Rocket, also known as rocket or roquette, is a hearty green salad that's packed with flavor and nutrients. The peppery leaves give salad mixes, sandwiches, pesto, pizza and sauteed dishes a spicy note. Arugula is not only a delicious ally of many recipes around the world, but also a valuable partner in the garden. Find out more about arugula companion plants!
Rocket, Eruca sativa, belongs to the mustard family, which also includes Brassicas. There are many well-known Brassica vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, and kale greens that are related to arugula. All of these fibrous vegetables have nutritional properties, and planting arugula has generated interest among gardeners for its natural health benefits, as well as its ability to grow quickly. Many find arugula in mesclun seed packets or prepared salad containers to complement the baby lettuce greens it is mixed with.
Arugula is a nutritious superfood. It is high in fiber and rich in vitamins A, C, potassium and the mineral calcium. This is a heart healthy plant that helps in weight loss and has cancer-fighting properties. Regular consumption has also been shown to improve complexion and increase energy levels.
Are you ready to make arugula plants a staple in your garden? Let's examine why companion planting should be considered, and which plants are ideal to grow with arugula, and which plants to avoid that arugula is planted next to.
What is companion planting?
Choosing good arugula companion plants can be quite simple. Source: adactio
There are many benefits to planting companions. By diversifying with kind plants, you can improve the overall vitality and production of the garden. With the accompanying plants you will find plants that combine well in the immediate vicinity and offer each other advantages.
This is different from monoculture in a garden bed. If you sow arugula on their own, they will compete for the same nutrients. This can cause the arugula to stunt and make it more susceptible to insect infestation. In contrast, companion plants can occupy different spaces in the garden and provide more nutrition in the same space. Good arugula neighbors can attract pollinators, discourage pests, deposit nutrients, and create microclimates to protect arugula.
For pest control, compatible aromatic plants can be inherently repulsive. The catch crops can even confuse the pests and prevent them from investigating further. There are even some companion plants that can attract beneficial insects to help solve pest problems. For example, marigolds are an excellent companion for planting basil and tomatoes. It contains properties that attract pollinating insects and repel garden pests.
Other companion plants like beans help replenish nitrogen in the soil and improve the health of neighboring plants. You can play with the vertical layers of your garden to maximize space by running the beans on a trellis or growing accompanying root vegetables. Root vegetables are useful in helping break up the soil.
Planting low-lying companions can serve as living mulch and ground cover. This will keep the moisture in the soil, keep the soil intact, and reduce weed competition. Taller plants can serve as a nurse for seedlings and provide shelter from the sun and wind. These are microclimates that you can easily develop to improve the health of your garden.
Accompanying plantings with fast, medium, and slow growing plants can help organize your garden. For example, fast growing plants like radishes or spinach can be used as living markers in the garden so you don't accidentally double-plant a slow growing variety like corn, cabbage or cauliflower. Now let's examine which plants are recommended for growing with arugula and which ones to stay away from.
Good arugula companion plants
Young arugula can use a little neighborly protection from pests. Source: SrslyKris
Arugula is a fast growing plant that thrives in cooler weather. It is a hardy plant and has only one main pest, flea beetles. Flea beetles like to eat the delicate leaves of the rocket plant, leaving tiny holes in the leaves. So let's make it difficult for the flea beetle to find arugula with accompanying plantings!
First, let's consider the cool season companion varieties for planting arugula. There are root crops like carrots, beets, onions, and garlic that thrive in cooler weather. These root crops companions can maximize your garden space as they primarily occupy underground growth zones. The green tips of carrots and beets can provide shade for the rocket plants. In addition, Allien's pungent aromas, such as onions and garlic, keep garden pests away and are common companion plants to arugula and brassicas.
Other cold-weather crops that arugula can be grown alongside include leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, and chard. When you've planted together you have an instant lettuce garden bed. Some gardeners send out the seeds of these leafy vegetables instead of deliberately distributing them. This provides a dense crop of lettuce that you can thin down to enjoy the young baby leaves.
Some companion plants, such as the aromatic rosemary, can repel arugula pests. Herbs are discouraging and can keep pests from detecting your arugula. You can sow arugula with other herbs like dill, thyme, mint, chives, parsley, coriander, sage, basil, oregano, and borage. Everything in the mint family is a great deterrent to garden pests. In addition, dill is another great companion plant for brassicas and is widely used for pest control.
If you want a pop of color in your garden, consider growing arugula with flowers like chamomile, nasturtium, and petunias. Chamomile attracts pollinating insects, and its strong scent can hide arugula from garden pests. In addition, nasturtiums can be used as a ground cover. Other ground cover plants are borage and cucumber. These plants can shade the soil around arugula and minimize evaporation in the soil. Borage attracts pollinators, repels curious wild animals such as deer and repels caterpillars of cabbage moths.
Some companion plants are nitrogen fixers by replenishing the nitrogen in the soil and improving the health and taste of the arugula plants. Since French beans are large, they also provide shade. Other tall companion plants that contain arugula are corn and peas. One final vegetable to consider as a companion is celery, as they have similar needs in terms of sunlight and water. There are even recipes made with celery and arugula. You will find that when you grow these arugula companion plants, many of them complement each other in different recipes.
You can start small planting companions by starting with a different type of plant like carrots and arugula. Or, you can be adventurous and experiment with different types of companions like beans, arugula, spinach, onions, and rosemary. The great thing about planting companions is that it is not an exact science and there are many options. By accompanying planting with rocket plants, you maximize the space and vitality in your garden while minimizing competition from weeds and the need for pesticides.
What not to plant with arugula
A rocket plant likes a slightly friendly shade from larger plants. Source: stgermh
There are some garden plants that arugula are not mutually beneficial. Let's examine this pick list of bad neighbors.
While strawberries make a fun cover of the ground, they are not good companions for arugula and will hinder growth. This applies to all brassicas. When planting strawberries, plant a row or two of arugula away.
Most plants in the nightshade or solanum family are incompatible with arugula plants. This is because nightshades prefer a more acidic soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5 while arugula prefers a more neutral soil pH of 6.5 to 7. It is not recommended to grow arugula next to eggplant, peppers, potatoes, or tomatoes.
Keep in mind that growing brassicas together can attract their common pests and insects and make them more susceptible to infestation. This includes planting in an area where a Brassica was previously grown. For example, it is recommended not to plant arugula in a room recently occupied by cabbage.
Another tip: some arugula companion plants may not make good neighbors. Dill and carrots are not compatible, but they are great companions for arugula on their own.
frequently asked Questions
Q: How Far Should You Plant Arugula?
A: Arugula seeds can be planted in 10-inch rows, one inch apart. When young leaves are 4 inches tall, they can get thinner up to 4-6 inches apart.
Q: When can I plant arugula outside?
A: Arugula is a cool season yearbook that's perfect if you want to grow before your final spring frost date. You can also grow arugula in late summer or early fall to extend your garden harvest. Rucola tolerates light frosts with optimal growth conditions between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. For continuous harvests, it is recommended to plant arugula every 2-3 weeks. Be careful, once the weather gets hot, arugula will sprout and the leaves will turn bitter.
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