Arugula microgreens are tiny leafy vegetables that you can increase in your home any time of the year. Therefore, they are a rich source of vitamins and other minerals and are used as garnishes or ingredients for different dishes.
More often, people confuse or use the same name to describe both the arugula microgreens and sprouts. They grow from the same seed but at different stages, and they taste differently. Arugula is more nutritious compared to sprouts making it the most expensive too.
The arugula microgreens are easy to grow in that they need a few essential items such as the sun and water, pizza, soups, or a salad. Growing arugula microgreens is super simple.
How to grow arugula microgreens
For you to harvest highly nutritious Arugula, you will need suitable Materials. However, it’s up to you to make it complex if you wish by growing it without soil (hydroponics). So basically, all you need to grow your Arugula is these materials.
- Containers such as 10×20 plant growing trays
- Potting soil, a balanced mix of coconut coir and soil, would be great
- Arugula Seeds
- Spray bottle for misting your plants
After you have collected all the materials you need, it’s time to plant. As you prepare to plant your Arugula, ensure that the surface of your growing media is flat, smooth, and moistened and that you have the right kind of seeds.
For example, if you are using a 10×20 plant propagation tray, 30ml of arugula seed will be sufficient. With such a space, you will have an adequate distribution of your seeds on the surface. If you are not using the propagating tray, use 2 inches of soil or growing media, especially if you intend to grow your microgreen past eight to nine days.
Cover your container with something that will block out all the light. Complete blocking of light provides your seeds with an ideal germination environment.
Germination time and requirements
If planted appropriately, the arugula plant will germinate in three days. Ensure that you mist your seeds once or twice a day using the spray bottle to avoid drying the soil, which may lead to wilting. Continue keeping your soil or medium moist even after germination of the seeds. Note that if your medium is more profound, then you won’t need to water your plants frequently. It may take up to nine days before you water again.
Sometimes overwatering your Arugula can cause them to have molds. But this should not be confused with overgrown roots. The hundreds of tiny roots look like molds. The only difference is that they are evenly distributed and cluster around the taproot of your arugula plant.
Your microgreens will be ready for light after four to five days. Uncover them and put them in a well-lit area, but you will have to water them more if you decide to leave them outside. If you move them indoors, then the number of watering sessions doesn’t have to be increased because the plants will not be subjected to intense sunlight.
When to harvest
After planting and watering, your arugula microgreens should be ready for harvesting between 7 to 14 days. Also, when your microgreens are two-inch inches tall and the leaves are bright and open, it’s time to harvest.
Using a sharp knife or scissors, cut your Arugula at 1/4″-1/2″ above the soil to avoid the stress of washing them and cutting them excess dirt or seed husks. Store your arugula well in a dry place and ensure that they are dry if you washed them. If stored well, then you will get to enjoy them for seven days before they wilt.
Arugula microgreens vs. sprouts
It’s not surprising to hear people use the names microgreens and sprouts interchangeably. Sprouts and microgreens are of the same seed at different stages of growth, but there is a difference between the two. They are different in appearance taste and also grow differently but are highly nutritious. So what is the difference between sprouts and arugula microgreens?
- Arugula microgreens are more costly than sprouts
- They contain more fiber than sprouts
- You can use the arugula microgreens in salads, soups, smoothies, and sandwiches, while sprouts are best in stir fry dishes to add a little crunch.
- It would be best to be careful with air circulation when growing Arugula, but sprouts do not.
- Sprouts don’t need light, but microgreens need light to grow
- You can eat your microgreens raw but not the sprouts
- Only the stems and leaves of the Arugula are eaten, but with sprouts, you eat everything. The leaves stem roots, and seed
- Arugula microgreens form real leaves, but the sprouts form cotyledon leaves.
- Arugula is grown in soil or hydroponics, but sprouts can only be grown hydroponically.
- Microgreens are taller than sprouts. Microgreens grow up to seven inches, while sprouts grow up to three inches.
- Your arugulas will be ready for harvest in seven to fourteen days, while sprouts take three to five days.
Arugula microgreens are rich in vitamins and minerals which are beneficial to your health. Here are some of the benefits:
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Prevents osteoporosis
- Lowers the risks of several types of cancer
- Liver protection
- Increases cellular sugar uptake
- Regulates metabolism and muscle mass growth
Other benefits of arugula microgreens are:
- It has antioxidant properties that aid in boosting your immunity, cell growth, and eye health. It also maintains lung, heart, and kidney health.
- It is rich in vitamin K a vitamin responsible for blood coagulation. However, you need to be careful, especially if you are taking anticoagulants. Consult your doctor before changing your eating habits.
- Adding Arugula to your meals provides you with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps with immune-boosting. It also aids in iron absorption and tissue growth.
- Arugula has sufficient amounts of folate, which is vital in expectant or women who are planning to get pregnant.
- If you have heart and nerve issues, then Arugula has Potassium, a mineral that ensures heart and nerve health. It also reduces the adverse sodium effects hence the reduction of high blood pressure.
Are arugula microgreens healthy?
Arugula microgreens are healthy to add to your daily diet. They are rich in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Adding the Arugula to your diet ensures that.
- You are not disease-prone,
- You can manage your weight
- They help boost your general well-being mentally and physically
What do arugula microgreens taste like?
The arugula microgreen has a sweet, tangy, peppery, and earthy taste. It’s made of two green leaves attached to s slim stem five to seven centimeters in length for you to enjoy a mellow, spicy flavor and tender green harvest when the arugula leaves are young. But if you let them mature, then you are bound to harvest a woody and bitter crop.
Do arugula microgreens regrow?
Unlike most microgreens which don’t regrow after harvesting, the Arugula will regrow one cut, so don’t pull out the stems. Instead, ensure that you use a sharp knife to cut just below the leaves when harvesting and leave the stems to grow new leaves. The leaves can regrow once or twice before the plant becomes too spicy or even bitter by cutting them back.
Growing arugula microgreens is not a difficult task. But it can be challenging if you will not be keen. They are delicate plants that need to be watered at the right time, exposed to light, and harvested at the right time. Remember, if you delay in any of these stages, you may end up with a not nutritious and bitter plant.