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How to Grow Watercress – Step by Step

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) is a strong tasting vegetable, ideal to be planted in the humid and shady corners of the garden. Can be kept both at home and outdoors, so you will only need a small pot and substrate for optimal development. Learn all about how to grow watercress.

How to Grow Watercress: Sowing

Watercress prospers in cool climates but a warm climate is preferable. It is ideal to plant it in clayey and humus-rich soils. Watercress has a low tolerance to salinity.

It is advisable to sow watercress in spring. The seeds should be placed at approximately half an inch of sowing depth (1- 1.5 cm).

1. In a seedbed that can be a pot of about 8” (20cm) in diameter make at least a hole for drainage because although they are aquatic, they do not like to be wet constantly.

2. Fill the seedbed with a humus-rich substrate, and place a maximum of 3 seeds in each pot.

3.  Then, cover them with a bit of substrate.

4.  Finally, it is watered and placed in an area where there is direct light, or in a room where there is a lot of natural light.

In just a few days (about 10), you will see your seeds start to germinate. Here you can see other fast-growing vegetables.

When they are about 2” – 3” (5-7cm) high you can pass them on to bigger pots or the garden.

watercress flower
Watercress flower.

Watercress Care

You should keep the soil moist but not covered with water. If you are potting a container, keep a saucer of water under the pot or container to keep the soil moist.

It is highly recommended to fertilize during the spring and summer months with organic fertilizers, such as manure or humus.

Harvest Watercress

The cress will be ready for harvesting in only three weeks. The side sprouts are removed from the plant. The more they are removed the more they grow.

watercress harvest

How to Grow Watercress: Tips

If the plant is in flower, it is advisable to cut the flower.

It should never be grown in water to which sheep or cows have access, its consumption could transmit diseases.

Benefits of Watercress

1- Antioxidant
2- Low in calories
3- Strengthens the immune system
4- Improve the functioning of the liver
5- Protects the kidneys
6- Keeps skin healthy

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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