Rockets away!

In our household we tend to eat a lot of warm and hearty meals at this time of year. Typical winter veges like broccoli, cabbage, and silver beet feature high on the menu and we don't have as many salads as we would during summer.

But sometimes a leafy side or main dish is just what you feel like and it's nice to be able to pick something straight from the garden that meets the bill. And this is where one of my favourite salad herbs comes into play - rocket.

Rocket can be grown all year round and has a mild peppery flavour, which tastes great in a salad, added to pasta or the top of a pizza, in a sandwich and the list goes on. And, what's more, it's incredibly easy to grow and maintain a crop of. In fact, at the end of its life cycle, or if the weather gets too hot, it will probably just self-seed in your garden and establish a new crop of seedlings.

Next time you're down at your local supermarket or Bunnings grab yourself some of Awapuni's rocket seedlings. Alternatively, jump online to the herb section of our website and get some of this half-hardy annual delivered direct to your door. Add a few more bundles so you're ordering six or more and we'll even deliver for free to a non-rural address or for just $4 to a rural residence.

Once you've got your seedlings dig through some compost into the area you plan to plant. Or add some good quality potting mix, if you're planning on planting in large containers (around 25cm or more deep). Then plant each seedling around 20cm apart. Remember to water lightly after you've planted.

At this time of year make sure the area your growing your rocket, or the spot you plan to place your pots, gets a good six hours of sun a day. In summer, choose an area that doesn't get hit by the midday sun to avoid sending your plants to seed.

Watch out for snails and remove old or yellowed leaves to help your plants continue to flourish. Remember to harvest the leaves often. This will stop your rocket going to seed too early and encourage new leaves to shoot up. Simply pick the outside leaves straight off the plant. And, if you want a continuous supply, keep planting new seedlings every few weeks.

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