Garden rocket, also called rocquette or arugula is a popular member of the cabbage family that you can grow indoors and use in your cooking. It’s great for spicing up salads.
It’s an annual plant (it germinates, flowers and dies in a season) and grows to 20-100 cm (8-39 in) in height.
It’s also know by these names:
- rocket salad
Rocket is commonly planted from seed. Sow the seeds just under 1 cm (quarter inch) deep. Rocket likes full, direct sun. So put its container by a sunny window so it gets lots of strong light.
Rocket is fast growing (it’s a rocket afterall!), and is easy to grow.
Sow your rocket in spring to get the leaves at their most tender. It thrives in cooler whether. If you plant when it’s too hot, the rocket may grow too quickly (which is called “bolting”) and become bitter.
Rocket is ready to start harvesting in around 30-40 days. Pick the tender outer leaves, leaving the inner leaves to grow and supply you going forward. The larger the leaf, the stronger the taste.
Being a type of cabbage, rocket can be a victim of flea beetles and cabbage worms. An organic way to deal with flea beetles is to put some sticky grease (for example insect barrier glue) on a card to take advantage of the bugs’ habit of jumping. If they land on the greased card, they will get stuck.
To deal with cabbage worms, pick them off by hand. If you cannot get the infestation under control by doing this, buy yourself some bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) which is used as a biological alternative to chemical pesticides.