Rocket can be weather sensitive, but that’s its great strength. Cool and damp? Plentiful pickings of peppery leaves. Hot and dry? Let it bolt and enjoy the flowers instead: they have a sweet-and-spicy taste that I actually prefer.
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, moist but well drained
Not for nothing is this called rocket: it shoots out of the ground in no time and you'll be picking your first delicious peppery leaves within a matter of weeks. You can keep picking the large, lobed leaves as a cut-and-come-again crop over a long period; they look gorgeous picked young, adding a spicy edge to mixed-leaf salads. The flowers are edible too and look great as a garnish.
- Growing Instructions:Choose a sheltered spot in light shade and sow sparingly direct where they are to grow from spring onwards. Keep well watered and thin seedlings to 10cm apart as they emerge. Pick leaves over regularly to keep the plants from bolting (running to seed) but don't pick the central crown so that more can re-grow. Rocket tends to bolt quickly in hot conditions, so in dry summers stop sowing in July and August and start again in autumn for a late crop.
- Sow: April-August
- Harvest: May-October
- Approximate quantity: 1500 seeds.
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