Arugula has become one of the popular vegetables in salads, sandwiches or to flavor delicious pizzas. Arugula has a spicy and strong taste with a special flavor. It has become an indispensable ingredient in many daily dishes. Therefore, many gardeners are very interested in the process of planting and harvesting Arugula seeds to start a new growing season.
In this article, we will provide information about the time to harvest leaves and the process of harvesting and preserving Arugula seeds. When to harvest arugula seeds? All answers will be in the article below.
When To Harvest Arugula Seeds?
The best time to harvest Arugula seeds is when the weather is warmer, and the seed pods have begun to dry out.
To know the right time when you can harvest Arugula seeds, join us to learn about the process of growing, flowering, and forming seeds of Arugula. As you know, the entire development process of Arugula from sowing, young plants, mature plants, flowering, and seed formation will take place from 40 to 60 days depending on the plant variety.
Arugula can be harvested in three different stages to extend the vegetable’s harvest time. Normally, under favorable growing conditions, you can harvest the first vegetable leaves after about 20 days of sowing. The rule for harvesting Arugula at this stage is to only prune the long, bottom leaves when they reach about 2-3 inches.
Each time you harvest, you only pick 1/3 of the leaves on each plant to avoid affecting the growth of new leaves in the future. The interval between harvests is about one week depending on the actual growth rate of Arugula. Harvesting regularly and at the right time will promote the growth of new leaves and prolong the harvest time of Arugula. Young leaves will have a milder and less intense flavor than mature leaves. Therefore, they will suit the tastes of more people.
The best time to harvest Arugula is when temperatures are cool usually in the morning. The reason is that after you pick the leaves, the plant will lose moisture and wither. Therefore, high temperatures will cause plants to wither quickly and run out of energy. You will continue to harvest two more times in the same way until the Arugula plant blooms. However, you need to choose the right time to harvest because old leaves will have a bitter, tough, and strong flavor.
Arugula begins to flower and form seeds as they mature and the weather gets warmer. The white flowers will grow alternately and produce fruit. Shells will form and protect the seeds inside. Let them dry, and they will start to turn yellow and brown. After that, you will remove all the fruit from the Arugula stem and continue to dry it.
You can harvest Arugula seeds until you shake them gently and hear a rattling sound from the seeds inside. It means the seeds are dry and easily fall out of the protective shell. Each Arugula stem can produce hundreds of seeds, so you need to gently squeeze the shell to remove the seeds.
How To Protect Arugula Seeds?
The principle to protect seeds is to dry them thoroughly to maintain moisture at the lowest level and store them in ventilated conditions.
After harvesting, Arugula seeds need to be stored properly to maintain quality and yield in the next crop. During the harvesting process, you need to choose healthy, pest-free stems to harvest seeds. You should only harvest mature, old, and dry seeds instead of flat or young seeds.
After you have completely separated the seeds from their shells and filtered them to remove any remaining shell fragments. You should continue drying them until they are completely dry. You should not dry Arugula seeds in places with too much sunlight or directly below the soil surface. Dry Arugula seeds in a sunny area on a flat surface. It will prevent the Arugula seeds from absorbing moisture from the ground.
To preserve Arugula seeds after they have dried, you should put them in glass jars or plastic boxes with lids or zip-lock plastic bags. This will limit air from getting inside and causing mold and pathogens. In addition, you need to protect these seeds in a cool area, away from direct sunlight or excessive humidity to maintain the best seed quality for the next crop.
Read this post: Growing Arugula Hydroponically: Everything You Need To Know
The time to harvest Arugula seeds is when the plant has matured and flowered. The fruit will be formed and contain seeds inside. The shell will dry out, and you can easily remove the seeds from the shell. You need to choose seeds of good quality, large and uniform size. After drying and the remaining moisture is 8-9%, store the seeds in an airtight container and place them in a cool place. Wishing you a quality crop next!