What are rocket leaves

Arugula, once a pricey delicacy, is now commonplace on dinner tables. But cultivating your own is the only sensible choice given what it costs at the fresh market! And isn’t it fortunate that it’s so simple to grow? For a large harvest of this delicious green spanning several months, you can sow the seeds consecutively every two weeks throughout the spring.

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With leaves that are best trimmed at 2 to 3 inches long, this plant can grow to be around 2 1/2 feet tall and 1 foot broad. Just the amount you need for your next meal should be chopped; since each leaf that is removed encourages the growth of new foliage, a single plant can continue to produce during a lengthy season. And when the leaves are fresh and soft, the flavor is so delicious? zingy and mustardy, with a Zest that clears the tongue! also fantastic in pesto? Simply keep the leaves from growing too large, as this will cause them to lose their sensitive quality.

3 to 4 weeks prior to the last frost, start seeds indoors. Transplant the seedlings into rows with a spacing of 18 inches when they are 4 weeks old. The rows should be in full sun to dappled shade with loose, fertile soil. Deeply lobed, green leaves on the rocket are between four and ten lobes long and range in length from three to seven inches. When the plant is young and less than a foot tall, the leaves are plucked best for salad greens. The plant can eventually reach a height of up to 2 or 3 feet if it is not harvested. The plant eventually produces tiny, cross-shaped white blooms before going to seed.

Growing Green Fresh Arugula
A shot of arugula leaves up close.

Rocket germinates within a week of sowing and grows readily from seed. It doesn’t require particularly harsh growing conditions, but it does prefer fully-sunned, well-drained soil. However, it performs best in chilly climates and will shrivel up in the summer heat. To fully benefit from the cooler sections of the growing season, plant it in the early spring and then again in late summer or early fall. Rocket may endure the winter and self-seed in the following spring in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 to 11. Rocket is not particularly susceptible to any illnesses or pests.

Cooking Use
Arugula, feta, and pumpkin salad.
A crisp arugula salad

Although popular as a salad green for centuries in Europe, rocket has only recently become well-known in the United States. Because of its potent peppery or nutty flavor, it pairs well with salad mixtures’ softer, gentler greens. Greens from a midsummer harvest may be too strong to be edible since leaves collected in hot weather or after the plant has flowered tend to be bitter.

Wild Rocket Salad, fresh and organic
In a field, arugula is growing wild.

The related but distinct species known as wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia), which is also occasionally called sylvetta or rustic arugula, can be used as a salad green. In USDA zones 6 to 11, perennial wild rocket can withstand more adversity than its domesticated cousin. Wild rocket thrives best in cool conditions, much like other varieties of rocket do. Plant it in the spring and fall if you’re going to cultivate it; it might not bolt as soon as the Eruca species, though.

By kazim kabir

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