Peppery plant is rocket fuel

Why buy expensive bags of rocket in the supermarket when you can grow it so easily in your garden?

It’s become one of the most popular peppery leaves to add to salads or to dress dishes such as grilled goat’s cheese.

Rocket likes moisture-retentive soil and some shade. It dislikes hot, dry weather, so sow it early in well-drained soil or, if your soil is heavy, start it off in cell trays and plant out in open ground when the seedlings are large enough to handle.

It’s grown in the same way as lettuce, preferring the cooler conditions of spring.

If you’re growing it in pots, sow it more densely than lettuce and harvest it when the leaves are young, as it can run to seed quickly.

To keep up the supply, wait until one crop is showing a couple of leaves and sow a few more.

Make sowings from February to June and from August to October. In the winter months, carry on under cloches.

Rocket, known as arugula in America, is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean countries.

The leaves are a rich source of iron as well as vitamins A and C.

For more gardening information see the East Lothian News - on sale now.