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Growing and Selling Fresh Cut Herbs.
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of the Month
8" to 12"
a popular herb in Europe, arugula is gaining popularity in the United
States as a gourmet salad herb. People either love arugula or hate it
for it has a pungent aroma and a peppery taste. Although it is used mainly
as a salad herb adventurous chefs and cooks use it in everything from
sauces to stir-fry.
There are several varieties of arugula available.
The small leaf types are sometimes known as "wild" types. A new variety
is called "strap leaf" because it has a narrow base, which makes it easier
to bunch. Perhaps the biggest seller is regular arugula.
Arugula is easy to grow from seed but it should
be direct sown where it is to grow, as it does not transplant easily.
It is a cool weather crop-as I write this it is November 30, 1999 and
my arugula beds are flourishing with the cold Minnesota temperatures!
It can be difficult to grow when summer temperatures soar. It has a tendency
to flower and turn bitter quickly during warm temperatures. Planting a
summer crop in a partially shaded location can help to keep it cool and
prolong the harvest period somewhat.
Arugula seeds can be planted thickly, much like
loose-leaf lettuce, but if you space them 4 to 6 inches apart the leaves
on the plants will grow larger. Harvest the leaves by pulling them from
the base of the plant. The leaves can be cut, of course, but when the
new leaves grow some may have the browned cut edge from the previous cutting.
This will make them unattractive and useless for those that sell fresh-cut
Flea beetles love arugula! These are small, shiny
insects that eat shotgun type holes in the leaves. These holes are probably
not a problem for the home gardener who grows arugula for their own use.
The cosmetic damage caused by feeding flea beetles results in unusable
foliage for the commercial grower. The best defense against flea beetles
is to cover the arugula with lightweight row covers. Place the covers
as soon as the seeds begin to germinate and the tiny plants begin to emerge
from the soil. Bury the edges of the cover in the soil to prevent the
beetles from crawling underneath it.
Arugula is covered in more detail in Chapter
14 of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs.
here to see a preview of the
Contents for Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs.
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Herb of the Month pages.
comprehensive revised edition of Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut
Herbs is available from
most internet booksellers, bookstores, and in libraries. It can be
ordered from the distributor,
Independent Publishers Group.
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Growing and Selling Fresh-Cut Herbs
Herb of the Month |
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PO Box 64
Zumbro Falls, MN 55991
The Herbal Connection