Harvesting rocket leaves

How to grow rocket leaves from seed

Learn how to sow and grow the delicious, peppery leaves of rocket in five quick steps.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is at its best in April

Plant is at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is at its best in October

Plant is at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

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.

Find out how to make a salad mix.

Harvest the young leaves as you need them and you will enjoy rich pickings for weeks. Sow every two weeks throughout spring and summer for a continuous supply. 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.

You can also sow rocket in pots – again, sow every two weeks so that you have a continuous harvest.

Remove flower stalks to prolong leaf production, unless you want to eat the flowers and seed pods too – both are edible.

Rocket has spicy, peppery leaves, ideal for pepping up salads. It is best sown between March and September.

You will need

  • Rocket seed
  • Line for sowing
  • Hoe or trowel
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Total time:

Step 1

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.

marking-sowing-line-2

Step 2

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.

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Step 3

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.

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Step 4

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.

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Step 5

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.

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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.

Watering can