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Why can't I grow rocket?

sandyvsandyv Posts: 113
Always a failure of some sort - never grows properly. This was sown 11 March, germinated fine, grew to about 1cm, never grew again until 2 weeks ago when it bolted. How can rocket be so difficult?


  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,027
    Is it in a great big pot? It's best sown in a tray, or lightly in small pots [2 or 3 inch]  Then- either pricked out when big enough into small pots, or planted in a clump into a slightly bigger pot than the clump. Pretty much like lettuce   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • IlikeplantsIlikeplants Posts: 894
    Mine looks the same, sprinkled into little pots and they just because thin and weedy. I then then thought they were flower seedlings and put them in a flower bed. No proper leaves, just the little flowers.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,116
    They like to be cool. If rocket gets too hot or too dry it will bolt. Try in partial shade make sure it is assiduously watered, into a pot with drainage holes.

  • raisingirlraisingirl Posts: 6,638
    water water water. It bolts very quickly at the first hint of dryness.

    I managed to establish a wild rocket plant in a corner of my veg garden. Now it's there, albeit a tough and woody thing, it looks after itself. I pick a few young leaves from it in early spring but mostly I let it flower every year and I get self seeded rocket plants popping up in the beds, a few of which I leave to grow to provide me with enough leaves for that season without the hassle - self seeded ones never seem to be as prone to bolting.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,661
    Is it in peat free compost? I've seen a lot of complaints on this forum about seedlings doing badly in peat free compost.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • RedwingRedwing Posts: 1,391
    This is how I grow it.  Sprinkle the seed in a small, 10cm or so, pot.  It will germinate after a few days.  Keeping it well watered, I move the whole contents to a large pot when roots are filling the small pot.  I don't bother with pricking out, just plant the whole thing.  Pick the leaves frequently and it just keeps making more. I find this works best in spring and in early spring I start them off indoors or in the greenhouse. Later sowings outside and the summer sowings don't work as well, probably because they dry out.  If you have a succession, it doesn't matter if/when they go to seed, which they all will eventually.
    Based in Sussex, I garden to encourage as many birds to my garden as possible.
  • sandyvsandyv Posts: 113
    I only ever use peat free compost, our peat bogs are far, far too precious to steal more from them. I've never had probs with seedlings in it. Taking on board your advice, I will try sowing rocket in small pots of garden compost and see how that goes. Thank you all.
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