When you’re growing your own plants, it’s important to keep an eye on them. Every so often, you should be checking them out, looking for signs of pests and disease. The sooner you catch these problems, the easier it is to resolve them, after all.
Have you been noticing black spots on your arugula, and you’re wondering why? There might be something going on here that you’ll need to address.
We’ve created this small guide to help you understand what you need to do if you see black spots on your arugula.
Quick Answer: Why Does Arugula Have Black Spots?
Chances are, your arugula has fallen prey to one of a number of diseases the plant is vulnerable to. It could possibly be bacterial leaf spot, which resembles large dark spots that looks a bit like burns.
Arugula Diseases and How to Spot Them
There are two main diseases that typically affect arugula: bacterial leaf spot and downy mildew. You can usually tell the difference with just a glance.
Bacterial leaf spot forms in patches all over the leaves. Over time, it deepens to a dark brown and black color that almost looks as if the leaf was partially burned in spots.
It spreads through seeds or through the splashing of water from an affected plant to another, unaffected plant.
Downy mildew is a bit brighter in color on average, although it can sometime looks like small dark spots, too. You’ll usually see it form in light-colored, puffy patches that almost look like sawdust stuck to the leaf.
This particular plant disease loves moist conditions. Gardeners often notice it after rainy periods.
How to Prevent Disease from Affecting your Arugula
The most efficient way of protecting your arugula from diseases is by intercepting and preventing the ideal conditions from occurring in the first place.
We’ll start by looking at bacterial leaf spot. Since it can spread from water being splashed across plants, try and limit the possibility of this occurring by using drip irrigation. Otherwise, attempt to splash as little as possible when you water your plants.
Do whatever else you can to ensure the plants don’t remain too moist for long. Use a soil that drains well, and water early on in the day so the plants can dry off in the sunlight.
If you choose to buy mature arugula plants from someone else, make sure you inspect them carefully for any signs of disease. This is the perfect opportunity to ensure you don’t introduce disease to your garden at all.
Now, we’ll look at downy mildew. Because it also likes moisture, part of your prevention will be cutting down on dampness.
Like with bacterial leaf spot, watering early on in the day gives your plants enough time to dry off in the sun. Staking up leaves can help, as well, because it helps airflow to keep the ground around the plants reasonably dry.
What Can You Do If Your Arugula Gets a Disease?
You know a little bit about how to prevent diseases from forming now. But is it too late when you notice spots on your arugula’s leaves?
You can’t necessarily save the specific plant that’s been infected. However, you can keep the disease from spreading to your other arugula plants.
As soon as you notice spots on your arugula’s leaves that could be disease, remove that plant quickly. This could save the rest of your garden.
One of the struggles of vegetable gardening is that plants, like all other living things, can be touched by disease. Gardeners need to be vigilant to protect their plants, including arugula, from illness.
You can take measures to prevent disease from taking root in your garden. Even if you take these measures, though, it’s wise to continue to watch your plants so you can rapidly remove any signs of infection before they spread.