Monday, August 24, 2009

Transplanting arugula

A friend dug up an aruluga plant to give me a start from her front-yard garden ~10 days ago. It is special - a variety called "Italian Rustic". I definitely would call its flavor 'assertive'! Only a few leaves need be added to a salad to give it some hefty bite.

I dug a big hole, filled it with fresh compost from our back-yard compost bin, watered the hole, and then made room for the plant's roots to spread out before watering again, and finally filling in the top of the hole with the dirt I dug out. It went from perky to flat overnight, and I wondered if I had killed it.

(Photo: transplanted Italian rustic arugula (flat, in the center of the photo), in among some kale, lavender, and strawberries right by our back garage door)

However, I faithfully kept the soil moist in between rains (not soaked). It took a week to become perky again. It must have finally decided that it likes its new home, and this is now what it looks like, just standing straight up, each leaf reaching for the sun, and downright spicy when I pick a leaf to sample. This variety is supposed to be cold tolerant, so I am hoping that having it right by my house, on the south side, in a little warmish micro-climate, will help it winter over so I can dig it up to take to its new home on our farm next spring and then just let it spread by seed popping, just like my friend's had (she had no trouble finding me a new volunteer start to dig up to share!).

Where kale (and other brassica vegetables) are more than decoration on my plate!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

1 comment:

Danni said...

Oh my heavens! I am OBSESSED with kale and I eat it nearly every day! I live in Vancouver and need to get to planting some window boxes so I can enjoy it all winter long. Your blog is such a treat!