Botanical name: Eruca sativa

Syn. Roquette, Arugula

Rocket is a popular, fast growing, spicy salad green. Rocket can be made into a spicy pesto and used to flavour dips; rocket flowers are a tasty addition to salads. It does best as a cool season annual; avoid sowing during hot weather. The young rocket leaves have the best flavour, after flowering the leaves become bitter. The flowers are attractive to beneficial insects. The plants prefer a sunny open position in moist, fertile, well-drained soil. It self-sows readily. The seeds germinate at 10 – 25°C soil temperature in 5 – 7 days. Sow spring to early summer in temperate areas; March to September in subtropical areas; April to July with shade in tropical areas. Sow 10 mm deep, cover with seed raising mix or fine soil, sow direct where it is to grow. Keep the row short and sow small crops every 3 weeks for a continuous supply. Thin the seedlings to 15 cm apart; keeping the soil evenly moist will slow down bolting.

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