In European countries, rucola leaf lettuce is particularly popular. It tastes like watercress and gives the dishes a special taste and fresh aroma.
It is an annual plant of the cabbage family and can reach a height of up to 60 cm. Rucola seeds are often used to make mustard, and the leaves themselves are used to make soups, salads, and even juices.
Arugula: Useful Properties
Arugula contains a lot of useful substances, including flavonoids, mineral salts, malic and citric acid, mustard oil, steroids, vitamins of group B and vitamin C. In addition, lettuce leaves are rich in lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose. These substances are not absorbed in the process of digestion, but are important components for the life of the body. Thanks to them, the disposal of harmful substances and wastes, decreases the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Scientists believe that rocket helps protect the body from atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
The plant has diuretic, antibacterial and lactogenic properties. It stimulates the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates appetite and promotes the absorption of food.
There are several varieties of arugula. The best annual varieties that are well adapted to the Russian climate are:
- Poker, the harvest of which can be collected 25 days after planting;
- Rococo, can be harvested 25 days after germination;
- Corsica, Sicily, Euphoria, Gourmet, Dovinka, Little Mermaid - collected in 35 days.
- Solitaire is a variety that can be harvested one year after planting.
How to grow rocket?
The technology of growing plants is similar to growing spinach. Arugula can be planted in a greenhouse, in open soil, and even at home on a windowsill. In open ground, seeds are sown in late April - early May. If you are late with the landing, it can be done in the summer by selecting a site in partial shade. In the bright sun, young arugula stems can dry out. Seeds for planting can be purchased at any garden store.
Rukola: growing from seed
For sowing, you need to form the hole at a distance of 20 cm. The seeds of the plant are placed at a depth of 1.5 - 2 cm. Before the emergence of shoots, it is better to cover the bed with a film or mesh. The first young growth should appear on day 3. 3 weeks after planting you will grow a delicious salad.
Land for growing arugula should be fertile, breathable and neutral. Like any plant, salad should be watered and loosened regularly. In the heat, they recommend abundant and frequent watering, otherwise, rucola will have a bitter taste. During the growing salad does not require fertilizer fertilization.
Despite the fact that the plant is cold-resistant, you need to take care of keeping warm. Prepare mini-greenhouses from plastic bottles. With the expected cold, seedlings should be covered overnight.
Rukola on the windowsill: how to grow?
- Arugula can be grown not only on the site, but also at home on the windowsill. Flower pots or trays are suitable as planting containers. The soil for planting choose neutral or slightly acidic. If you decide to prepare the soil yourself, suitable composition: humus, sod land and sand (2: 2: 1). Garden soil will not be suitable for cultivation on the windowsill, it is easy to bring pathogens with it.
- Rucola needs good lighting, but it is also tolerant of shade. In any case, it is recommended to plant it not earlier than March, otherwise the salad will greatly stretch. Experienced gardeners are advised to plant seeds to a depth of 1.5 cm, but you can apply surface sowing. It involves the spread of seeds in pre-compacted soil. Then the planting material is sprinkled with a thin layer of soil. This will allow to obtain uniform shoots.
- When you plant arugula, cover the container with plastic wrap and place in a dark place. When the first sprouts appear (after about a week), peel off the film and place the plant container on the sill. Watering is needed every 2 days.
- Arugula grows quickly and after about a week after germination, you can adjust the planting density. You can cut out excess and weak plants, and use them in cooking. Harvest a month after emergence.
Rucolla pests: how to recognize?
Due to the high content of essential oils, pests bypass the arugula side. A plant can only infect fungal diseases that damage the roots. Sick stems gradually fade. To detect the fungus, you need to carefully examine the roots of lettuce. They will have small bubbles of brown color. The disease is not treated, therefore, the affected arugula is destroyed, and the soil is thrown away or treated with antifungal drugs.
Planting arugula- not a complicated matter. Salad lovers can grow it all year round on the windowsill, harvesting monthly. From the leaves of the plant you can cook salads, soups, broths, juices and mashed potatoes.