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When it comes to superfoods, watercress is up there near the top of the list. This peppery, nutrient-dense herb is not only delicious, but it's also great for your health. And growing your own watercress is easier than you might think. In this blog post, we'll show you how to grow watercress plants from seedlings, and we'll also share a few tips on how to keep them healthy and thriving. So if you're looking for how to grow watercress and to add some extra nutrients to your diet, then growing your own watercress plants is definitely worth considering!

Watercress and its benefits

Watercress, also known as yellowcress or garden cress, is a leafy green vegetable aquatic plant that is commonly consumed as a salad ingredient. It is a perennial plant and member of the cruciferous family, related to kale, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. It has a slightly bitter taste and is rich in folic acid as well as vitamins A and C. The antioxidants found in watercress may help to protect the body from the damage caused by free radicals. Additionally, watercress may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

How to grow watercress from seeds

For growing watercress plants, Sunny spots in the garden are the best locations for sowing watercress seeds. Dig a hole about 6-8 inches deep and spread a layer of compost over the top. Then sow watercress seed into the center of the compost and lightly tamp it down with your hand. Water well and let the seedlings grow until they are about 2-3 inches tall. Thin out the plants as they grow and water sparingly during hot weather.

Keep the planting area moist

Watercress is an easy-to-grow herb that can be grown in just about any type of garden soil. The key to successful watercress cultivation is to keep the wet soil. Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep and water them regularly. Once the plants have germinated, water them twice a day. Harvest the leaves when they are young and tender.

Ensure the area around the watercress plants is kept free from weeds

Watercress plants are a valuable addition to any garden, and providing them with a weed-free environment is key to their success. Weeds can quickly take over an area around the watercress plants, leading to decreased yields and decreased attractiveness to potential gardeners. There are several ways to keep the area around the watercress plants free from weeds, and each has its own benefits. One approach is to use a weed control product.

Feed with a kelp-based fertilizer

Kelp is one of the most natural and potent fertilizers available to gardeners. Kelp contains all of the essential nutrients for plant growth, including sulfur which helps plants fight against the disease. Because kelp is a natural water-soluble fertilizer, it is not harmful to the environment. So what are you waiting for? Give your watercress plant a boost with the complete soluble fertilizer.

Providing drainage system

Watercress grows well in almost any pot, but it does best with plenty of drainage and frequent top-ups of water. If you live in a hot, dry climate, Watercress is also a good choice for planting in raised beds or containers that allow for proper drainage.

Using compost

Soil organic matter, or compost, is an essential part of any garden’s nutrient cycle. Mixing charcoal with your compost can enhance the soil’s ability to hold onto plant nutrients, by slowing or reducing the leaching of nutrients through rain or watering.

How charcoal works when mixed with compost

Charcoal is a natural filter that helps to remove toxins and other pollutants from the air. By adding a little charcoal to your compost pile, you can help improve the quality of your damp soil and make your watercress thrives.

There is no need to cover the watercress seeds with compost as they will germinate happily on the surface – this usually takes between seven to 14 days. 

Preventing stagnation

One of the most common problems faced by gardeners is stagnation. This can be caused by a lack of moisture or too much moisture. One way to prevent stagnation is to flush the pots with fresh water twice a week. This will help to distribute the water and nutrients evenly and keep the soil aerated.

How long does it take to grow a watercress plant?

Watercress grows quickly and can be harvested in as little as 4 weeks, but it takes a long time to grow watercress. The average watercress plant will grow to 3 feet tall and produce 1/2 pound of edible leaves per week.

It is easy to grow from seed, requiring no special skills or equipment. Simply sow the seed directly into containers, in spring, or as soon as the average daily temperatures reach 8-15°C. Watercress will grow quickly and produce a large number of leaves.

When you should sow the watercress seeds?

Sow the seeds in early spring, before the ground becomes too cold, and water them regularly. Germination should occur within 14 days. If you are sowing watercress seeds regularly through spring and early summer, you will enjoy a constant supply of fresh leaves.

When to harvest watercress

Watercress is a great addition to salad mixes or vegetable dishes. It has a peppery taste, leaves are incredibly tender and have a slightly bitter or peppery flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked. However, watercress is not the easiest plant for continual harvest. The leaves are typically long, and unless they are cut off with scissors when they’re about 2-3 inches long, they will become wet and go limp.

Can you grow watercress from cutting?

Watercress can be grown from different methods like seeds, transplants, or cuttings. Its varieties abound, but the most common homegrown variety among them is Nasturtium officinale. Such processing of taking cuttings is easy and can be done at home with a few supplies. Before taking cuttings, make sure the plant is healthy by checking its leaves and visible white roots. Take stem cuttings near the ground, making sure to remove any diseased or damaged tissue. Place the cutting in water and wait until it roots before planting it in the soil.

Different ways to grow watercress from cutting:

Watercress can also be propagated from cuttings. To do this, take a cutting from an existing watercress plant and place it in a glass of water. Make sure the cutting has at least one node (the point where the leaves join the stem). Once the cutting has rooted, you can transplant it into the soil.

Tips for Growing Healthy Watercress Plants:

Here are a few tips on how to grow healthy watercress plants:

  1. Make sure your plants have plenty of sunlight.
  2. In warmer climates, it's important to provide some shade for your watercress plants, as they may sunburn in direct sunlight. You can do this by placing a shade cloth over the pot, or by planting them near taller plants. Watercress is a cool-weather plant, so it will grow best in temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees F.
  3. Keep the soil moist, but not wet.
  4. Feed your plants regularly with a balanced fertilizer.
  5. Provide some shade in warm climates.
  6. Watercress loves water, so make sure to keep the soil moist at all times. You can do this by watering the plants regularly, or you can place a water tray beneath the pot.
  7. Harvest your watercress regularly to encourage new growth.
  8. Enjoy this delicious, nutrient-dense herb.

Growing watercress in ponds

Watercress is a great plant to grow in your garden if you have a water feature such as a pond. It is an easy-to-grow annual that can provide you with lots of fresh, local greens all summer long. Watercress is a cool-season crop, so it is best to sow it in the early spring before the soil warms up too much. The leaves and stems of the watercress are edible but note that if you are planning to eat the curly cress, then do not grow it in the pond as the water will not be fresh enough to make the watercress safely edible.

In order to grow the watercress in water, fill a pot with the compost and then sow the watercress seed on the surface of the water. After the seed has germinated, carefully move the plants to a pot of regular soil once they have rooted. Seeds can germinate in any container of water, but the best results are usually achieved if the pot or shallow container is filled with water. This is because the water cools and humidifies the soil, helping the seeds to germinate more quickly.

Moreover, it can best be grown in a soilless potting mix and provides greater yields. Commercial growers mostly go for this option.

Pests & Problems

Watercress is a common weed in gardens and can be a nuisance when growing in water. There are several pests and problems that watercress can experience when growing. Pests include aphids, whiteflies, thrips, and leaf miners. In cold climates, watercress may also suffer from early blight. Problems with big leaf cress include wilting, browning, and distortion of the leaves.

Watercress attracts flea beetles and mustard beetles by the scent of its flowers. To get rid of these pests, immerse your plant in water for an hour. Watering your plants is one of the most important things you can do for them. However, if you’re like most people, you don’t have time to water them every day.

In conclusion, Watercress is a very easy crop to grow, it produces fresh, tasty, and bumper crops and a single 25 Litre Plant Pot will produce the equivalent of around twenty plus of the bags that are available in the supermarkets. It is a very worthwhile crop to grow.

1 comment

  • Good info will add watercress to my aquiponic system

    Lynn Williams

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