How To Grow Arugula Microgreens In 5 Easy Steps

Arugula microgreens are a great choice for gardeners new to microgreens. They're easy to grow and taste delicious. Kevin Espiritu explains the five steps to get it right.

Arugula microgreens

Contents

If you’re just starting out growing microgreens, arugula is a great way to begin. It’s a popular plant among chefs and home cooks, with a zesty, nutty flavor that spices up many dishes.

Arugula microgreens grow quickly, typically harvested in around ten days.​ The seeds are relatively cheap to buy in large quantities, but you can also grow on a smaller scale and buy seed packets. If you like them, opt for a larger seed volume in your next purchase.

You can either follow along with the video tutorial or go with the written one below – the choice is yours.

YouTube video

What You’ll Need

You don’t need much to grow arugula microgreens. Dig around your house and you should be able to scrounge up most of these materials.

Seeds

Arugula microgreens next to arugula seeds on white background.
You need an ounce of seed to sow in a standard tray.

If you’re using a standard plant propagation tray, you’ll need about an ounce of arugula seed. Here are some of my favorite options to try:

Containers

Arugula microgreens in seedling trays.
Seedling trays are the ideal containers for growing microgreens.

Grab two standard planting trays (one for growing and one for covering). But as long as the container has adequate drainage holes, any seed trays or pots will do.

Epic 6-Cell Seed Starting Trays and Germination Domes & Bottom Trays are excellent choices for protecting the seeds as they grow if you don’t have any trays handy.

Growing Medium

Arugula microgreens out of their container on brown paper.
A combination of potting soil and coconut coir is recommended.

A seed-starting mix is ideal for growing microgreens. Alternatively, use a combination of equal parts potting soil and rehydrated coconut coir, which has excellent moisture-holding capacity.

Grow Lights

Arugula microgreens in tray growing on a sunny windowsill.
If you don’t have grow lights, place the tray next to a sunny window and rotate frequently.

For indoor planting, grow lights work best as they provide a consistent light source from overhead. Small Epic Seed Starting Grow Light or the Standard Epic Seed Starting Grow Light are good choices if you don’t have grow lights already.

Alternatively, place the tray near a sunny windowsill and rotate it every few days to get even sunlight. Microgreens need plenty of sun to grow successfully.

Extras

Find a sharp pair of kitchen scissors to harvest and a misting bottle to keep the seeds well-watered.

How to Grow Arugula Microgreens

These are the simple steps to grow arugula microgreens and enjoy the benefits of these pops of flavor.

Step 1: Plant

Arugula seeds planted in microgreen tray.
Moisten your growing medium before sowing.

Start by filling your tray with the growing medium. Make sure the surface is flat and smooth for easy planting. Also moisten the soil lightly before you start planting.

You should use at least one inch of soil, but two inches is recommended if you’re going to grow your arugula for eight to nine days. This is when the true leaves start to form, and the plants begin to rely on nutrition in your soil instead of seed nutrition.

Sprinkle the ounce of seeds over the top of the soil and don’t cover. Don’t worry about overcrowding, as you want the seeds to be packed tightly.

Step 2: Cover

Hands closing plastic clear tray with arugula microgreen seeds.
Covering the tray helps retain moisture in the growing medium, promoting germination.

After planting, cover your container with something that will block out all of the light. I typically use another tray flipped upside down. This provides the optimal germination environment for your arugula microgreen seeds.

After covering your container, place it in a low-light area that’s relatively warm (around 70°F or 21°C).

Every day, uncover your container and mist your seeds once or twice with a spray bottle. Don’t go overboard — that’s how you get mold. Germination should occur in around three days.

Once they’ve germinated, continue to water your growing medium. The deeper your growing medium, the less frequently you need to water. They won’t use much of this water until days eight to nine.

Arugula will put out roots quickly and spawn hundreds of little root hairs, which are often confused for mold. While they look similar, you can identify root hairs by their even distribution and clustering around the tap root of your seedling.

Step 3: Care

Arugula microgreens sprouting in clear tray.
The growing medium should remain lightly moist but not soggy,

Your microgreens will be ready for light somewhere between days four and five. Uncover them and move them to a well-lit area.

If you decide to leave them outdoors, you’ll need to water more often due to the intense light the sun provides. If you’re growing indoors, you won’t need to increase your watering routine much.

Step 4: Harvest

Hand holding harvested arugula microgreens.
Harvest when the greens are around two inches tall.

When your greens are around two inches tall and have bright, open leaves, it’s time to harvest.

To avoid the hassle of washing your greens, cut them about a quarter to half an inch above your growing medium. You’ll sacrifice some stem to make sure you don’t cut off any excess dirt or seed husks along with it. Washing microgreens is time-consuming and cuts their shelf-life in half.

Step 5: Store

Plastic packaging filled with freshly harvested mixed greens.

To store arugula microgreens properly, make sure they’re as dry as possible. If you didn’t wash them, they should be quite dry unless you harvested them right after watering them.

I put them in a sealed bag with a bit of air inside so they have room and aren’t squished. They’ll last for seven to eight days before they start to wilt, so enjoy them while you can!

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