Biology and Yield of Rocket (Eruca sativa Mill.) under Field Conditions of the Czech Republic (Central Europe)



Five rocket (Eruca sativa (L.) Mill.) varieties and accessions were cultivated under field conditions in the Czech Republic (Central Europe) and subsequently studied for variation in morphology and yield. Two cultivation techniques (treatments) were tested during the growing seasons in 2010 and 2011: directly sown seeds in the field and plantlets cultivated in a glasshouse and later transplanted to the field. There were analysed four morphological parameters of the leaf rosette (leaf shape in outline, leaf margin, leaf apex and leaf colour), marketable yield, nonmarketable parts, and rosette radius. Plants from plantlets transplanted to the field in spring terms (April) yielded a substantially higher marketable yield and had a higher rosette radius in contrast to plants from directly sown seeds. Conversely, for the summer terms (late August, September) the direct sowing technique produced higher marketable yield in comparison with plantlets treatment. Plants cultivated from directly sowed seeds reached a marketable yield on average from 15 to 60 g per plant while transplanted plants produced on average from 10 to 49 g per plant. It is evident that cultivation of rocket under field conditions of the Czech Republic is possible and provides, when using the appropriate sowing term, more or less stable yields of marketable parts. Details on variation in yield parameters of individual varieties and accessions are presented.

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