and where I can find them.

Answer: Arugula, also known as Roquette, is Eruca vesicaria. Arugula, for the most part, is a cool season crop that performs best when planted in the early spring or fall. Most will tolerate light to moderate frost with minimal cover, and perform best when planted in rich, well-dug soil in a sunny location. Rapid continuous growth is very important for best quality. Plant growth is most vigorous and flavors are milder and richer when daytime air temperatures are between 60F and 70F. If your plants are not growing vigorously, they may need cooler temperatures or additional soil moisture. Next time you plant, be sure to amend the soil with lots of organic matter, and try to time your seed sowing so the leaves will mature in the cooler spring or fall weather.

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