Cress grows so quickly and is often considered an ideal crop for children. This vegetable has peppery flavor and is more appreciated by adults. Cress is actually the perfect first crop for beginners to add to their kitchen garden ideas.
This cruciferous vegetable is really packed with nutrients, such as Vitamins A, Vitamins C and Vitamins K, which will be perfectly preserved when you cut it fresh.
Growing Cress Indoors
The following are the steps on how to grow Cress indoors;
Step 1: Choose an appropriate container to grow your cress in. you can actually use a plastic container with damp paper towel or you can use an old cup filled with moist cotton wool. Remember cress usually grows better in soil, just make sure you fill your tray with a light layer of compost. Another option, you can use a growing mat or felt.
Step 2: Sprinkle the cress seeds over the surface of the container or pot. Do not sow the cress seeds too densely, or the seedlings will be competing for space, let it be a light sprinkle.
Step 3: It is very vital that the growing medium doesn’t dry out, to keep the moisture you can cover the pot with a lid or plastic wrap. If there is need for watering you can use a spray.
Step 4: You need to place the cress on a bright, warm windowsill.
Step 5: The Cress seeds tend to germinate within twenty-four hours, and the seedlings will soon be ready to eat. ‘You will be harvesting in a matter of five to seven days.
Step 6: To harvest your cress you need to wait until the cress is at least one inch (2.5cm) tall, and then snip it off with a sharp scissors.
Growing Cress in Soil
The following are the steps on how to grow cress in soil;
Step 1: You need to prepare the soil by raking it to a fine tilth.
Step 2: You have to sow the cress seeds in the ground in a block or row, close together.
Step 3: Lightly cover the Cress seeds with soil, and then water well. Don’t allow the soil to dry out. If you are watering the cress, make sure you take care not to drown the seedlings or allow them to become matted down in the soil, if possible use a water spray or watering can with a fine rose.
Step 4: Once the seedlings have reached about one inch tall, you can thin them out to give them room to grow.
Step 5: Harvest outdoor cress with a sharp scissors once the plants have reached about five to six inches.
Different Types of Cress
- The Garden cress (Lepidium sativum): The Garden cress is also called broadleaf cress, it has flat, bright green leaves that are about four inches long and two inches wide. The Garden cress is an annual that really thrives in damp soil.
- The Curly cress (Barbarea vernapraecox): The Curly cress is also called cresson, they are early winter cress, or Upland cress and it has finely divided leaves resembling parsley or chervil atop thin, branching stems. The Curly cress is dark green and is also called curlicress, curled cress, moss curled cress, fine curled cress, and extra-curled cress. The Curly cress is a biennial that really thrives in damp soil.
- The Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum): The Watercress is a trailing annual usually grown in water. You can easily grow watercress indoors in a pot set in a tray of water or along the side of a stream or watercourse. Watercress is an annual that can be grown in soil in gently running water.