Companion planting is the practice of growing different plants in close proximity for mutual benefit. This can include repelling pests, improving pollination, or providing shade for heat-sensitive plants. In the case of arugula, companion planting can help enhance its growth, flavor, and pest resistance.
In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of companion planting with arugula and highlight some of the best companion plants to pair with it in the garden. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to the practice, companion planting with arugula is a great way to maximize the yield and quality of your harvest.
Different Varieties of Arugula Use in Companion Planting
There are several different varieties of arugula that can be used in companion planting. Some popular varieties include.
This variety is known for its spicier, more robust flavor and is popular in salads and sandwiches. It’s considered a cold-hardy variety that can tolerate frost and cool temperatures. It’s also a good option for succession planting in a container or small space.
This is a bolt-resistant variety, suitable for planting in the summer. It’s known for its tender, mild-flavored leaves, making it a great choice for salads and sandwiches.
This variety is known for its wild, distinctive flavor and is often used in gourmet dishes. It’s a tall, vigorously growing plant that can be harvested over a long period of time.
This variety is known for its early maturity, vigorous growth, and large leaves. It’s a great option for planting in the early spring or fall. It’s a bolt-resistant variety, suitable for long-season harvest.
This variety is known for its spicy and robust flavor, and can tolerate hot temperatures. It’s a good option for planting in the summer. It’s a short stature variety that can fit well in small gardens or container
Different varieties of arugula may have different growth habits, flavor profiles, and pest resistance. It’s a good idea to experiment with different varieties to see which works best in your specific growing conditions and with your companion plants.
Benefits Of Arugula Companion planting
Companion planting is an age-old practice that has been used by farmers and gardeners for centuries to improve crop yields, control pests, and promote plant health. The benefits of companion planting include:
Certain plants release chemicals that repel pests, while others attract beneficial insects that prey on pests. Companion planting can help control pest populations by creating a balanced ecosystem in the garden.
Improved nutrient uptake
Different plants have different nutrient requirements and can benefit from the presence of certain companion plants. For example, legumes such as beans and peas can fix nitrogen in the soil, making it more available for other plants to uptake.
Companion planting can help increase crop yields by improving pollination, reducing competition for resources, and providing shade for heat-sensitive plants.
Certain companion plants can help prevent diseases from spreading by releasing chemicals that inhibit the growth of pathogens. Some also act as trap crops, attracting pests away from the main crop.
Companion planting can also enhance the flavors of fruits and vegetables by influencing the chemical composition of the soil.
Reduce use of pesticides
Companion planting can be used as a form of integrated pest management, by encouraging the presence of beneficial insects, birds and using plants that act as trap crops.
Overall, companion planting is an effective way to create a diverse and sustainable ecosystem in the garden. By selecting the right companion plants, gardeners can improve the health and productivity of their crops, while also reducing the need for chemical pesticides.
What is Arugula and its Growing Requirements
Arugula, also known as “rocket” or “roquette,” is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which also includes other popular greens such as kale and broccoli. It is known for its spicy, slightly bitter flavor and is often used in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish for pasta dishes.
Arugula is a cool-season crop, meaning it can be planted in the early spring or late fall and prefers cooler temperatures. It grows best in well-drained, moist soil and in full sun to partial shade. It has a relatively short maturity time and can be harvested within 30-45 days of planting.
It’s considered a low-maintenance crop, it’s tolerant to frost and can withstand cool temperatures, and it can be direct-seeded or transplanted into the garden. Arugula has a relatively low water requirement, which makes it a good crop for irrigation management. However, it’s important to avoid prolonged periods of hot, dry weather as it can cause the leaves to bolt or produce a bitter flavor.
When planting arugula, it’s recommended to sow seeds every two weeks for a continuous harvest of young leaves, as older leaves can be tough and bitter. It is also a good idea to thin out the seedlings to about 4-6 inches apart to allow enough room for proper growth.
Nutritional Benefits of Arugula Companion Plants
Arugula is a nutrient-dense vegetable that offers a wide range of health benefits. Some of the key nutritional benefits of arugula include:
Rich in vitamins and minerals: Arugula is an excellent source of vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting, and vitamin A, which is important for vision and immune function. It’s also a good source of vitamin C, folate, and calcium.
Low in calories: Arugula is a low-calorie food, making it an excellent choice for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Contains antioxidants: Arugula contains a variety of antioxidants, including quercetin and kaempferol, which can help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
May improve bone health: The Vitamin K in arugula is vital for bone health, as it helps in the production of osteocalcin, a protein that is necessary for bone formation.
Contains anti-inflammatory properties: Arugula is a natural anti-inflammatory food. Its high levels of vitamin K, and other antioxidants may help to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
Good for digestion: Arugula is a good source of fiber, which can help to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
It’s also worth noting that arugula leaves contain a compound called glucosinolates, which has been studied for its potential cancer-fighting properties.
Eating a diet rich in nutrient-dense foods such as arugula can help to promote overall health and well-being. Adding arugula to salads, sandwiches, or pasta dishes is a simple way to boost the nutritional value of your meals.
Different Companion Plants That Planted with Arugula
There are many different companion plants that can be planted with arugula to enhance its growth and taste. Here are a few examples:
Lettuce is a great companion plant for arugula, as they have similar growing requirements and can be planted at the same time. The two plants also complement each other in salads and sandwiches, adding different textures and flavors.
Radishes are another great companion plant for arugula. They can be planted at the same time and have a similar maturity time. Radishes also repel pests that may damage arugula.
Beets are a great companion plant for arugula because they both prefer cool weather and are relatively low-maintenance. Beet greens and arugula both have a similar flavor profile and can be used in salads.
Nasturtium is a great companion plant for arugula because it acts as a trap crop for aphids and other pests, protecting arugula from damage. Nasturtiums are also edible and have a slightly peppery taste that goes well in salads
Dill is another great companion plant for arugula, it repels aphids and can be interplanted in the same bed Dill also serves as a natural insect repellent for arugula, further helping to keep pests at bay.
Marigolds act as companion plants in multiple ways. They emit a scent that repels pests, they can also trap nematodes and improve soil quality through their root exudates.
These are just a few examples of plants that can be planted with arugula, but there are many other options to explore depending on the growing conditions, climate and personal preference.
Different Arugula Companion Plants Combinations for different Seasons
Companion planting with arugula can be adjusted based on the season and the climate of the location. Here are a few suggested companion plant combinations for different seasons:
In the spring, arugula can be planted with lettuce, radishes, and beets. These companion plants all prefer cool weather and can be planted at the same time. The radishes will mature quickly and can be harvested before the arugula and the lettuce are ready.
In the summer, arugula can be planted with nasturtium, dill, and marigolds. Nasturtium and marigolds will act as a trap crop and repellent for pests, while dill will also repel pests and improve soil quality.
In the fall, arugula can be planted with carrots, onions, and garlic. Carrots and onions are both hardy and can tolerate cool weather, and garlic is a natural pest repellent. This combination will provide a long-lasting, harvestable crop.
In the mild winter regions, arugula can be planted with spinach, Swiss chard, and endive. These companion plants can tolerate cool weather and frost, and provide a harvestable crop through winter.
It’s important to consider the specific climate and weather patterns of your location, and adjust companion planting accordingly. Companion planting can be adjusted with the variety of arugula, as well. Some varieties are more cold-tolerant than others, and some are bolt-resistant.
It’s good idea to research the specific variety before selecting companion plants to ensure that they will thrive together in your specific location.
Diseases That Arugula is Susceptible
Arugula is generally considered to be a relatively disease-resistant plant, but there are still a few common diseases to which it can be susceptible:
This is a common fungal disease that affects many types of leafy greens, including arugula. It is characterized by yellow spots on the leaves and a white, downy growth on the undersides of the leaves. To avoid downy mildew, make sure to provide proper spacing between plants and avoid overhead irrigation, instead using drip irrigation or watering the soil directly.
This is a fungal disease that affects many types of plants and is characterized by a white, powdery growth on the leaves and stems. To avoid powdery mildew, ensure that plants are not overcrowded and provide proper air circulation by thinning out the plants or pruning back any foliage that is touching the ground.
This is a disease caused by overwatering or poor drainage that can lead to the death of the plant. To avoid root rot, make sure to plant arugula in well-drained soil and avoid overwatering. It’s important to not let the soil stay wet for long periods of time.
Clubroot is a disease caused by a soil-borne pathogen that affects mainly the Brassica family. This can cause deformation and wilting of the leaves. To avoid this, try to rotate arugula with non-cruciferous plants and maintain the soil pH between 6 and 7.
this disease is caused by a bacteria that affects the stem and can cause wilting and plant death. To avoid this, use disease-free seeds, rotate crops, and remove infected plant debris.
By taking appropriate precautions and maintaining good cultural practices, the risk of disease can be minimized. This can include selecting disease-resistant varieties, providing adequate spacing, maintaining proper soil pH, preventing overcrowding, and using proper irrigation methods.
Regular monitoring of the plants and prompt removal of any diseased foliage can also help to prevent the spread of disease.
In conclusion, companion planting with arugula is a great way to improve the yield and quality of your harvest. The practice of growing different plants together in close proximity offers a wide range of benefits such as repelling pests, improving pollination, or providing shade for heat-sensitive plants.
Arugula is a versatile and nutrient-dense vegetable, it prefers cool temperatures, and it is a relatively low-maintenance crop. Companion planting with arugula can enhance its growth, flavor, and pest resistance. By choosing the right companion plants, and adjusting according to the season and location, you can create a diverse and sustainable ecosystem in the garden.
Companion planting also helps reduce the use of chemical pesticides and promotes overall health and well-being. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or new to the practice, companion planting with arugula is an excellent way to maximize the yield and quality of your harvest.
Arugula typically has a shelf life of 5-7 days when stored properly in the refrigerator. The leaves will begin to wilt and discolor as the arugula goes bad. It’s also important to note that it should be kept in a perforated plastic bag, or a container with a lid with holes, as arugula is sensitive to ethylene gas that could cause spoilage faster.
Arugula is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a good choice for weight loss.
However, arugula is relatively low in calories and is considered to be a healthy food choice. It’s also packed with nutrients, including vitamins K, A, and C, antioxidants, and minerals such as calcium and potassium. Eating a balanced diet and moderate amounts of arugula should not pose a significant risk to your health.
Collect seeds from bolting plants, dry and store in airtight container in cool and dry place. Alternatively propagate via cuttings or division. Label container with variety and date.
Arugula is generally consumed raw in salads, sandwiches, and as garnishes, as it adds a unique spicy and peppery flavor. Cooking can reduce the flavor and nutritional value, but it can also add different taste and texture. It can be sauteed, grilled or used in pasta dishes. The choice is yours to enjoy it raw or cooked.