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arugula Eruca sativa

Arugula has been planted 48 times by Growstuff members.


arugula is an annual crop (living and reproducing in a single year or less)

Median lifespan

96 days

First harvest expected

117 days after planting

Last harvest expected

76 days after planting


arugula plantings

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arugula harvests


arugula seeds

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Planted from


Harvested for


Crop Map

Only plantings by members who have set their locations are shown on this map.

What people are saying about arugula

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Dinner from the garden

Chicken simmered in broth and white wine,with lemon, crispy sage leaves, polenta chips with parmesan, and a salad of arugula , pear and candied walnuts.

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Planting outdoors & fruit trees

Today I transplanted the cabbage and onion seedlings outside and planted seeds for: arugula, garlic (well, cloves, not seeds--forced in the fridge), mesclun salad mix, kale, cauliflower, and beets. Some of these (cauliflower, beets, mesclun) will have later succession plantings.


You can just slightly see the cabbage seedlings at the far end of the left bed and the onions in the middle of the edge of the far right bed.

Also, I checked on the fruit trees. The apple trees are starting to wake up! They have little green shoots starting at their bud points.


The cherry are getting ready to blossom. Well, the ornamental already has, but the fruiting cherries haven't yet.


We were really worried that the peach tree might not have survived the winter due to a rabbit gnawing on it, but I did a little scratch test toward the top of the trunk, and it's green in there! (That means it's still alive) Since peach and almond (and plum? not sure) have a warmer range than apples do, I'm not concerned that they're not putting out new shoots yet.

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Coming together

This weekend I had two full days to really focus on the yard, and I made the most of it. With the intermittent help of several others over the course of the weekend, I got both easement planter boxes filled with compost and soil, cleaned up and weeded the alley, got the stump pulled from the conifer thing we took out last year, finished leveling the railroad ties for the terraced area of the yard, and got most of the front yard backfilled.

Tina's grabbing another load of compost on Tuesday, so we should be able to get the third planter bed in the alley filled before the last frost date. I still have to clean up and mow the backyard, get and spread wood chips, and figure out what we're planting in the front yard, but it's really starting to come together. It's hard to believe that this time last year, I didn't feel like I had a clue what I was doing growing plants, and our yard was ugly as all get out. Now we have a retaining wall and terrace and three planter boxes we built ourselves. I'm making a big effort to grow a significant amount of vegetables this year.

Last year, really the only food crops I grew were some tomatoes and broccoli. This year, we've already have lettuce, arugula, mustard greens, sunflower, dill, red onion and beet in the ground, and tomato, fenugreek, bell pepper, okra, artichoke, pot marigold, mint, lavender, spinach, basil, thyme, and parsley sprouting for when it gets a bit warmer. That's not taking into account the summer squash, zucchini, and peas we have waiting to plant directly in the bed once we're past final frost date.

In addition to the edibles, we got a black cherry fuschia and a (I think?) night owl climbing rose. I also repotted the ficus and one of the tropical plants Rachel gave me last year that I've forgotten the name of. Oh, and I finally planted some of the spaces in the retaining wall! I put in some rockfoil, creeping red thyme, sedum, and Scottish moss. The Scottish moss looks especially nice, with it's bright lime green against the red lava rocks. I really hope they take and start to fill in this season!

Whew! Writing it all down, this was quite the weekend! I'm so glad I got a chance to do this! I'll have to take some pictures in the next few days to really capture where it is now.

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Getting ready for spring!

I've got seeds either on-hand or ordered for just about everything I'm starting from seed this year. I've been working out what I want to plant, and this is the plan I've come up with for the 72 square feet of my backyard raised beds:

garden plan


Beets are fast enough (only 2 months) that I figure I can safely interplant them with the squashes.

I also picked up some chamomile seeds yesterday. I like chamomile tea, and it'll help attract pollinators. I have what I intend to be a food forest further back in my yard, past the raised beds, and I think it can go in there, around the berry bushes I intend to plant this spring.

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Optimism is... planting butternuts at Christmas

Like I said in my last post, everything has been late and disorganised this spring. However, I'm trying to get some stuff planted juuuusssssttttt under the wire for December, and hopefully they'll have time to grow before things cool down in the new year. Last year I was pretty amazed how long things lasted, to be honest; I had chilli peppers still kicking around through most of the winter, for example, albeit mostly just because I'd been too busy/lazy to pull them out. Still, I think I can rely on decent weather at least up through April, which is to say 4 full months.

So in keeping with that optimistic theory, I planted out butternut squash (or butternut pumpkin as we call it here) and potimarron (which is a smallish squash with a chestnut flavour), with a frame for the potimarron to climb up as they seemed to like that last year and it looks nice to have a bit of something vertical going on. I chucked a bunch of sunflower seeds in the gaps between them, along with some nasturtium and some cosmos, because the more bees/pollinators in the general vicinity of my squashes the happier I am. I just tossed a heaps and heap of seeds all over the place really, and I'm planning on thinning them if lots come up. I've come to realise that a packet of seeds only really lasts two years so there's no point in planting less than half a packet in any given year, and that if it's the last year you may as well plant them all. Right? (I mean, apart from those I swap and so forth.)

I pulled out all the arugula that's gone to seed; to be honest it came and went so quickly and I was travelling so much in the spring that I hardly ate any! Oh well. Any pods that were dry, I popped open and saved the seed (it's sitting on a plate on the back porch for a few days to dry fully before I bag it), and any that weren't quite dry I left on the stalks then tossed the stalks into parts of the garden where I wouldn't mind some chance-sown arugula next year.

Yesterday S from the local permaculture guild dropped off a little pot of purslane that had come up unintentionally in her greenhouse. There was a hilarious thread on the guild's facebook page with half the people going "ick, weed!" and the others going "yum! food!" I was on the "yum, food!" side, as it's great in summer salads and has a really nice lemony taste. We used to have purslane growing all over the place in Thornbury (where I lived before moving to Ballarat) but it doesn't seem to be common here. On the other hand there is lots of nettle at my current place which I would have loved in Thornbury but never saw a single one. Anyway, the purslane... I'm not sure where to plant it as I've never actually grown it. The internet suggests it's pretty hard to go wrong with it, but those are exactly the plants I tend to kill! Oh well, we shall see I suppose. Maybe I'll plant it under the clothesline; that area's mostly chickweed in winter but it really dies back in summer, while purslane's more of a summer thing, so maybe they can work in shifts. I guess I'll try it and see how it goes!

Meanwhile, in Growstuff-the-project news...

  • tygriffin has done some sterling work upgrading our platform to Rails 4, which now needs testing if anyone's got some time to spare
  • I'm still working on the notifications system, updating it to handle multiple types of notifications (such as "X is now following you") which will come in the new year
  • I posted a bit about the project's season arc for 2015 i.e. what we should be focusing on at different times of the year
  • Also I'm looking for suggestions of what people would like to see on the Growstuff blog next year

Off to Melbourne for Friendsmas tomorrow; I hadn't originally planned to do anything, but I realised I needed people and would just be mopey if I stayed home alone. I hope those who are celebrating have a delicious one full of home-grown and home-made food!

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A slow start to summer

I'm so very, very behind on my gardening. I was travelling heaps and had lots of other commitments through October/November, which is peak spring planting time here, and nothing got done. I've come to the realisation that if I'm going to do work that involves that sort of travel, I need to cut myself some slack on the garden front, and not expect to eg. raise tomatoes from seed. Instead, I can buy seedlings. Which is what I did, in the end. I also hired someone to mow my lawn, which was blocking me from doing a bunch of things because I wanted to lay out more no-dig bed but the grass was so high and my lawnmower so useless (it's a little electric one, and I now have a large and triffid-like "lawn") that I couldn't even get started.

Anyway. Current status:

  • most winter/spring crops are finished, still have some cavalo nero ticking along surprisingly well considering the cabbage moths
  • my broad bean crop was late-sown but delicious; will definitely plant more, and earlier, next year
  • I have self-sown sunflowers, which are now considerably taller than I am; next year, I will make a point of scattering the seed intentionally in places where I want them.
  • I've been tossing arugula and sorrel seeds all over the place down the back of the yard, as I pull out or cut back plants that have gone to seed. Hopefully they'll grow in abundance next year!
  • I've planted half a dozen tomato plants, some from friends and some from the shop and a couple that actually made it from seed -- I am honestly not quite sure what I have but I think there's a tommy toe, a couple of jaune flammes, a wild sweetie, a lemon drop, one other biggish red one that I forget the variety of, and I have a few San Marzano tomato seedlings (raised from seed) ready to go in when I do get the new no-dig beds sorted. They'll be late but better than nothing.
  • I bought eggplant seedlings as my seeds didn't make it, and planted half a dozen "black beauty" and one "bianco rosso" or something (those beautiful pale ones)
  • I planted a habanero pepper (bought fairly advanced from the nursery) and some kind of Thai chilli, and I have a range of others coming up from seed which will be ready to plant out when the aforementioned no-dig bed is done.
  • Haven't planted a single zucchini or any other kind of squash yet, argh! But I planted them late last year too, and that was fine.

In short it's all a bit of a mess but it's sort of getting there, and it's better than nothing.

With regard to the development of Growstuff itself, I'm delighted with our move off the mailing lists and over to Growstuff Talk and would definitely love to invite anyone who's interested in how Growstuff is built, or just generally what happens under the hood, to come over and chat with us. We have an Idea forum where it'd be great to get more people's input!

Some recent discussions that you might like to weigh in on:

Also new: the other day I did some work on updating our README on github and making a better Get Involved page on the wiki. Hopefully they make it easier for people who aren't necessarily coders to see how they could be a part of this :)

This afternoon, I'm going to try and get some of that no-dig action happening and maybe even plant some squash. Wish me luck!

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Transplant day!

I originally wanted to do this yesterday but it rained in the morning so that kinda put a damper on things.

So I did it all today instead! A bunch of the seeds I wintersowed in the milk jugs and soda bottles were getting crowded so it was time to move them to their bigger (permanent) containers. The ones I transplanted were: the mesclun mix, spinach, mizuna, arugula, tatsoi, pak choi, freckled lettuce, radicchio and broccoli rabe.

I also (finally) tended to my garden beds. Lots of earthworms in them, yay! That said, I also found a couple cicadas as I was tilling the ground, boo! I wonder how many from Brood II are going to be coming up from my backyard! :O Anyway, not to be deterred, I sowed alogbate (Malabar spinach) and okra. I was a little late in sowing the alogbate this year but it was so cold late into the season, I just didn't want to go out. Should be okay though.

Thanks to the warm weather, the parsley and anise in the herb garden have recovered and perked up from their overwintering and I cleaned them up a bit, pulling away the debris and dead bits. I also see that my lilies have started to come up in their place by the stairs.

Tomorrow, I'm going to go out and spread the sluggo. I saw some slug eggs while I was tilling (smashed them) so I know they're around somewhere. Now that I've popped the greens out of their wintersown containers and out into the open, I need to be vigilant about that.