I’ve got rocket in the garden about to flower, rocket in my veggie boxes for salad and rocket setting seed up at Katoomba after gracing the cold winter months with her pretty white tumbles of flowers. Rocket is a good value plant for sure. It’s part of the brassica family, so it has that punchy pepper flavour and goodness. You can add it to salads, juice it, stir fry it, the flowers are edible and are nice tossed through anything.
I made a really nice juice this morning with some young flowering rocket shoots which I removed so my boxes don’t flower. I thought it would it would be a good time to do a quick write up on rocket and how to keep your veggie boxes green and growing through regular harvesting.
Rocket grows an initial rosette of leaves and then sends a single stalk up and starts flowering. To extend the leaf growing period it is important to pluck off these flowering shoots. This will cause lateral shoots and they will try and flower too. In reality you are trying to stop a very powerful force and the rocket will eventually win. If you don’t harvest your boxes quickly enough leaves will become flowers.
Look at the pictures below. Those little hairy balls are flowering shoots. In the garden where plants can stretch out, if you pinch them off you will extend the leaf phase of your plants life cycle. When growing in the boxes, just keep cutting the leaves level with the top of the box and new leaves will grow from the bottom.
What to do with your harvest at breakfast time? Add it to your smoothie!
Rocket, Sesame and Blackberry Smootie
Handful of rocket leaves and flowering “prunings”
Handful of blackberries or substitute
1/2 small pineapple
5 Fresh mint sprigs
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
1 cup orange juice
5 ice cubes
Blitz and serve. Enough for 2