Incredibly useful, hardy, delicious and easy to grow, rocket is a great salad crop. Easy to start with, it’s a great crop for kids to grow. Can be grown in containers. There are basically two types of rocket. (1) Wild rocket is a small plant with narrow leaves. (2) Salad rocket is a taller plant where the leaves and flowers are edible. Rocket can be enjoyed fresh all year around, though summer sowings are prone to bolting.
Sow from August to October for a winter/spring crop. You can then sow successionally from late January on. Sow in module trays, about 5 seeds per module and plant out about a month later. A single six-module tray (30 plants overall) should be more than enough for each sowing. Allow 25cm between rows and plants (with 5 plants at each station). You can also sow direct by making shallow drills (about 1cm deep) – allow 25cm between drills. Sprinkle seed in the drill and cover with a small amount of soil or potting compost.
Rocket grows quickly. Weed well by hoeing between rows. In the event of a dry summer (or if growing in a greenhouse or polytunnel), water well.
Either cut individual leaves as required, or cut the entire plant at about 5cm and allow it to grow back.
Summer sowings are prone to attack from fleabeetles which leave tiny holes in the leaves. Cover with enviromesh in the summer if growing outside. Winter sowings will not need this.