Growing Rocket at the Allotment

Growing Rocket at the Allotment

Rocket leaves are a lovely addition to a salad, with his peppery flavour and can be readily picked most of the year round.

Wild rocket is a perennial plant, which can be harvested all year if it is protected during winter and the leaves have a much stronger flavour. The salad leaves varieties tend to be milder with a short cropping time.

You can sow rocket leaf seeds from early March indoors for an earlier crop with a view to sowing outside from mid-April onwards until September. For salad leaves varieties, sow little and often for a staggered, longer crop.

Wild rocket can take longer to grow yet crops for longer and it can cope with poor soil conditions. Rocket has a tendency to bolt during hot and dry weather. Flowers on rocket plants are edible also; with a strong peppery kick to spice up the salads with added colour.

To help reduce bolting, they are best placed in a semi-shaded position and kept well-watered in moist but well-drained soil. Pinch out flower buds as they appear.

Rocket does also like to self-seed and so you can leave some if you would like a spread! Likewise, thin out young seedlings if you have over-crowding.

You may want to cover your rocket in fleece over colder weather periods and you can also protect them from potential pests such as slugs and flea beetles.

Continually pick leaves as and when to encourage growth and to maximise your crop usage. They will begin to die off during late summer to early autumn unless they have protection or are taken undercover. Wild rocket plants will reappear next Spring.


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Growing Rocket in Summary

Sowing Rocket

  • Sow wild or salad leaves varieties
  • Sow indoors from late March
  • Sow out from Mid April

Growing Rocket

  • Protect against colder weather and pests
  • Pinch out flower buds
  • Grow in semi-shade and water regularly

Harvesting Rocket

  • Pick leaves regularly 
  • Flowers are edible too
  • Best eaten fresh in salads or as a garnish