Rocket has spicy, peppery leaves, ideal for pepping up salads. It is best sown between March and September but even later sowings can produce a good crop of spicy, peppery leaves for salads.
Harvest the young leaves as you need them and you will enjoy rich pickings for weeks. Sow seed every two weeks throughout spring and summer for a continuous supply. As autumn approaches, cover your rocket plants with sheets of horticultural fleece to keep the cold at bay, and you could be cropping right through to first frosts.
How to grow rocket in pots
Growing rocket in pots is easy. Simply fill a pot or container to just below the rim with moist, peat-free, multi-purpose compost. Sow rocket seeds sparingly – ideally at a distance of 3cm apart. Cover with a thin layer of compost and water gently using a watering can with a rose attached, so the seeds are moistened but not disturbed.
You Will Need
- Rocket seed
- Line for sowing
- Hoe or trowel
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.
There are always plenty of rocket 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.