Perennial, Zones 4-8. A few years ago, defeated by the resident flea beetle population. I gave up on growing brassicas in my garden. But when Aaron Parker brought Turkish Rocket seeds to MOFGA’s 2017 Seed Swap and Scionwood Exchange, I picked up a few anyway, tempted by the promise of direct-seeded perennial vegetables and by Aaron’s reputation for growing cool plants. To my delight, the flea beetles turned up their noses at this new arrival, allowing ongoing harvest of tender spicy mustard greens and florets for stir-frying throughout the month of May. Larger leaves are harvestable through the growing season, with another flush of new growth starting in mid to late August.
In the perennial garden, these plants stick up for themselves as attractive mounds of bright pointed leaves that shade out weeds. Drought-tolerant with a deep taproot that brings up moisture and minerals, this Rocket attracts beneficial insects and can be used as animal fodder. Considered invasive in some locales, this seems to be less of a problem in Maine. However, attentive deadheading will eliminate that possibility. Not for sale to Wisconsin. ①
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