Though often overlooked, watercress is a leafy green which has so many amazing nutrients to offer. It’s a relative to kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts and was once considered a weed. And, you can grow it in your garden easily.
It was cultivated in the UK for the first time in the early 80s; however, nowadays, it’s grown worldwide. It features small and round leaves and edible stems with a peppery, and a bit-of-spicy flavor.
Being very adaptable, watercress is an amazing plant to cultivate in your own garden. This being said, in today’s article, we will present excellent tips on how to successfully grow watercress in your home.
In this way, you’ll always have a fresh batch of this amazing plant to add to meals and boost their nutrient levels!
How to Cultivate Watercress at Home
You can grow watercress from seed, cuttings or transplants. There are several watercress varieties. The most common one is the Nasturtium officinale.
Before you plant it, find a sunny area in your garden and enrich the soil with 4 to 6 inches of organic compost down to 6 to 8 inches depth.
If you’re using seeds, lightly sprinkle them throughout the soil and sow them three weeks before a frost-free date.
The plant germinates the best in cooler conditions, but not frigid. The planting area needs to be kept moist, but not overwatered. If you’re growing it in a container, place them in a saucer with water to maintain ongoing moisture.
In around five days or so, you will be seeing the first seedlings. In case you’re transplanting them, space them 8 inches apart after the risk of frost has passed.
How to Take Proper Care of Your Watercress?
As previously noted, ongoing moisture is of pivotal importance for watercress. Despite low nutrient demands, cultivated watercress may show signs of iron, phosphorus or potassium deficiencies. To address such problems, apply a soluble fertilizer appropriately.
Make sure you clean any weeds and mulch from the area where you have planted the watercress. And, as snails love this plant, make sure you also remove them if you notice them.
Keep the whiteflies away from your watercress using soapy water or insecticidal soap. Lady beetles, thrips, and predatory mites can be of aid in the control of these pests.
What about Harvest?
Watercress flavor optimizes during the cooler months of the year. Begin the harvest around three weeks after emergence. If you cut or prune the plants, you’ll make them thicker and lush. Cut them to a height of 4 inches.
The cuttings need be washed properly and stored in plastic bags. Keep them in the fridge and use them within a week.
How to Add Watercress to Your Diet?
What’s great about this plant is that it can be added to a variety of meals. The best way to reap its benefits is by eating it raw or lightly steaming it.
Feel free to sprinkle it on top of your salads, add it to soups near the end of the cooking, use it instead of lettuce in a salad, make a pesto using garlic and olive oil, serve it with eggs, etc.