When to Plant Arugula

Arugula sprouts

Arugula is a cool-season crop. It can be grown in early spring and in fall.

Sow arugula seeds directly in the garden 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost in spring or as soon as the soil is workable. To set out transplants start seeds indoors 4 to 5 weeks before transplanting. Set transplants in the garden 4 weeks before to 2 weeks after the last frost. Transplants will give you a head start on the season.

Make succession plantings every 2 to 3 weeks until temperatures begin to warm in late spring then sow again in late summer for harvest in cool autumn weather.

Grow arugula in moisture-retentive, humus-rich soil. If temperatures warm you can mulch them with aged compost to keep the plants from bolting.

Arugula matures in about 40 days. Start to harvest outer leaves as soon as they are usable size. This cut-and-come-again method will prolong the harvest. The flavor and texture of leaves are best when leaves are still young and tender.

Young arugula plant grow arugula
Young arugula

Arugula seed sowing dates

(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)

Average date of the last frostPlanting dates
Jan. 30Jan. 1-Mar. 1
Feb. 8Jan. 1-Mar. 1
Feb. 18Jan. 15-Mar. 1
Feb. 28Feb. 1-Mar. 1
Mar. 10Feb. 15-Mar. 15
Mar. 20Mar. 1-Apr. 1
Mar. 30Mar. 10-Apr. 10
Apr. 10Mar. 15-Apr. 15
Apr. 20Mar. 25-Apr. 15
Apr. 30Apr. 1-May 1
May 10Apr. 15-May 15
May 20May 1-30
May 30May 1-30
June 10May 15-June 1
Arugula nearing harvest plant grow arugula
Arugula nearing harvest

Arugula planting details

  • Sowing depth: ¼ inch (.6 cm)
  • Space between plants after thinning: 6 inches (15cm)
  • Days to sprout: 5-7
  • Days to harvest: 40 days or as soon as the leaves are edible
  • Storage period: 1-2 weeks
  • Seeds per 100 row feet:  ¼ ounce (7 grams)
  • Yield per 100 row feet: 100 heads
  • Suggested varieties: Astro, Runway, Rocket, Italian Wild Rustic

More about planting arugula:

How to Grow Arugula

Arugula Seed Starting Tips

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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