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Cornell University

Cover Crop Guide for NY Growers

Dr. Thomas Björkman, Cornell AgriTech


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Arugula is a fall-seeded, overwintering Brassica. It is useful for suppressing weeds and minimizing surface compaction. Arugula provides less ground cover but more biofumigation potenial than turnips or rape. The glucosinolates in Brassicas are the compounds responsible for disease suppression.

Land preparation
Smooth seedbed free of weeds and well-drained. Must contain sufficient moisture.

Seeding rate
Drill 2-4 lb/ac, 1/4-1/2 inch deep.
Seed can be no-tilled into suppressed sod or seeded into a conventionally prepared seedbed. When using conventional tillage, control the first flush of weeds before seeding to ensure a weed-free seedbed. Roll after seeding to improve seed-to-soil contact but do not break up aggregates.

Seeding date

Seed Sources
Rupp Seeds. (seed sources)

Avoid wet spots.

Incorporate in the spring. For biofumigation, mow when the soil is warm but before seed set. Incorporate immediately and roll soil to seal the surface. Wait a minimum of 10 days to fit and plant.

Do not use in rotation with other Brassicas.
Brassicas can be magnets for flea beetles.
Arugula is reported to reduce the populations of Northern root knot nematodes on tomatoes.