How To: Growing Arugula Hydroponically

By: Chris | Last Updated: November 3, 2020

If onions are the vegetable that makes you cry, then arugula is the leafy green that makes you laugh. Maybe “laugh” is a bit of a stretch, but it at least makes you chuckle. 

Take Steve Martin in the 1990 crime comedy My Blue Heaven. He plays Vinnie, a New York mafia snitch in witness protection experiencing suburban culture shock and has gotta get some — arugula that is. 

That being said, arugula is also known as “Rocket” and is well known for its mildly bitter, tart, and peppery flavor. The leafy green stands about 6-12 inches, and 7 ounces has only about 50 calories while delivering valuable calcium, potassium, and vitamins A, B, C, and sometimes K. Arugula can typically be harvested in four weeks. 

Maybe those things don’t necessarily inspire you to start a hydroponic arugula garden. But arugula was considered an aphrodisiac by the ancient Romans. Now you have a reason for growing arugula — adding it to your love interest’s salad. Arugula salad, honey?

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Fast Facts About Growing Arugula

One of the wonderful things about this salad staple is that growing arugula hydroponically tends to be relatively easy. These are some things to consider. 

Photo of Growing Arugula Hydroponically

Growing Arugula Hydroponically

Water culture systems rank among the most commonly used in arugula hydroponics. That’s largely because they are so simple to make and everything the plant needs to flourish is right in the water. More than a few DIY gardeners use everyday household materials to create hydroponic gardens. These typically include the following.

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09/23/2021 01:23 pm GMT

A deep water system doesn’t require giant vats. The term “deep” usually refers to about 8-10 inches of water. The roots remain submerged and the arugula hydroponics fast-tracks the green to full maturity.  

It’s not uncommon to soak the seeds for a few hours before placing them in a moist medium. One of the faux pas to avoid is thinking they will germinate faster if left in water longer. Seeds also need oxygen, so it’s advisable to remove them from the water after 3-4 hours.

Hydroponic Arugula Fact Sheet

Arugula Growing Tips

When growing arugula, you can expect germination at about 7 days for seedlings, and a first harvest after about four weeks. If you have a green thumb — or you’re just lucky — expect a second harvest 1-2 weeks later. These are some quick tips on how to maximize your arugula yield. 

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09/23/2021 07:23 pm GMT

Leafy green aficionados may be inclined to pinch off baby greens before a fully mature harvest is ready. That tends to be okay when growing arugula, like other leafy greens. It’s important to know that arugula leaves tend to lose some of their desirability after going to seed. That’s a good reason to nip those pretty flowers, at least until after a second harvest. But seasoned growers know that if a plant wants to go to seed, that plant will find a way. The good news is that dried arugula seeds kept in cool, dry storage maintain vibrancy for several years. 

Pass the wine and dressing, honey. I made you a delicious arugula salad. It’s been six weeks!

Chris Cook started Happy Hydro Farm to share his passion for hydroponic gardening! Growing your own food is incredibly rewarding both physically and mentally. His mantra - "Take excellent care of your plants, and your plants will take excellent care of you."