How to Grow: Rocket – My First Garden

Rocket (AKA arugula) is a fabulous herb for newer gardeners because it grows super fast (like a rocket!) with minimal maintenance and will therefore help to build up their gardening confidence. Rocket has a slightly bitter peppery flavour that will spice up any salad, pizza or even a pasta dish and will happily flourish in a raised garden bed. When grown from seed, rocket will sprout within as little as 4 days and should be harvested young for the best and least overpowering flavour.

What you’ll need

My First Garden
Rocket seeds
Good quality potting mix
Seed-raising mix (optional)
Liquid fertiliser

How to grow

  1. Choose a location with full or partial sun
  2. Prepare your raised garden bed with good quality potting mix leaving a few centimetres free at the top.
  3. Scatter your rocket seeds lightly over the surface and cover with some seed-raising mix or more of the potting mix.
  4. Keep moist and your seedlings should pop up in a matter of days!
  5. Use an organic liquid fertiliser once a fortnight to encourage growth (although it doesn’t need too much encouragement!)
  6. Harvest while leaves are young – about 5-10cm
  7. Pick off any flowers that develop to prevent the plant bolting to seed.

Aunty Court’s Risoni and Rocket Salad (a super simple and healthy lunch idea for the whole family’s lunchbox)

2 cups risoni (rice-shaped pasta)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
100g baby rocket leaves
Punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup basil leaves
BBQ chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and cracked black pepper

  1. Cook the risoni in a large saucepan of boiling water according to packet instructions or until al dente.
  2. Combine with the red onion, rocket, cherry tomatoes, basil and chicken.
  3. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Health benefits

Rocket is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. It’s a great source of vitamin A for healthy eyes and skin, calcium and vitamin K for strong bones, folate which is great for expectant mothers and vitamin C to help support our immune defences. So why not start growing rocket in your raised garden beds today!