Arugula: From Seed to Salad in One Guide

Table of Contents


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Packed with a peppery punch, arugula is a versatile and easy-to-grow plant that can elevate any dish. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a total novice, this comprehensive guide will take you through all the steps necessary to successfully cultivate this leafy green from seed to plate. With a little time and effort, you’ll be able to enjoy the crisp freshness of arugula right at your fingertips!

Benefits of Growing Your Own Arugula

Benefits of growing arugula at home:

  • It is easy to grow with just a few basic steps.
  • It is a fast-growing plant that can be harvested within a few weeks.
  • It is packed with nutrients such as vitamin K and vitamin C.
  • It has a unique, peppery flavor that can be used in many dishes.
  • It is a great source of antioxidants that can help boost the immune system.
  • It can be grown indoors or outdoors, making it a versatile plant for any space.

General Information About Arugula

Plant Family: Brassicaceae (also known as the mustard family)
Plant Latin Name: Eruca sativa

Plant Variations Available

Arugula is a leafy green that is commonly used in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. It is also known as rocket or roquette, and it has a slightly bitter, peppery taste that can add a flavorful kick to your meals.


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While there are many different varieties of arugula, some of the most popular ones include wild arugula, baby arugula, and Italian arugula. Wild arugula tends to have a stronger flavor than other varieties, while baby arugula is more tender and mild. Italian arugula has a longer, narrower leaf and a deeper green color.

No matter which variety of arugula you choose, it can be a great addition to your diet. Arugula is low in calories but high in vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and iron. It is also a good source of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

So if you’re looking to add some flavor and nutrition to your meals, consider giving arugula a try. Whether you use it as a topping for your pizza, a base for your salad, or a garnish for your sandwich, it’s sure to add a tasty and healthy twist to any dish.

Germinating Arugula

Preferred Zones

If you’re looking to grow arugula outdoors, it’s important to find a climate that is mild and relatively cool throughout the year. This peppery and flavorful green thrives in zones 4-11, making it a versatile crop that can be grown in many regions across the United States.

For those in cooler regions, it’s best to plant arugula during the early spring, after the risk of frost has passed. In warmer regions, arugula can be planted in both the spring and fall, as long as temperatures remain below 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Arugula loves full sun, but can also tolerate partial shade, so consider planting it near taller plants or trees if your garden doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight.


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One thing to keep in mind when growing arugula is its tendency to bolt, or develop flower stalks prematurely. To avoid this, try to maintain a consistent watering schedule and harvest the leaves frequently. This will encourage new growth and prevent the plant from focusing its energy on reproduction.

Overall, arugula is a delicious and easy-to-grow green that can add some spice to your salads and other dishes. So, no matter where you live, give this versatile plant a try and enjoy the fresh, peppery taste of homegrown arugula.

Sowing Instructions

Arugula, also known as rocket, is a quick-growing, peppery green that is a favorite among foodies and culinary enthusiasts alike. Sowing arugula can be a relatively simple process, and with the right techniques, you can enjoy fresh arugula in just a few weeks! Here are some steps for sowing arugula:

1. Choose the Right Space: When it comes to sowing arugula, you’ll want to choose a spot that gets full sun, at least six hours each day. Arugula prefers moist, fertile soil with good drainage, so make sure the soil is prepped appropriately before sowing.

2. Prepare Soil: Break up the soil to get it ready for sowing. You can also add some compost to the soil to enhance the nutrient content. Next, rake the soil to level it.

3. Sow Seeds: Take a handful of arugula seeds and sprinkle them over the raked soil. Make sure to space out the seedlings accordingly, giving each enough room to grow. You can even mix the seeds with sand or vermiculite for even distribution.

4. Cover the Seeds: Lightly sprinkle soil over the seeds, just enough to cover them. Use a rake or your hands to gently press down the soil.

5. Water the Seeds: Use a gentle spray to water the seeds without disturbing the soil. Make sure to keep the soil evenly moist. Avoid letting the soil dry out.

6. Harvest the Arugula: Depending on the variety of arugula you’ve chosen, harvesting typically occurs anywhere from 20 to 40 days from sowing. Arugula tastes best when it is young, so pick the leaves when they are small and tender.

In conclusion, sowing arugula is a straightforward process that can yield you a tasty and healthy green. Remember to choose the right space, prepare the soil, sow the seeds, cover them, water them, and harvest them at the right time to enjoy the perfect, peppery taste of arugula in salads, sandwiches, or as a garnish.

Preparation Advice

Arugula is a leafy green that has a sharp, peppery taste and is high in vitamins A, C, and K. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, growing arugula can be a satisfying and rewarding experience.

To begin, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment. A good quality, well-draining soil and a location that receives plenty of sunlight are essential. You’ll also need a watering can or hose with a gentle spray nozzle to prevent damage to the tender arugula leaves.

If you’re growing arugula from seeds, start them indoors in containers at least 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. When the seedlings have grown to about 2 inches tall, transfer them to the garden bed or a larger container. If you’re short on space, arugula also grows well in pots or window boxes.

Arugula grows quickly, so plan to harvest it when the plants are about 4 to 6 inches tall. Cut the leaves about 1 inch above the soil level, leaving the roots intact to regrow more leaves.


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One of the best things about growing arugula is that it is relatively low-maintenance. Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged, and feed the plants every three weeks with a general-purpose fertilizer. Arugula is a cool-season crop, so be sure to plant it in the early spring or fall for optimal growth.

In summary, growing arugula is a simple yet satisfying experience that requires very little effort. With the right equipment and some patience, you’ll be enjoying fresh, home-grown arugula in no time!

Germination Tools and Equipment

Arugula is a tasty and nutritious green that is easy to grow at home, and germinating arugula seeds is the first step towards a successful harvest. To ensure you have the best possible outcome, here are some tools and equipment you may need:

1. High-quality seed: You need to have arugula seeds that are healthy, fresh, and specifically intended for growing. Make sure to purchase seeds from a reputable supplier such as a garden center or online seed store.

2. Disposable cups or seed trays: Arugula needs sufficient space for growth, and the best way to achieve this is to plant them in small cups or seed trays. You can easily find online shops that specialize in germination and plant starting equipment.

3. Seed Starting soil: Arugula seeds require good drainage, enough space for root growth, and sufficient nutrients to boost germination. High-quality seed starting soil that is loose, fine-grained, and airy can be purchased from most plant nurseries or garden centers.

4. Watering can: Arugula will need frequent and regular watering throughout the germination process. A watering can with a small spout will make it easier to apply water directly to the soil surface without causing damage to the plants or soil.


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5. Grow lights: If you plan to germinate your arugula indoors, you will need to supplement natural light with grow lights. These lights will provide additional light energy for the plants to use in photosynthesis which helps the seedlings grow quickly and produce robust leaves.

6. A Spray bottle: A spray bottle filled with water can be used to gently mist the soil surface, which helps to prevent the roots and soil from drying out due to warm room temperatures or humidity changes.

Following these steps will help ensure a high-yield, nutrition rich arugula harvest. Remember to keep the soil moist and ensure they receive plenty of access to daylight or artificial lights as necessary. Go ahead and prepare your equipment, and you can appreciate the best research of growing arugula that you would be satisfied with.

Growing Arugula

Light Requirements

Arugula, a popular peppery salad green, is relatively easy to grow and requires minimal lighting. However, proper lighting is essential if you want to grow flavorful, healthy arugula at home.

When it comes to lighting requirements for arugula, the most important factor is providing enough light intensity. Arugula requires bright, direct light for at least 6 hours a day. Without enough light, your arugula may grow leggy or wilt, resulting in stunted growth and lower yields.


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To provide your arugula with the right lighting conditions, you can grow it indoors or outdoors, depending on your preference and the weather. Outdoors, arugula grows best in the spring and fall when the days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. During the summer, arugula may require shade or a partially shaded area to prevent it from overheating.

Indoors, you can grow arugula using grow lights or natural light sources, such as windows or skylights. If you choose to use grow lights, look for the ones that provide full-spectrum light, which simulates natural sunlight and promotes healthy growth.

In addition to providing enough light intensity, you should also make sure your arugula plants receive consistent lighting. Avoid exposing your arugula plants to sudden changes or fluctuations in lighting, as these can stress the plants and affect their growth.

Finally, it’s worth noting that arugula doesn’t require as much lighting as some other vegetables and herbs, such as tomatoes or basil. Therefore, there is no need to invest in expensive high-tech lighting systems unless you are growing arugula on a large scale.

In summary, arugula is a low-light crop that requires bright, direct light for at least 6 hours a day. Whether you choose to grow it indoors or outdoors, make sure your arugula plants receive consistent and adequate lighting to promote healthy growth and flavorful, peppery leaves.

Temperature Requirements

If you’re looking to grow some delicious arugula, then you’ll want to ensure that the temperature is just right. Arugula is a leafy green that enjoys cool weather during its growth stages, but it is also sensitive to very cold temperatures, which will cause it to wilt and suffer.

Ideally, arugula prefers a temperature range of 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit to thrive. This makes it an excellent candidate for spring and fall gardens all around the world. In fact, it’s even possible to enjoy arugula during the winter months in some locations, especially when grown under appropriate protective shelters or with the aid of a greenhouse.

On the other hand, while arugula can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, it doesn’t like being exposed to temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods or in direct sunlight for too long. Doing so increases the risk of poor growth, wilting, bitter taste, and the plant bolt prematurely, causing the formation of a flowering stem instead of lush, flavorful leaves.


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To grow healthy arugula with optimum taste and texture, it’s very IMPORTANT to keep a close eye on the temperature and also plant them in a shady spot that offers some sunlight but will not scorch the plants. Additionally, it’s a good idea to use a light shade cloth to regulate the amount of sunlight your arugula receives.

In summary, growing healthy arugula requires temperatures between 50 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, with minimal exposure to direct sunlight and very high temperatures. Planting arugula in a location that provides enough light but offers protection from the heat is the best way to achieve reliable growing results.

My Favorite Tools For Growing Arugula

Caring for and maintaining healthy arugula can be easy with the right tools and equipment. Here are the must-haves:

1. Garden Gloves – Protect your hands while caring for your arugula. Garden gloves come in handy as they help prevent cuts and blisters.

2. Pruning Shears – It’s essential to keep your plants neat and tidy, so pruning shears will help trim any damaged, dead, or unwanted leaves.

3. Watering Can – Arugula needs a consistent level of moisture to grow properly. A good quality watering can help you give your arugula the correct amount of water without causing any harm.

4. Soil Testing Kit – To ensure your arugula is growing in a healthy environment, you must test your soil. A soil testing kit will help you determine the soil’s pH, the nutrient content, and how well-drained it is.


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5. Organic Fertilizer – Arugula requires essential nutrients to grow, and organic fertilizer is an excellent way to provide them. It is also essential to use organic products to ensure that you don’t put any harmful chemicals on your plants.

6. Pest Control – While pests can signal that your garden is healthy, it is essential to control them from damaging your arugula. You can use organic pest control methods, such as companion planting or using natural predators.

Caring for and maintaining healthy arugula can seem tricky, but with these tools and equipment, you can easily grow and harvest your arugula with ease. Keep these handy tools nearby and watch your arugula grow into healthy, flavorful greens ready to use in your favorite salads or dishes.

Preferred Soil Type

Arugula, also known as rocket or roquette, requires well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. This leafy green vegetable is a member of the Brassicaceae family and thrives in a slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 6.8.

The soil should be loose and crumbly, with a moderate amount of moisture. Too much water can lead to poor drainage, which can promote root rot and other diseases. Additionally, arugula prefers full sun to partial shade, so it is best to grow it in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.


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Before planting arugula, it is recommended to work a layer of compost or well-rotted manure into the soil to increase its fertility. This will give the plant the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.

Once planted, it is important to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Be sure to mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture and regulate the soil temperature.

In summary, arugula requires nutrient-rich, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH, moderate moisture, and plenty of sunlight. With the right soil conditions, arugula can produce crisp, spicy leaves and a bountiful harvest.

Watering Requirements

Arugula, also known as salad rocket or roquette, is a leafy green plant that is super easy to grow and maintain. As with any plant, the amount of water it needs depends on a few factors, such as the climate and soil conditions. However, a general rule of thumb for arugula is to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged.

When planting arugula, make sure the soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter. Arugula likes to grow in soil that is slightly acidic with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. To ensure the soil is moist and well-drained, add compost, peat moss, or other organic matter to your soil before planting.

Once planted, water your arugula seedlings deeply and thoroughly, making sure the soil is moist to a depth of 4-6 inches. From there, you’ll want to water your arugula every 2-3 days, or whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Keep in mind that arugula prefers cooler temperatures, so it may require more frequent watering during hot weather.

One important thing to note about watering arugula is that it is prone to bolting (going to seed) if it receives too much water or fluctuating moisture levels. To prevent bolting, make sure the soil stays consistently moist and avoid overhead watering, which can promote the growth of fungal diseases.

Overall, arugula is a low-maintenance plant that doesn’t require a lot of water, making it a great option for beginner gardeners or anyone looking to grow their own leafy greens. With proper watering and care, you can enjoy fresh, nutrient-rich arugula all season long.

What You Need To Know About Fertilizing Arugula

Ah, arugula – the peppery, flavorful green that can take your salads, pastas, and sandwiches to a whole new level. If you’re looking to grow your own arugula and want to make sure it’s healthy and thriving, it’s important to know a thing or two about its fertilizing requirements.

First things first, arugula is a cool-season crop, which means it prefers cooler temperatures and can do well in both spring and fall. When it comes to fertilizing, it’s best to start by preparing the soil before you even plant your arugula seeds. This means adding compost or well-rotted manure to the soil to improve its structure, drainage, and nutrient content. Arugula likes soil that’s rich in organic matter and slightly acidic, with a pH range between 6.0 and 6.5.

Once your arugula has sprouted and starts growing, it’s time to give it a boost of nutrients. Arugula is not particularly heavy feeder, so you won’t need to fertilize it excessively. Instead, you can apply a balanced fertilizer once or twice during the growing season, depending on the rate of growth and the condition of the soil. A fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 10-10-10 or 5-5-5 can work well for arugula. For organic growers, you can use an all-purpose organic fertilizer or make your own compost tea.


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If you notice that your arugula leaves are turning yellow or that the plant is not growing as well as it should, it could be a sign of a nutrient deficiency. In this case, you can try adding a foliar spray of a liquid fertilizer or a seaweed extract, which can provide a quick boost of micronutrients.

Finally, it’s important to remember that arugula is a fast-growing crop that can bolt and go to seed if it becomes stressed or if the temperatures get too warm. To avoid this, make sure to keep your arugula consistently watered and avoid fertilizing when the plants are experiencing heat stress.

With these fertilizing tips in mind, you can grow healthy, delicious arugula that’s bursting with flavor and nutrients. Happy gardening!

My Favorite Fertilizers For Arugula

Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is loved for its peppery taste and nutritional value. If you want to cultivate healthy arugula plants, you need to use the right type of fertilizer.

The best fertilizers for arugula are those that are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Nitrogen is important for the growth and development of the leaves, while phosphorus helps with root development and flower production. Potassium, on the other hand, is essential for overall plant health and disease resistance.

Organic fertilizers such as compost and well-rotted manure are excellent choices for arugula plants. They provide a slow-release source of nutrients, which means that the plants have access to the fertilizer over an extended period.

If you prefer to use a commercial fertilizer, look for a balanced formula that contains all the essential nutrients. Choose a product that is specifically formulated for leafy greens or vegetables. You can also use a liquid fertilizer, which is easily absorbed by the plant.

When applying fertilizer to your arugula plants, be careful not to overdo it. Too much fertilizer can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of root development, and it can also cause the plants to become more susceptible to disease.

With the right fertilizer, arugula plants will thrive and provide you with a bountiful harvest of flavorful and nutritious greens.

Harvesting Arugula

Time To Maturity

Arugula, also known as salad rocket, is a leafy green that’s popular in salads and sandwiches. The time it takes for arugula to go from sprouting to maturity depends on various factors such as temperature, soil, and amount of light the plant receives.

On average, arugula takes around 40-50 days to reach maturity from the time it sprouts. However, in optimal growing conditions, arugula can mature in as little as 30 days. It’s important to note that arugula thrives in cooler temperatures and avoids harsh sunlight, which can cause the leaves to turn bitter.

When the arugula seeds first sprout, they’ll take about 5-10 days to emerge from the soil. During this time, it’s crucial to keep the soil moist and ensure that the plant receives enough light to promote healthy growth.

As the arugula grows, it’s important to thin out the plants to ensure that there’s enough space for each plant to develop fully. This process involves removing the weaker plants, so that the remaining ones have enough nutrients and space to flourish.

Once the arugula reaches maturity, it’s ready to be harvested. Mature arugula has a peppery taste profile that enhances any dish it’s added to. Keep in mind that you can continue to harvest the arugula as it grows and matures, up until about 60 days. After that, the leaves are prone to becoming too woody and bitter.

In conclusion, if you’re planting arugula, it’ll take around 40-50 days to reach maturity. However, with the right growing conditions, arugula can mature in as little as 30 days. The key is to keep the soil moist, provide light, and thin out the plants as necessary. Happy planting!

Harvest Instructions

Harvesting Arugula: A Guide

Arugula, also known as salad rocket, is a leafy green that is often used in salads and pasta dishes. It has a rich, peppery flavor and is packed with nutrients such as fiber, vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. Harvesting arugula is easy, and can be done in just a few simple steps.

Step 1: Choose the right time

The best time to harvest arugula is when it has reached a good size, but before it starts to flower. You’ll know it’s time to harvest when the leaves are about 3-4 inches long and are a vibrant green color. If you wait too long, the leaves may become tough and bitter.


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Step 2: Gather your tools

To harvest arugula, you’ll need a sharp pair of scissors or garden shears. Make sure they are clean and sterile to avoid transmitting any diseases or pests to your plants.

Step 3: Cut the leaves

Using your scissors, snip the leaves off the plant just above the soil line. Be sure to leave a few leaves on the plant so it can continue to grow and produce more leaves.

Step 4: Rinse and dry

After harvesting, rinse the leaves thoroughly under cool running water to remove any dirt or debris. Then, shake off any excess water and pat the leaves dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

Step 5: Store appropriately

If you’re not using the arugula right away, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. It will last for up to a week this way. Avoid washing the leaves until you’re ready to use them, as excess moisture can cause them to spoil more quickly.

And there you have it – a simple guide to harvesting arugula! Give it a try and enjoy the fresh, peppery taste of this flavorful green.

My Favorite Tools For Harvest Time

When it comes to harvesting arugula, having the right tools and equipment is essential to ensuring a successful and efficient harvest. Here are some of the best tools and equipment you’ll need:

1. A sharp pair of scissors or garden shears
When it’s time to harvest your arugula, you’ll want to use a pair of sharp scissors or garden shears to snip the leaves off at the stem. Dull blades can crush the leaves, which can reduce their shelf life.

2. A harvesting basket or container
Having a basket or container on hand to collect your arugula can make the harvesting process much smoother. Make sure the basket is large enough to hold all of your arugula, and has plenty of ventilation to prevent the leaves from wilting.

3. Protective gloves
While arugula is generally safe to handle, wearing protective gloves can help prevent irritation or allergic reactions if you have sensitive skin. Gloves can also keep your hands clean and protect against cuts or scratches from tools.

4. Water and a spray bottle
Arugula is a delicate leafy green and can wilt easily, especially in warm weather. Having a spray bottle of water on hand can help keep the leaves moist and fresh while you’re harvesting.

5. Optional: a kneeling pad or cushion
If you plan to harvest your arugula by hand, a kneeling pad or cushion can help prevent knee and back pain while you’re working.

By having these tools and equipment on hand, you’ll be well prepared to harvest your arugula in a timely and efficient manner. With a little bit of knowledge and the right supplies, taking care of your arugula crop can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

End of Season & Overwintering

As the weather cools down and frosty temperatures start to set in, it’s time to start thinking about how to take care of your arugula plants. Whether you’re growing arugula in a garden or in pots, taking the necessary steps to winterize or end-of-season care is essential for prolonging the life of your plants.

Here are a few tips on how to properly overwinter your arugula:

1. Water your arugula plants thoroughly before the first frost, then cover them with a protective cover made of burlap, blankets or old sheets. This will protect them from the harsh temperatures and keep them warm.

2. Cut back the leaves of the arugula plant until there is only a 2-3 inch stem remaining. This will reduce the plant’s surface area, and make it easier for it to sustain through the harsh weather.

3. Cover the roots with a thick layer of mulch. This will help insulate the roots and prevent them from freezing.

4. If you live in an area with mild winters, it may be possible to continue harvesting arugula throughout the winter months. In this case, improve the soil fertility with an organic fertilizer to help the plant produce more leaves during the winter period.

Remember that while arugula is known for its resilience, it’s important to take the appropriate measures in order to ensure that it survives the winter. With proper care, your arugula will be ready to grow again come springtime!

Final Thoughts on Arugula

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the end of our complete guide to germinating, growing, and harvesting arugula! With the right preparation, cultivation, and care, you can have a bountiful crop of this flavorful and nutritious green in no time.

To start, make sure you have high-quality arugula seeds and grow them in well-draining soil with plenty of sunshine and water. Keep an eye on the temperature, as arugula thrives in cooler weather and can be sensitive to extreme heat or cold.

During the growing process, be sure to monitor your arugula plants and take action against potential pests or diseases. Regular watering, weeding, and pruning can help ensure a successful harvest when the time comes.

Once your arugula plants have reached maturity, it’s time to harvest! You can either pick individual leaves as needed or cut the whole plant at once. Freshly harvested arugula can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to sandwiches and beyond.

Overall, arugula is a relatively easy and rewarding crop to grow. With a little bit of patience and TLC, you can enjoy the crisp, peppery flavor of this leafy green in your meals all year round. Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions About Growing Arugula

1. What is the best temperature to grow arugula?
Answer: Arugula grows best in cooler temperatures between 45°F to 65°F. It can be grown in warmer conditions, but it might bolt quickly and become bitter.

2. How deep should I sow arugula seeds?
Answer: Arugula seeds should be planted about a quarter-inch deep in welldrained soil. Make sure to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and the seeds should germinate within a week.

3. How often should I harvest arugula leaves?
Answer: You can start harvesting arugula once the leaves have reached about 2-3 inches long, which usually occurs around 4 weeks after sowing. You can continue to harvest the leaves by picking the outer leaves at regular intervals to promote continuous growth. It’s best to harvest in the morning when they’re crisp and full of flavor.

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