Rocket grows like a rocket! It is so fast that only two weeks after planting, the leaves will be ready to pick for salads and sandwiches. It’s definitely worth growing in the vegie patch and because it self-seeds, once it has been planted there will probably always be a crop.
The small jagged leaves of salad rocket have a mild peppery flavour, which can be mixed with other salad greens or served on its own.
Rocket can be grown all year round though does prefer weather that is not too hot because this can make the leaves a bit tough. Still, this can be overcome by growing in part-shade during summer and making sure that the soil is always moist. Wicking beds are ideal!
(Probably not the right kind of rocket video…)
Prepare the garden bed by removing the weeds and then digging through plenty of compost. Water the soil and then use a dibbler or large stick to make small holes about 20cm apart. Place one seedling in each one and gently push the soil around the roots. Water lightly.
Rocket is perfect for growing in large containers that are at least 25cm deep and can be grown on its own or mixed in with other salad greens such as lettuce or English spinach. Fill the pots with premium potting mix, plant the seedlings and water them lightly. Make sure that the pots get at least 6 hours of daylight and don’t let the potting mix dry out.
Water the seedlings regularly so that the soil doesn’t dry out and apply liquid fertiliser every two weeks. Mulch between the rows to prevent weeds from growing and keep an eye out for snails which can eat several leaves in just one night.
Old or yellow leaves should be removed and given to the chooks or thrown in the compost.
Salad rocket sometimes ‘bolts to seed’ at the end of its life cycle or if the whether gets suddenly hot and the soil dries out.
Salad rocket needs to be harvested often as this will encourage new leaves to shoot up. To harvest, break off the outside leaves leaving the younger ones to grow from the centre. By growing several rocket plants, leaves can be taken from each one so that they don’t become too exhausted.
How to eat
Salad rocket is eaten raw and is mixed through tossed salads or included in sandwiches to add a delicious peppery flavour. It is also fantastic when it is served with a hot steak on top!
Info sourced from Smarty Plants