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Bunias orientalis, Turkish Rocket is a perennial broccoli-like plant. The immature flowering stems can be used like sprouting broccoli while the leaves provide the first and last greens of the season. It can also be cultivated like cardoon and blanched by tying up the leaves. Turkish Rocket is a robust, fast-growing plant and a great, herbaceous addition to permaculture projects, it is one of the most hardy and long-lived of all winter salad greens. It is blessedly simple to grow. Easy to raise, never needs weeding or watering and goes on for ever.
The young tips of the stems in the spring, before flowering are very tasty, when raw they have a slightly nutty taste and the plants can be cropped two or three times in the summer. The large strap-like leaves have a mild cabbage flavour, are produced right through until autumn and are a good substitute for annual kale and collards. This hardy perennial thrives in dappled shade and full sun. With a deep taproot that mines moisture and minerals, it is drought-tolerant and its flowers attracts beneficial insects in summer.
Pretty Wild Seeds are registered with the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) under number 7529, so you can have confidence in both our products and advice. Although our products are listed in weights and acres, we can supply in additional quantities upon enquiry so if you need a larger supply, please don't hesitate to give us a call.
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We happily accept returns within 14 days from date of delivery. All returns must be received in the same condition and packaging we sent them. Postage charges will not be refunded on unwanted products.
You are solely responsible for ensuring the goods are returned to us. We will not be liable for returns that are lost in the post or lost for any other reason. If a product arrives damaged we will advise the customer how to return the item with all return costs covered by us. Replacements & refunds will be dispatched / issued on receipt of the returned items only.
Turkish Rocket is a plant that is interesting and unusual and in some parts of the world, very useful.
Sowing; Sow in March to July or sow in August to September. Seeds can be started early indoors or under glass or sown directly where they are to grow in early spring to summer. Light spring frosts will not harm the plants. They can also be can be sown in autumn. Germination is variable and erratic, usually taking around 30 days.
Sowing Indoors; Sow seeds into deep pots, containing peaty compost. Keep at a temperature of around 20˚C (68˚F). In late spring once soil temperatures have warmed and seeds have at least two or three sets of true leaves, harden off for 7 to 10 days and plant outdoors 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) apart.
Sowing Direct; Seeds can be sown directly outdoors in late spring to summer once temperatures reach around 20˚C (68˚F). If sowing direct, sow thinly, 12mm (½in) deep in small clumps or shallow drills. Sow 30cm (12in) apart in well-cultivated soil which has been raked to a fine tilth. Keep moist and do not allow to dry out once planted. When large enough to handle, thin out seedlings until they are finally 30 to 45cm (12 to 18in) apart in spring.
If you are having trouble with germination, or would like to speed up the process, you could try stratification: this method simply exposes the seedlings to temperature changes, as they would do if germinating naturally.
Sow the large seeds onto the surface of trays or pots containing good soil based compost and gently firm down. Place in a propagator or seal inside a polythene bag and keep at a daytime temperature of 13 to 15°C (55 to 60°F) for 2 to 3 weeks. After this time, move the tray to a refrigerator to cool (not a freezer) this will expose the seeds to temperatures of around 4°C (39°F) which will simulate the cold of winter. Leave them in the fridge for 3 to 6 weeks, after which remove the tray and place somewhere with normal daytime temperatures. Keep the compost moist at all times.
This method usually works for some of the seedlings but some seeds may wait for spring before emerging regardless of when or how they are sown. Prick out any seedlings that have germinated into pots to grow on, then place the tray back in the cold frame so that any seeds that remain may germinate naturally.
Cultivation; Turkish Rocket will thrive in partial sunlight. In hot areas of the world it may struggle in the heat of full sun. Water newly planted seedlings until established.
The plants will self-seed wherever it is planted and left to bloom. Control excessive seed production by deadheading promptly after blooming. Plants can also be propagated from division in spring.
Harvesting;Leaves can be harvested at any time and are often promoted as being the first and last greens in the garden. Young and tender leaves are available in the spring. This is a true cut-and-come-again plant. If you keep removing the larger, older leaves, then the plant will continue to produce young, tender leaves through most of the year in most growing environments. Flowering stems and flowers are available in late spring to early summer.