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How to grow rocket leaves from seed


Rocket is best sown between March and September but even late sowings can produce a good crop of spicy, peppery leaves for salads. Keep nipping off the rocket leaves and it will provide rich pickings for weeks, and ensure a continual supply by making successive sowings throughout spring and summer. As autumn approaches, cover crops with sheets of horticultural fleece to keep the cold at bay, and you could be cropping right through to first frosts.

How to do it


Use a line to mark out the row. Sowing in a straight line allows you to identify where your rocket seedlings are and which are the weed seedlings to pick off. You'll find a row 1m - 2m long is enough to get you started, so long as you plan further sowings in a few weeks.

Tipping rocket seed into hand


There are always plenty of seeds in a packet - usually enough to sow a row up to 6m long. But that would give you a glut all at once, so sow just a small quantity at one time, then sow regularly (known as successional sowing), to harvest over a longer period.

Sowing rocket seed in a row


Carefully sow the rocket seeds thinly along the row, spacing them out as evenly as possible. The distance between the seeds should be about 3cm.

Lightly cover seed with soil


Use the edge of a hoe or a trowel to cover the seed lightly with soil. Remove any weed remnants or large stones as you go to ensure the plants have a good start.

Watering the row


Water the seeds in well using a watering can with the rose attached. This means you drench the soil but minimise disturbance to the seeds.

Our tip

Flea beetle can be a problem in summer, nibbling holes in rocket leaves. The best defence is to cover the row with a length of horticultural fleece or a fleece-covered mini tunnel.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to grow rocket leaves from seed
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Lynneod 24/11/2011 at 15:28

My rocket plants have been plagued by snails. Apart from wondering whether I could actually eat the snails I have found there, what can I do? I have put down slug pellets but it made no difference. Also, some have now gone to seed. Can I cultivate the seeds from the pods?

MarmiteRach 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I've been trying to grow rocket indoors but I started 6 weeks ago and still have no rocket. They seem to thrive as seedlings but then they die off gradually after about 4 weeks. All my other plants are doing great but I don't know why the rocket is doing so badly. I don't know if other people have this problem or if you have any suggestions to stop it from happening next time?

MarkLockett 24/11/2011 at 15:29

Great info, just what i was looking for!. reading the above comment tho my seedlings have just poped up hope they don,t die off tho?.

waynepeter 24/11/2011 at 15:29

Hi Mine are doing the same,any help would be welcome.

devereux 26/01/2012 at 21:52

surround your plants with a barrier of sand. The snails will not pass.

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