Growing Arugula Indoors

Can I grow Arugula, from seed to harvest, indoors? Absolutely. 

Arugula scored an “A+” on our “indoor-garden feasibility” scale. Arugula was, overall, extremely easy to grow in the indoor garden and took up relatively little space. Here is the Tub to Table guide to growing arugula, from seed to harvest, indoors. 

The arugula grown in the indoor garden is so good. Almost too good. It has a flavor I didn’t even know arugula could have. It is like a peppery punch-in-the-tongue kind of flavor that I thought might need a little tempering. But, it is still subtle and nuanced. It’s delicious and completely unique. To serve it, I added a light caesar-based dressing and some simple tomatoes from the indoor garden. Which are also so good.

  • Botanical name –  Eruca vesicaria
  • Sun exposure – Full sun. 
  • Light period* – 10 – 12 hours of light.
  • Soil type and pH – neutral.
  • Water – Keep consistently moist but not wet.
  • Weeks to maturity – nice and short, harvest as soon as 4 weeks. 
  • Health benefits –  Arugula is a great source of vitamin C and potassium.
  • Favorite varieties – Standard “Garden” Arugula, Runway, Astro.

Arugula is also known as Rocket or Roquette. I’ve never been a huge fan. It seems like an “Arugula and Beet salad” pops up at every restaurant in town. But the arugula there has always seemed like just a bland medium to get the beet to your mouth. In contrast, the arugula we grew in our own garden knocked our socks right off. The Romans thought arugula was an aphrodisiac, so it’s a good start to get your socks knocked off to start dinner.

I’m sorry I don’t have a lot of advice, but there simply isn’t too much to growing these little wonders. Plant them, water them, harvest them, eat them, repeat. They’re awesome. This one is a great “gateway” vegetable if you’re just getting in to indoor gardening.

All three tested varieties were very easy to grow.  (Standard “Garden” Arugula, Runway, Astro.) All varieties germinated about 80%. They can be spaced very closely together and still grow well, they don’t need much depth and they tolerated shade from neighboring plants. Arugula is said to be a cool weather plant, but again, did fine in my indoor garden temps of 70ish degrees.

I am very excited to try the “wasabi” variety by Johnny’s Seeds. It is supposed to blow off more than just your socks.

Verdict – A+. Arugula is everything you’re looking for in an indoor crop. It is easy to grow, fast-growing, and doesn’t take up a lot of space or depth. And the TASTE!!! It is so superior to supermarket arugula.

Arugula and Ceasar Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A quick and easy, lighter take on the classic caesar, minus the anchovies.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh grown arugula, cleaned and dried
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 piece toast, buttered
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 sliced garden tomato
  • Fresh shaved parmesan, optional

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with the tomatoes and the croutons
  2. In a small bowl, add the mustard to the lemon juice. Whisk vigorously until smooth to create an emulsion.
  3. Add salt and pepper liberally.
  4. Add the olive oil while whisking continuously. Once smooth, pour over the salad.
  5. Serve.

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