Gardening

How to Grow Watercress Step by Step: Everything You Need to Know

Hello to all gardeners :-). In today’s article we are going to learn how to grow watercress step by step in our gardens.

To do this, we will see the different cultivation tasks that we have to carry out from sowing to harvesting the watercress . We will also see what are the benefits of watercress and some recipes with watercress that are delicious and are also very healthy.

What are watercress?

Before delving into how to grow watercress, let’s see what we are talking about when we talk about watercress.

Its scientific name is Nasturtium officinale but it is also commonly known as watercress , agron or watercress . It belongs to the brassica family.

Watercress is a plant that grows spontaneously near streams, places with stagnant water or swamps (it is therefore said that watercress is an aquatic or semi-aquatic plant ), so in ancient times it was considered a weed.

CULTIVATE BERROS STEP BY STEP

Once we know what watercress is, we go on to see step by step how to grow watercress . We will talk about the sowing of watercress , the pests and diseases that can attack them or the care of these plants, until we reach the end of the story … the watercress harvest! 

We started!

1. Sowing watercress: Where and when to sow?

When to sow the watercress?

It is recommended to sow the watercress in spring (late February or early March).

Where to get watercress seeds?

The seeds of watercress are available in specialty stores or online gardening. These seeds will be placed about a half inch deep in planting (1-1.5 cm).

Where to sow the watercress?

As we have discussed previously, watercress are plants that need to grow in places where there is water. That is, they constantly need the presence of water. However, we must be careful that animals such as cows or sheep do not drink in this water as they can transmit diseases.

Therefore, we have 2 possibilities when deciding where to sow watercress :

  • Sow watercress in the most humid places in the garden .
  • Sowing watercress in pots : placing a bowl of water under the pot.

There is another possibility which is to buy fresh watercress and put them in a plastic bag (perforated) with soil. Put that bag in a pot and under the pot put a bowl of water.

2. Caring for watercress

For the cultivation of watercress , clay soils, rich in humus, are recommended . With a depth of about 15 centimeters.

The best are the shady places so that they do not give them too much light.

As we have said previously, watercress needs a lot of water so irrigation will be abundant , always keeping the area very humid.

Also, if the plants bloom, you must cut the flowers before harvesting.

3. Harvesting the watercress

The watercress harvest will take place after approximately 2 months. When the plants are about 15 centimeters. At the time of harvesting, the lateral shoots must be removed.

To avoid damaging the roots, the cut will be made at about 5 centimeters.

Once we have harvested the watercress, it is recommended to wash them with cold water and consume them at the moment. On the contrary, if we want to use them later, we wait for them to dry and we will put them in the refrigerator.

4. Pests and diseases of watercress

As with other crops, we cannot forget about watercress pests and diseases . Therefore, below, we are going to see if there is any pest or disease to which we should pay special attention.

Especially the snails and the vaquita of watercress are the most important pests.

Snails

The snails  are mollusks herbivores who would really like moisture and bite the leaves of plants. If we observe a bright trace on the leaves, we can detect its presence.

They can affect both the leaves and the fruits of almost all plants. Especially the tender leaves  of chard, basil, spinach, lettuce, oregano, etc.

Here you have an article on how to eliminate snails and slugs from the garden .

The vaquita del cress

Apart from snails, there is another plague of watercress that can appear when growing this vegetable. It is known as “the vaquita del cress.”

It is a tiny black insect of the coleoptera family (“beetles”) that eats young leaves. If the plague is strong it can cause great damage.

Watercress benefits

Once we have learned how to grow watercress, we are going to see what their benefits are and what recipes we can make with them.

There are many beneficial properties of watercress ; Of all of them, the following stand out:

  • Rich in calcium , so they strengthen our bone system
  • Properties purgative and diuretic
  • Antioxidants like beta-carotene
  • Vitamin C and Vitamin K
  • In addition, it is low in calories.

Cooking recipes with watercress

After seeing what their benefits are, we are going to see what recipes we can make with them. From some simpler to others more complex. For all levels of cooks on the blog!

  • The simplest thing is to consume them in a salad along with other ingredients such as lettuce, endive, … and a good dressing.
  • They are also very rich in sandwiches or sandwiches .
  • As an accompaniment to meat and fish dishes.
  • Watercress cream : We need watercress, potatoes, leeks, garlic, chicken broth, olive oil, salt, pepper and liquid cream. In the frying pan, fry the potatoes and leeks. Then the garlic and the chopped watercress are added. Then add the chicken broth and cook for about 20 minutes. After that time, put everything in the blender until it is a creamy texture. A little liquid cream is added and the mixer is passed again. And it would already be!

I also leave you here the link of some articles of other spring crops:

  • How to grow asparagus in the garden .
  • How to grow beets at home .

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