Plant of the week

October 27, 2007|By JANE TALARICO | JANE TALARICO,MARYLAND COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE

Arugula, or Rocket Salad(Eruca sativa)

Arugula's popularity has "rocketed" in recent years. An excellent late-season crop for home gardeners, arugula adds a zesty punch to dishes whether it's served raw (as in salads) or cooked, thanks to the spicy, peppery flavor of its leaves. Maybe that punch is why ancient Egyptians and Romans considered arugula seed oil to be an aphrodisiac. Plant seeds every few weeks in early spring or fall. Thin seedlings to 6-9 inches apart. Harvest the green, deeply cut, compound leaves when plants reach 8 to 10 inches, about six weeks after planting. To encourage leaf production continuously, harvest young leaves.

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