Wednesday, 26 November 2014

HOW TO GROW CRESS


Click here for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop

We all remember growing cress in school as as a child, as it was always eagerly grown to demonstrate seed germination. Cress is a great crop to grow to add to salads and sandwiches (who doesn't love egg and cress sandwiches!).   

This salad leaf is easy to grow all year round on a windowsill or can be successfully planted outside once the risk of frost have passed. Varieties include Common, Curled or Greek Cress. 

You can choose to grow your cress on a substrate like kitchen roll or into soil. It grows best in shallow containers 1-2 inches deep.  Line the dish with either cotton wool, tissue or kitchen roll.  Wet the paper well (but do not water log) and sprinkle the seeds on the surface.  Cover the tray in cling film to keep the moisture in.

Germination takes place 24-48 after sowing and can be harvested five to seven days later when it is 1.5 - 2 inches high. 
Cress doesn't regenerate very well so sow a new batch frequently to ensure a good supply.

Alternatively you can plant cress onto the surface of pots of damp compost or directly into soil outside from May onwards.  Select a sheltered position and keep the soil moist as it will bolt if conditions become  too hot or dry.  The advantage of planting into soil is that the cress takes up nutrients in the soil which are unavailable on the kitchen paper method.  

As cress is a very fast crop it is often used as an inter crop.  It can be grown while another vegetable crop is still filling out and is harvested long gone before the main crop needs its space.

For related articles click onto: