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Hi all,

I recently got into gardening, or in particular growing herbs and fruit. I have tried to grow dill and rocket (picture below).  They have succesfully germinated but start wilting and die not long afterwards.  I have transplanted them to pots (as it's cold outside with frost and snow) and leave them on window sills, frequent watering with a SAD light I use (it works well on my mint and other plants).

My Sainsburys bought Rosemary have leaves that are curling in underneath - is this normal?

Does anyone have any advice?


Hi Mizzli, I think it may be because you have rather a lot of rocket in the same container, prehaps you should thin them out and then put some grit on top of the soil, as they can easily get mouldy if the soil is wet or moist and they touch it

Hi fish4card and Ryan,

Thanks for your replies.  The pot does look really saturated and since posting that picture they have turned into a pile of mushy, tangled mess.  When they were growing, they were standing tall and untangled.  We've bought some new rocket seeds and I will start again maybe planting only half the packet.

The flat is generally quite warm, the mint, the rosemary (except theit leaves are curling under?) and my orchards are surviving well.  I have a flourescent sad light above them and the rockets are directly under the light so I would have thought it would be getting enough light, warmth and water.  I will test the overcrowding theory by planting less seeds this time round.

Thanks again for your advice!


Try sowing just an eighth of a packet of seeds in a pot that size 


Yep. Or even less. A lot less. Rocket turns into a very leafy little plant. I thin plants out to 4-5" apart in a large pot. The plants in the photo were both killing each other for root space and looking for light.

One good thing about rocket. It doesn't need as much warmth as you'd think to germinate. Certainly less than most green leafy things. Doesn't need as much warmth to grow either. I regularly sow it outside in late autumn and early winter.


Hi guys,

Thanks for your advice.  I will start again this Easter and sow a tiny bit of the packet.  I assumed you were supposed to use the whole packet provided in the pot but I think it was overkill.  i hope they will grow past the cress looking stage!

I don't plan to put these plants outside as last year we left our herbs outside and they got infected with infested with little gnats.  By the time it got to winter and the frost came, they were dying and we decided to bring them indoors and the place was filled with the little flies.  Nothing we did killed them and we slowly died.  

We are starting again this year and keeping the herbs indoors under a growlight and window sill.

Will report back and see if they can grow past the cress looking stage and actually look like rockets.

Thanks again!

P.s. the rocket comes with the compressed soil - how long before I have to change it? Sorry I'm still learning about plants, they are fussier than humans!


You don't need to change the soil at all, Mizzli. Rocket isn't the least bit fussy. If you're going to start again with it in a pot, I'd get a bigger pot. You'd be lucky to fit a couple of rocket plants in the one in the photo.

This is what you'll get from one seed:


Wow, I had no idea it could get that big from one seed. Thanks for the picture, Italophile, ours just looked like cress before it died! I don't know why the instructions said to sprinkle all the seeds.  I have now started a new pack (bought from Sainsburys) and only sprinkled around 5 seeds in it.  We live in a small flat so we don't have space for big pots so I'd rather keep the plant small.  When we left our now dead herbs outside, they would be covered with huge slugs no matter what we did, they would still get in (one even crawled into my other half's ashtray!).  This year I'm going to keep all my plants in doors.


Did you see Gardeners World this evening?  Monty Don was planting out rocket seedlings.  You can watch on iPlayer if you missed it. 

thanks Dovefromabove, I will certainly look for it on iPlayer if it is still there.  Here is my rockets so far (I only used a few seeds).  Hopefully they will grow past baby stage to full grown rocket!



Sorry to say it, Mizzli, but the plants are still going to be fighting each other for survival in that small pot. By my count, you've got 14 or 15 plants in there.

I appreciate your lack of space but I'd suggest a wider, shallower pot, something like this one that I'm using for some spare strawbs:

It's 40cmx15cm and much more suitable for a small crop of rocket because the plants will have the room to grow. You can get smaller versions - 30cm diameter - which would also be suitable.

Guys my rocket is 2 weeks old but growing very slow. What can be the reasons?

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