At the beginning of the month I threw a lot of seeds into my empty beds, and a great many of them sprouted. But I’ve been truly amazed by the arugula. In the space of only three weeks, I have been able to harvest baby arugula. It’s an extremely peppery variety (I use the Even’ Star Winter Arugula variety available from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange), so I’ve been pairing it in salads with some succulent and mild deer tongue lettuce I grew from starts I bought from the market about five weeks ago. That lettuce is a little further along, obviously.
I remember in middle school biology class we did some kind of experiment with “fast plants” – which I now recall as being rapeseed plants, also known as canola. These plants were good for selective breeding experiments because they would grow up and go to seed within a matter of weeks, which appealed to our pre-adolescent attention spans. It’s only now that I have enough knowledge of horticulture to recognize that those canola oil plants were from the same family – brassica – as my current crop of arugula. So maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that they’re coming along so quickly!