Rocket – Arugula

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May 202018
 

Rocket

Eruca sativa
Super fast and easy to grow. Remember where you have planted them, because to my mind, they can look a bit like weeds, and you can absent-mindedly pull them out when weeding…

The leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible. Older larger leaves can be very bitter, for the best flavour, use the leaves when still small, well before flowering starts. The flowers can be used in salads, decorating drinks etc. The deeply cut leaves have a wonderfully pungent flavour with a mild bitterness adding bite and piquancy to salads, sandwiches, risotto, pizza, pasta and loads of other dishes.

Planting / sowing
You can plant seedlings, but seed is also easy and cheap to use. Seed will germinate after 10-14 days. If you want an extended harvesting period, then sow seed every two weeks for 6 weeks. Rocket seeds are small, so only need to cover lightly with soil and keep moist. Plant in a position which will get at least half a day’s sun. A mildly acidic to neutral soil is best.

Growing
As the weather warms up rocket is inclined to bolt, and the later plantings are better in a shadier spot. Good to grow in autumn, as it is less inclined to bolt as the days shorten. Stress will also make rocket bolt, so keep well watered. Feed with blood and bone. As the plants run to seed, you can pull them out, but let the odd one run to seed and in a couple of weeks you will have lots more fresh plants spring up.

Harvesting
Pick outside leaves from the plant regularly, leaves are best picked young. You can also use the flowers.

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