Saving arugula seeds is very easy.
Planting: Direct sow your arugula in Spring, after danger of frost has passed. You can also plant towards fall as the high summer temperatures drop. Sow every three weeks if you desire a continuous supply through out the season.
- Full sun or partial shade is OK
- Plant seed 1/4 inch deep (shallow), 1 inch apart, cover lightly (no tamping)
- Seeds will germinate in 5-7 days
- Thin the arugula to 6 inches apart after germination
Harvesting: Arugula can grow very quickly! Harvest often - like certain lettuces, arugula cut crops can came again several times a season. Arugula sprouts are very tasty!
Seed Saving: Arugula bolts (seeds out) in hot weather, you can harvest seeds at any time after the plants bolt (does not have to be in the Fall). As always, the more plants you have, the better the odds that your seeds will be both viable and preserve the desired genetic traits.
- You need a minimum of 5 plants but 20-40 plants will ensure that your seeds are both viable and maintain their genetic integrity. 20 plants are not many for arugula. (If you really want to save the seeds for absolute genetic preservation, save seeds from 80 or more plants).
- Allow the plants (that will be used to save your seeds) to grow fully - eat off other plantings for best results.
- Arugula seed pods grow brittle and will turn light brown. When most of the pods have turned, cut the stalks and place them in a container (paper grocery bags work well. (The curing of the seed pods on the vine, even after cutting is important - the seeds gain toughness and viability when attached to the vine - do not cut the pod from the plant until fully cured)
- Keep the bag open and in a dry area. Moisture can cause the seeds to rot and become unusable.
- Allow the stalks to dry - the seeds will be hard such that they cannot be dented with a fingernail. Take care not to lose seeds from pods opening
- Seed release very easily from pods once properly dried. Generally, you can rub the pods open and seeds will fall out - glean seeds back into a paper bag to ensure no seed loss (seeds flying everywhere!)
- Glean the seeds of pods and stalks
- Store in cool and dry conditions. Stable, low temperatures are best. Any storage place that is susceptible to condensation must be avoided.
- Your arugula seeds can be expected to remain viable for about 6 years.