Growing Watercress in Containers, Ground
Hello gardeners, we are back with a new topic today and the topic is all about growing watercress in containers and ground. Do you want to grow watercress? Well and then you will need to follow this complete article to know about growing watercress. In this article, we will also mention all the requirements for growing watercress.
Introduction to Watercress
Watercress or yellow cress may be a species of aquatic angiosperm within the cabbage Cruciferae. Its botanical name is common watercress. Watercress may be a rapidly growing, perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. It is one of the oldest well-known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. Watercress and lots of its relatives, like cress, mustard, radish, and wasabi, are noteworthy for his or its piquant flavors. The hollow stems of watercress float in water.
A Step-by-Step Planting Guide for Growing Watercress in Containers, Pots, and in the Ground
Considered one of the oldest leaf vegetables consumed by humans, watercress may be a close cousin of mustard, cabbage, and arugula. Watercress offers many nutrients and health benefits and may be utilized in salads, soups, sandwiches, and more to feature a refreshing, peppery flavour. While considered an aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial plant that’s often found near slow-moving water, you’ll also grow watercress in containers indoors or anywhere outdoors, as long as they’re shaded from the recent afternoon sun and have much water.
Types of Watercress
In addition to traditional watercress, there are a few varieties or types that are nearly interchangeable with it. These are different plant species and all differing a bit in flavour and even texture.
- Garden Cress: Spicier flavour, like horseradish.
- Upland Cress: Thinner stems and more delicate flavour. This variety often comes in plastic bags, with the cress that is still attached to the roots.
- Korean Watercress: More crunchy and bitter.
Growing Watercress in Containers
How to Purchase the Watercress Seeds?
Seeds can be easily ordered online or from gardening supply stores and nurseries. Good and popular varieties of watercress include English Watercress and even Broad Leaf Cress.
You can even start growing from mature watercress purchased at a supermarket or in any farmer’s market. You need to cut the ends, and then soak the base of the stalks in water for a few days to encourage root growth, and then proceed to plant them in the soil as you would from seed.
How to Prepare a Container for Planting Watercress?
Choose an outsized container or planter with drainage holes that are a minimum of 6 inches or 15.2 cm deep. Add a layer of landscaper’s cloth at the rock bottom of the container to stay the potting mix from escaping once you water. Add pieces of broken pots or small pebbles to the rock bottom layer of the container to permit permanent drainage.
You can even use multiple small containers and then place them in a larger drainage tray.
Plastic containers are recommended over earthenware ones, which may dry out too quickly for watercress.
Place a bigger drainage tray or bucket beneath the planting container. You would like to water the plant often. Its soil should be wet in the least times. You’ll put excess water within the tray or bucket to stay the plant wet.
You can also place small pebbles within the drainage tray to permit water to flow freely into the growing container.
Suitable Soil for Growing Watercress in Containers
Fill the growing container with potting mix. You need to use a soilless mixture that drains well and that contains peat moss and perlite or even vermiculite. Leave approximately two inches or 5 cm of space to the top rim of the container and water deeply then mix well.
The ideal pH of the potting mix needs to be 6.5 and 7.5.
How to Sow Seeds in Containers?
Sow the watercress seeds. You need to place the seeds 1/4 inch or 64 cm deep in the potting mix, by allowing three to four inches or 7.6 to 10.2 cm between each seed.
Water Requirement for Growing Watercress in Container
Better water heavily. You will need to soak the potting mix deeply enough so that water fills the drainage tray below roughly halfway full, but doesn’t rise above the growing container. Replace the water within the drainage tray with water every two to 3 days.
Make sure the tray never dies out. Check it daily to ascertain if you would like to feature more water.
To keep the soil thoroughly cover the surface with a skinny, clear plastic sheet that has small holes poked in it, which can retain water and permit airflow. The sheet is often removed when the sprouts begin to seem above the soil.
Mist the soil surface well with water in a spray bottle every other day.
Suitable Position for Growing Watercress in Containers
You need to place the container in indirect sunlight. Position the watercress where it will receive roughly at least six hours of natural light each day, but try to avoid harsh and direct rays that can burn the young plants.
You can keep the containers indoors or even when the weather is regularly between 13°C and 24°C where you live, you can also place the container outside in warmer months.
Suitable Fertilizer for Growing Watercress in Containers
Fertilize the watercress by adding a very small amount of water-soluble or all-purpose gardening fertilizer to the water in the drainage tray at the package-recommended rate.
How to Harvest Watercress?
In case if you miss this: Bell Pepper Growing Tips, Ideas, Tricks.
Harvest the watercress when the plants have grown roughly five to six inches or 12.7 to 15.2 cm in height by using the kitchen or any gardening scissors to trim the top four inches or 10.1 cm of the plant as needed.
You need to avoid taking more than a third of any plant when cutting to allow the plants enough foliage to continue its growth.
Periodic harvesting will help to encourage new growth.
Growing Watercress Outdoors in the Ground
1) Start growing from mature watercress or seeds
You can easily purchase mature watercress in any supermarket or farmer’s market. Just soak the bottom of the stalks in water for a couple of days to encourage root growth and proceed to plant them within the soil as you’d from seed.
You can also start watercress from seeds, which you’ll find at a green market, gardening store, or online.
2) Choose a location for planting
Watercress grows very well in cool, but sunny spots with partial shade. Planting watercress within the shallow portion of a steady-flowing, freshwater stream or creek is right, but you’ll also create your pool or bog of water.
Ideal planting times are in early spring after the last frost, or early fall before temperatures drop too low.
3) Prepare the growing site
If you have got a gently flowing stream or creek, then simply mix in four to 6 inches or 10.1 to 15.2 cm of organic compost into the highest six to eight inches or 15.2 to 20.3 cm of soil.
4) Create a growing site
If you don’t have an existing water source, dig a hole that’s roughly two feet or 61 cm across and 12 inches or 35 cm deep to make a bog. Line rock bottom and sides with an outsized sheet of heavy plastic pond liner, leaving a four-inch or 15.2 cm lip at the highest, and punch a couple of holes within the sides for drainage. Fill the lined hole with a mix of 1 part garden soil, one part coarse builder’s sand, one part compost, and a couple of fertilizers.
5) Water the growing site
If planting next to a stream, confirm the soil is deeply soaked. If you have created a growing site, then fill the bog to the brim with water.
If you have created a suitable growing site, water the world every two to 3 days to make sure it remains thoroughly soaked, or install a pump to stay freshwater circulating through the bog.
6) Plant the watercress
Sow the seeds 1/4 inch or 6.3 mm deep and roughly 1/2 inch or 12.6 mm apart, and canopy with a skinny layer of fine gardening soil.
You can also start the watercress indoors using the tactic above or transplant mature plants. However, because the plants are often delicate, they’ll prove difficult to transplant.
After, the watercress has sprouted, thin the seedlings roughly four to 6 inches or 10.1 to 15.2 cm apart. If Pieris rapae flowers appear, trim them back with gardening scissors to encourage new growth.
7) Harvest the watercress
Once the plants have grown roughly five to 6 inches or 12.7 to 15.2 cm tall using the kitchen or gardening scissors to trim the highest four inches or 10.1 cm of the plant as required.
Avoid taking quite a 3rd of any plant when cutting to permit the plants enough foliage to continue growing.
Periodic harvesting helps encourage new growth.
Care of Potted Watercress
The care of potted watercress is fairly very simple and the plant is kept wet. Watercress does not have high nutrient needs, although it may become deficient in phosphorus, potassium, or even iron. Phosphate deficiencies appear as stunted and even dark-colored foliage while potassium deficiencies create scorching on older leaves. Yellowing the plant, often in winter, may indicate an iron deficiency. To combat these, you need to mix a water-soluble fertilizer with the water according to the recommended rates.
A few pests such as whitefly, spider mites, and even snails may assault your potted watercress plants. Insecticidal soap can also control whitefly and even natural predators such as lady beetles, predatory mites, and even thrips can control spider mites. Snails can be trapped or just picked off by hand.
The very tiny and dime-sized leaves of the watercress can be easily harvested throughout the year. The flavour of it is best in the cooler months of the year and lessens in flavour once the plant has flowered or temps rise above 30°C. you need to harvest watercress just by cutting the plant back to 4 inches or 10 cm. and then allow it to re-grow again. The leaves can be refrigerated for nearly about a week but are best used fresh for culinary or even medicinal purposes.
Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Watercress in Containers, Ground
Is watercress a perennial?
To harvest watercress, cut the leaves and stems a couple of inches above the bottom. Watercress may be a perennial, meaning it’ll come year after year, and new growth will come up from the bottom after each cutting. Although it is often harvested any time of year, its flavour is best in the cooler months.
What are the simplest thanks to growing watercress?
Watercress is straightforward to grow from the seed.
There’s no got to cover your seeds. Just sprinkle them over the surface of moist compost and then they will sprout out very happily. Sow regularly through spring and early summer for a continuing supply of fresh leaves.
Where does watercress grow best?
Watercress prefers an edge in light shade but will grow well in a sunny position, providing the soil or compost is wet. It must be kept moist all year round, so grows well in damp or wet soil or a container that sits in a deep saucer crammed with water.
What conditions does watercress get to grow?
To survive, watercress must be kept permanently wet. It can grow submerged in water (as it does in a stream) but will do exactly also in damp soil. The only thanks to achieving this are often to take a seat in your container in a deep saucer crammed with water.
How does one look after a watercress plant?
The key’s to stay the roots submerged underwater. The water should be changed once or twice every week. While watercress will have best in a sort of soil conditions, its ideal range is between a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Potted watercress plants will use a soilless mix containing perlite or even vermiculite combined with peat.
Does watercress need full sun to grow?
Watercress may be a perennial planted for its clean, slightly peppery tasting leaves and stems. Watercress also can be grown in consistently wet soil with a soil pH of 6.5 to 7.5 fully sun, otherwise, you can mimic natural conditions just by growing watercress plants in a bucket or other container.
How many sorts of watercress are there?
There are three major groups of cress:
- watercress that is Nasturtium officinale
- cress that is Lepidium sativum
- upland cress that is Barbarea verna
How does one grow roots from watercress?
The roots of the watercress are fragile, so you need to handle your transplants with care. Plant your roots gently within the wet soil around your water source. Your watercress should grow very easily and proliferate well there. To plant your watercress in containers, select two containers to stack within one another.
When I cut cress will it grow back?
Cut the cress.
Start cutting the cress when it grows to three or 4 inches tall. If you narrow the plant back to ½ inch, it’ll quickly regrow.