Add a crunchy, zesty flavor like no other to green salads, omelets, ripe tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and sandwiches with your own patch of fresh watercress. Once savored fresh from the garden, you won’t want to be without its sharp clean flavor. This healthy (high in Vitamins A & C), sprightly herb usually grows near running water, but its pretty rosettes of leafy stems will grow handily if you use our vigorous Dutch seed and keep plants very moist.
BIENNIAL/GROWN AS ANNUAL
Can handle some frost
Watercress is a cool weather crop. Make successive sowings several weeks apart to have a constant supply, starting in early spring. Plant watercress in a pot of seed starting mix and keep in a cool spot. Sow seeds one inch apart, do not cover with mix, but keep thoroughly moist. Germination should occur in about a week. Late summer-sown watercress will last well into cold weather.
THIN OR TRANSPLANT
Space seedlings 2 to 3 inches apart when they are large enough to handle.
Set out seedlings next to a source of clean, fresh flowing water or water them daily. Watercress grown in pots can be set in saucers of water, which must be changed regularly to imitate a moving stream. Or, set your seeded pot right under an often-used hose bib to benefit from stray sprinkles and drips. Snip back growing shoots to make plants branch from the base and harvest tender tips as needed. As flowers begin to bud up, leaves get smaller and their taste gets bitter, so pull and pick from younger plants.