Oriental Brassica Salad – Salad Rocket ‘Victoria’
Oriental Brassica Salad – Salad Rocket ‘Victoria’ is the classic salad rocket with a rounded leaf blade and attractive dark green colour. Very vigorous and fast growing.
Oriental brassicas are excellent from late summer onwards right through the winter if grown under protection. In spring they are very prone to fleabeetle attacks and are best avoided unless grown under a fleece.
Sow small amounts every 3 weeks from late June until late September. Seeds can be sown directly into the ground or into modular trays (5 seeds per cell) and planted out 4 weeks after sowing.
Between rows: 25cm
Between plants in the row: 25cm (5 seedlings per station)
Approx. seed count: 150
Oriental salads have become very fashionable in recent years. There is a massive range of different types with different colour texture and taste available. Most of them are in the brassica family with a few exceptions. Some of them are quite hot and spicy. You can try growing them all year round, but they are at their best from late summer until winter as they are very hardy. The spring sowing tend to bolt very quickly.
Mibuna (similar in taste to Mizuna but with long narrow leaves)
Mizuna (very popular salad leaf, very hardy and fast growing)
‘Golden Streaks’ (pale green leaves with stunning serrated leaves, very fast maturing)
‘Red Frills’ (like golden Streaks but with an amazing red colour, it will brighten up and salad bowl)
Mustard ‘Green in the snow’ (one of the hardiest salads, but beware: it tastes just like mustard. I love it!)
Komatsuna (often used as a salad leaf but traditionally cooked like spinach in Japan)
Pak Choi ‘Joi Choi F1’ (probably the best pak choi variety with dark green leaves and pure white leaf stem)
Rocket, Salad (distinctive tasting leaves which are deeply lobed)
Rocket, Wild (smaller serrated leaves with strong flavour; perennial plant)
Tatsoi (excellent variety with small, round, dark green leaves with crispy stem)
Soil and site:
Oriental Brassica Salad – Salad Rocket ‘Victoria’ will grow in any moderately fertile and moisture-retentive soil is suitable, preferably in a sheltered position.
Oriental Brassica Salad – Salad Rocket ‘Victoria’ – grows best in the cooler parts of the year. As the days get longer the plants quickly run to seed.
Seeds can be sown directly in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked or even in late summer or early autumn. However, the plants are quite hardy and can cope with a few degrees of frost. Because plants are quite short-lived, sow in succession of about two to three weeks.
Between rows: 25cm
Between plants: 25cm (5 plants per station)
It is essential to keep the plot completely weed free otherwise you may get some weeds in your salad bowl. I appreciate that many weeds taste quite delicious but there is the odd horrible or even poisonous one. Keep the plot moist at all times to slow down bolting.
You can either harvest individual leaves as they are needed or use the cut-and-come-again method: cut the whole plant at about 5cm height from the soil level and the leaves will re-grow within the next two to three weeks. The leaves get bitter when the plant starts to bolt.
Flea beetles are the worst enemy of the oriental brassica salads but they do not affect the non brassica salads. They are tiny jumping beetles which eat hundreds of little round holes into the leaves especially in the spring. You may find that you can’t grow them in spring or early summer in your garden unless you protect them throughout their entire life with a fleece or bionet. The late summer and autumn sowings should be safer.
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