There are many great reasons to grow Rocket which is also known as Arugula, Rucula and Italian cress!
5 great reasons:
- It is so easy to grow!
- With just a small packet of seeds a lot of rocket can be grown.
- It is one of the ‘cut and come again’ salads.
- It has many health benefits (It is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, B12, folic acid and minerals. It is also full of antioxidants).
- It can be grown all year round.
How to grow rocket indoors:
- Rocket can be grown indoors from as early as February.
- Choose a pot or container which is at least 10 cm in diameter with the same depth or deeper.
- Use multi-purpose compost to fill the pot.
- Scatter the seeds thinly over the surface of the compost.
Cover the seeds with a thin layer of compost and water.
- Place the pot on a warm/sunny windowsill.
- Water regularly!
How to grow rocket outdoors:
- From March onwards, plant up a pot in the same way.
- Place it right next to your kitchen door for easy access to nurture and pick.
- It does need some shade in really hot weather.
- Rocket is an annual herb so will die when the first frosts appear.
- Pinch out any flowers that form to stop the plants from going to seed.
- Pick the leaves when they are large enough. Take care not to pick the central part.
- Harvest often as this will encourage new leaves to shoot up.
- Cut a few leaves as you want them.
Rocket is best picked just before using as it wilts quickly.
It will keep in the fridge wrapped in plastic for up to 2 days.
It can be slightly cooked as well as eaten raw.
Perfect in pesto! Delicious in dips! Super in salads!
Did you know:
Even the pretty flowers are edible! Although if the plant is flowering, the leaves may taste bitter.
Young leaves are milder so pick them early if you prefer a milder flavour.
Why grow rocket with children?
- Rocket grows like a rocket! It is so fast that only two weeks after planting, the leaves will be ready to pick for salads and sandwiches!
- Growing rocket may increase their interest in healthy food and help them to understand plant life cycles.
- It can introduce children to the fun of gardening.
- They can follow an interesting experiment that is going on! –
Did you know that 2 kg of rocket seeds have been sent to the International Space Station to coincide with Tim Peake being there? They will be sent back to earth and children will measure and observe the seedlings at various times and compare results with rocket seeds that have not been in space. This will hopefully enable them to find out what growing plants in space can teach us about life on Earth. What a fabulous idea!
Have you ever grown rocket? Would you grow rocket with your children?