How to grow Rocket

Eruca sativa

Rocket grows best in cool, moist conditions. Fall and spring are perfect. It needs a lot of water. If you are careful, you can clip leaves from the outside of the plant and allow it to keep growing – just make sure to not disturb the roots. In hot weather, it may bolt, but don’t worry, the flowers taste great!
Harvest when leaves are 3 to 4 inches long either by pulling the entire plants or by breaking off individual leaves. If you cut a plant off at soil line, rather than pulling it, it will resprout.

Growing Rocket from seed

May be Winter Sown best under glass, in the cold frame or greenhouse
Sow direct, and repeat in two to three weekly intervals to have fresh leaves through the summer

Look to ensure a distance 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) between seeds when sowing - bury at a depth of at least 0.39 inches (1.0 cm) deep. Soil temperature should be kept higher than 10°C / 50°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Rocket about 21 days before your last frost date .

Transplanting Rocket

Choose a bright sunny spot
Can be a catch crop(sow in between a slower growing main crop)
Protect with fleece, if slugs,are a problem, or it is a little cold or too hot

Ensure that temperatures are mild (minimum night temperatures should be around 10°C / 50°F) and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Rocket is a half hardy plant.

Harvesting Rocket

Cut Leaves off at soil level when 2" – 4" long. Leaves will regrow. Leaves are sweeter when young.
Two or three cuttings are possible with re-growth in between, then pull up and start again.

Seed Saving Rocket

Seed viability is three to four years.

How long does Rocket take to grow?

These estimates for how long Rocket takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Days to Germination How long does it take Rocket to germinate?
6 days

Average 6 days | Min 1 days | Max 19 days (316)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Rocket?
+ 16 days

Average 16 days | Min 4 days | Max 58 days (15)

Days to Maturity How long until Rocket is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 41 days

Average 41 days | Min 1 days | Max 87 days (38)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Rocket?
= 63 days

When should I plant Rocket?

Our when to plant Rocket estimates are relative to your last frost date.

When to sow The number of days to sow Rocket before or after your last frost date.
21 days before Last Frost Date

Rocket Etymology

Arugula boasts a continental lineage and is equally well known by its Italian derived name (from ruca or rucula) and by its French appellation, roquette.

Rocket Folklore & Trivia

By one account, its seeds were first brought to North America in 1631 by the son of the Puritan leader John Winthrop, a curious beginning given the plant’s contemporary association with the upscale nouvelle cuisine.
(Taken from the book Salad Gardens by Karan Davis Cutler)

Other names for Rocket


Misspellings: Argula


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