Why is There an Arugula Shortage?

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Why is There an Arugula Shortage?

When the prices of produce rise, you might catch yourself wondering what’s going on. A shortage is a common culprit behind a sudden climb in cost.

If you’ve noticed that arugula is expensive, you could be wondering if there’s an arugula shortage. To answer that question, we’ve done some searching to check on the state of the arugula market today.

Throughout the course of this article, we’ll determine if there’s an arugula shortage, the causes for shortages, and what you can do whenever the arugula supply is running low.

Quick Answer: Why is There an Arugula Shortage?

The question isn’t so much why there’s an arugula shortage as it is if there’s an arugula shortage. Earlier on this year, due to a cooler than expected winter, there was an arugula shortage.

At the time of this article, though, there was no longer an arugula shortage. The cold spell passed and supplies of arugula currently look great.

Related Article: Does Arugula Like Full Sun?

What Can Cause Arugula Shortages?

Tons of conditions can come together to cause a food shortage.

Like earlier this year, temperatures can be a big factor. If the climate is hotter or cooler than usual, the growing season can be shortened, resulting in less produce being grown than normal.

Weather conditions can also affect crops. This doesn’t just mean temperatures, either – it could mean precipitation. A drought could kill off a large portion of a crop. Similarly, excessive flooding can eliminate large batches of produce, too.

Crops are vulnerable to disease. Although farmers do what they can to protect their livelihoods from common plant diseases, sometimes the worst happens. If a disease spreads through a major supplier, the illness can result in a shortage of the effected types of produce.

Insect infestations are another problem for commercial-sized gardens. Just like with disease, farmers employ various tactics to protect their crops, such as using insect-resistant plants. However, occasionally infestations still happen.

Socioeconomic factors may come into play, as well. A large amount of labor is needed to maintain mass-produced crops. If there’s something preventing people from working, such as a strike, it may end up in a shortage.  

You Might Also Like: Does Arugula Reseed Itself?

Growing Your Own Arugula

"If you’re worried about being too reliant on the mass supply of arugula, there is something you can do, though: grow your own."

Shortages will happen occasionally. It’s out of our control the majority of the time.

If you’re worried about being too reliant on the mass supply of arugula, there is something you can do, though: grow your own. Arugula is a notably easy plant to grow.

We’ve written a few guides on different aspects of gardening arugula. You can read about what kind of soil it needs here, and whether you need to thin it out here.

But we’ll cover some of the basics again in this post. Sow your arugula seeds between a quarter of an inch and half an inch deep into the soil. The seeds should have an inch of space between them.

They need lots of light, so the shallower depth will help them germinate. Once they start growing, you’ll need to thin them out so there’s at least six inches of room between them.

This plant likes to grow really fast, so you’ll see it germinating within a few days of sowing. If you’re hoping to continuously harvest it over the course of one growing season, you’ll need to either plant more while it’s growing or let it reseed itself.

Wrap Up

The good news is, as of June 2020, there is no longer an arugula shortage. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be another shortage again in the future, however. There’s at least one thing you can do to prepare for that eventuality.

By growing your own arugula, you won’t be dependent on the national supply. Whenever there’s a shortage, you’ll have your own garden to rely on instead.