Growing Wild Rocket through the year – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I think I’ve mentioned this several times in the past, but I really find that Wild Rocket grows SO much better in the shade during the summer. This season is no different – I actually ended up planting most of my wild rocket in full sun, with just a couple of plants that I popped in next to some squashes. Here’s the difference:

Growing in shade of a squash plant

Growing in full sun


There’s a clear difference between the two growing conditions – the rocket that is shaded is doing so much better. It’s not trying to bolt yet, the leaves are fatter and more appealing, and generally greener and healthier. My conclusion is that in the summer, it is much better to plant wild rocket in shade.

My observations for autumn and winter growing are quite the opposite – the more sun and warmth I can give my plants when planting wild rocket in September and October, the better. In fact, the best results I’ve had with autumn plantings have come from planting in the greenhouse. I think the plants just need a bit of warmth in the soil. When I have grown it outside over the winter, the plants have done little until spring when the soil warms up. If you don’t have a greenhouse, I imagine they would do quite well being grown through holes in a grow bag and then covered with clear polythene or fleece. I may even give that a go this autumn just to see…