Rocket crop sheet

Activity

This leafy crop is easy to grow as individual or cut and come again plants. It's slightly hot, peppery leaves can be harvested from April to December.

  • Estimated time: 30 minutes
  • Location: Outdoors & Indoors
  • School term: All year round
  • Level of experience: No experience needed
  • Subject(s): English, Maths, Science

Learning objectives

  • Learn that plants are the source of many foods
  • Understand what plants need to grow
  • Practise seed sowing and other horticultural techniques

Preparation

Rocket can be grown under cloches or a polytunnel for an early crop as it germinates in low temperatures. It prefers well drained fertile soil, which should have been cultivated before sowing. 

Sow rocket seeds in module trays for easier planting out, direct in containers (such as a window box) or directly into the vegetable bed. Use our resources on how to sow seeds in modules, sowing seeds in pots and how to sow seeds outdoors for extra guidance.

Equipment

  • Rocket seeds
  • Bamboo cane or measuring stick
  • Module trays or small pots 
  • Compost
  • Watering can
  • Labels & pencil
  • Trowel
  • Horticultural fleece

Step by step

For a cut and come again crop;

  1. Create a narrow seed drill by pressing a bamboo cane or measuring stick into the soil.
  2. Sow the seeds around 3cm apart and cover over with soil and then water well. Don't forget to label the row.
  3. Early crops can be covered with fleece or cloches.
  4. Continue to water and thin the seedlings to 10-15cm apart.
  5. Harvest the leaves when they are large enough to eat.


To grow individual plants in pots

  1. Fill the pot with compost and make the surface level. Sow some seeds on top.
  2. Lightly cover the seeds with compost and water well.
  3. Place on a windowsil or light space to germinate and continue to water when the soil surface becomes dry.
  4. Leave the plants to grow on the windowsil if you want to keep them as an indoor cut and come again crop. 
  5. If planting outside, only do so once the danger of frost has passed, the plants should be spaced around 25cm apart and water in.
  6. If it is still early in the season cover the plants with fleece for the first week or until the plants have established.
  7. Continue to water rocket, especially in hot weather and harvest when the leaves are large enough to eat.

Hints & tips

  • Rocket can be sown every four weeks from April until September for continual cropping.
  • Rocket can bolt (go to seed) quickly during hot weather, keep the soil moist to avoid this.

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