Growing rocket
salad herb and garden filler

Eruca sativaEruca sativa

Growing rocket in the vegetable or herb garden is a must for me. It is not only easy to grow and propagate, I love its light peppery flavour with a host of dishes.

Its Latin name is Eruca sativa, the species name indicating that it is edible, and the Genus name similar to one of its common names Arugula.

seed trays, seeds, sowing calendars, pencil, delicate sprinklerseed trays, seeds, fine sprinkler, pencil, labels and calendars

Proceed with growing rocket using the usual basic procedures

As with growing all leaf vegetables and many other vegetables, your seed starter working kit is similar.

Consult the seed planting calendar. Rocket is best sown from September through to December or from Spring to midsummer. You can go on plucking leaves for the rest of the season. Get your trays ready with pre wetted soil, preferably a 50/50 sand compost mix, and get some fine sand ready to cover the seeds with.

Wash your hands, spill a tiny amount of seed in your palm. Never put your hand in the seed packet, we can carry plant pathogens.

There are a number of ways you can distribute seed. You can use a tiny wetted pencil tip to move individual seeds from your palm and position them in a seed tray. This is quite an art and I just sprinkle them like salt between my fingertips. You then scatter fine material over the seed to a depth similar to the size of the seed, as a general rule. In the case of rocket put a 2 mm layer on top of the soil in the seed tray. You can also place the seed on the soil and then push it down with a pencil tip to the right depth and gently pat the hole closed.

Sprinkle your rocket lightly with your easy home made delicate sprinkler (see growing carrots) and always label to avoid confusion if you have lots of plants. 

sow rocket in spring and early summerWhent growing rocket sow in spring and early summer

Rocket is a Brassica, and has the typical round seeds that look like mustard, and grow in small pods. I harvested a lot of rocket seed some years ago but it does not germinate. That may have several causes from which one can learn about procedures. I'm sowing out of season, in winter. I may have had a lot of green unripe seed in the bag. Let the seed ripen fully before removing it from the plant and enclose with a paper bag to make sure that when the pods split the seed does not fall on the ground and get lost. I may have waited too long to plant it, or it may have been attacked by a pathogen in storage. Keeping your self caught seed in the fridge may help with this. 

When the seeds come up they have the typical two half round seed leaves of the brassicas. The seedlings are not needy. Let them grow and plant them out between other vegetables or even in your flower beds, where their tiny white four petalled flowers like fairy windmills on a much divided inflorescence can form fine spindly texture at about 1 metre.

Growing rocket fills spaces in beds and on awkward edgesGrowing rocket fills spaces in beds and on awkward edges

Growing rocket was recommended by Charlemagne for the herb garden, as it had been a salad vegetable in the Mediterranean region and near east since Roman times. Its use has become very widespread today, coming from diverse origins. I’ll quickly touch on some variants just for inspirational purposes. In Italy it is most often used as a garnish on pasta, or raw beef, or in a fried sauce for fish and meat made with olive oil and garlic. On some Italian islands it flavours alcohol, but on Cyprus omelettes and in Egypt seafood. It can be found as a relish with olive oil and lemon juice in Turkey. In India the seeds are pressed to make flavored oil. In Slovenia it is served with potatoes, cheese or soup and in Brazil it is eaten with dried tomatoes and mozarella, and my husband makes a great green soup using rocket.

Rocket has lobed pinnate leaves with a larger end lobeRocket has lobed pinnate leaves with a larger end lobe



home page for links to lots of useful hints on natural gardening methods 


vegetable gardening the natural, low cost way, with a list of the easiest vegetables to grow

Ask us ?

If you have any questions please let us know !

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

rocket propulsion 
The rocket flowers are emerging now, late June. Mid winter and encouraged by a Mediterranean climate. Why do they look like tiny propellors when the plant's …

Click here to write your own.

Restore Nature Newsletter 

I've been writing for four years now and I would love to hear from you

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or stories to share on gardening, permaculture, regenerative agriculture, food forests, natural gardening, do nothing gardening, observations about pests and diseases, foraging, dealing with and using weeds constructively, composting and going offgrid.

[ ? ]

Upload 1-4 Pictures or Graphics (optional)[ ? ]


Click here to upload more images (optional)

Author Information (optional)

To receive credit as the author, enter your information below.

(first or full name)

(e.g., City, State, Country)

Submit Your Contribution

  •  submission guidelines.

(You can preview and edit on the next page)


Check out our selection of ecological designs printed on T-shirts, accessories and decor items. The designs are about soil regeneration, indigenous Cape wild flowers, wild African animals and other fauna, as well as bible quotes and geometric patterns.

Our New Book  

DIY Grey Water Wetland

Build your own system and grow fruit and vegetables with your dish water and other waste water at home

Order the Kindle E-book for the SPECIAL PRICE of only


Recent Articles

  1. Pruning advice

    Jan 15, 23 07:46 AM

    I've got a num num hedge on our side-walk but struggle to find the right tools to keep it nice and low as well as square. What tools do you use for pruning

    Read More

  2. Saving seeds after fermenting

    Dec 02, 22 01:18 PM

    Hello, I am very curious as to whether you found the seeds to be fertile after having left it to ferment for a month. I am processing a large amount of

    Read More

  3. The 3 Wild Plums.

    Dec 02, 22 12:51 PM

    I have 3 Wild Plums in my garden. I moved in 25 years ago and they were here already. Now I have trouble with my neighbors because the garden wall is

    Read More

How to make

$ -MONEY - $

with earthworms

The Book 

"How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget 

Order a printed copy from "Amazon"  at the SPECIAL PRICE of only


or a digital version from the "Kindle" store at the SPECIAL PRICE of only




How to make good Compost.


Worms Recycle Dog Poop