The rocket is one of the most particular salads, due to its characteristic spicy taste that makes it ideal in the kitchen to give sparkle to different recipes. So a salad that is not just a side dish but can be used in sauces or as an aromatic herb to pair with meats and cheeses, or to put in toast and wraps.
The rocket is also called ruchetta or ruca, its botanical name is Eruca vesicaria and is a plant of the brassicaceae or cruciferous family , a relative therefore of cabbage and radishes. As a property the vegetable has a good content of mineral salts and the fresh rocket is also rich in vitamin C.
It is a very simple plant to grow and produce, for this reason it is a recommended cultivation of the organic family garden. From the point of view of adversity it often happens to find the leaves punctured by an altica and other small insects, which do more aesthetic damage than substance. The beauty of this crop is that it is very rustic and therefore it can be kept for most of the year, moreover it has a short cultivation cycle, therefore from the sowing to the harvest the step is short. Suitable climate . The rocket is very adaptable and is therefore particularly easy to put in the garden. Like many other crops in the garden, it fears water stagnation, which favors its illness, and drought, which can cause it to prematurely mount to seed. Frosts can damage it but can withstand cold well, withstanding temperatures up to 5 degrees.
row of rocketThe ideal terrain . Any type of soil is fine for growing rocket, with preference for a soil that is draining but rich in organic substance, tending to dry up with the heat.
Sowing period . The rocket can be sown from March to September, but with the cultivation in the tunnel it is however possible to prolong the cultivation period and have this fresh salad available for harvest almost all year round. Arugula seeds last a long time: a sachet of seeds purchased during the year can also be used for 4 years. The rocket germinates quickly and has a rapid growth: one week after sowing you will already see the seedlings ticking and after a while you can collect the first leaves to put in the salad.
Planting or spreading seed. The rocket can be sown quietly in a scattered way , or in rows. The sowing is more rapid, the seeds are thrown and then raked while remaining light, so as to cover them with earth. Seeding per row, on the other hand, there is the advantage of a better distribution of the plants, which remain well ventilated. In this case you have to keep 25 cm between the rows and 5/10 cm between the seedlings. The seed must be buried at a little depth, just half a centimeter is enough.