How to Start Watercress From Seeds

Watercress can be grown in two ways—from cuttings bought from supermarkets, the green grocers or your local fresh farm market, or from seeds which you can sow yourself.

This herb is easy to grow and requires little attention once established.  They can be cultivated outdoors, in streams or even in individual containers.  They also have many uses be it gastronomic, decorative or medicinal.

To start watercress off from seeds, sow them lightly in pots filled with soil.  The soil you should ideally use must be a mixture of garden soil, organic compost, limestone and sphagnum moss.  Cover the seeds lightly with soil and water.

Watercress is naturalized in wet grounds so make sure to saturate the soil with water, keeping it that way at all times.  Allowing the soil to dry out will kill your watercress.  Put the container outdoors but in a shaded area away from direct sunlight.

It’s better to sow seeds in pots with draining holes and standing the pots in bigger containers filled with water. Cover the pots with clear plastic sheets.  Make sure to water regularly.

You can also germinate seeds by placing them in damp paper towels set in a shallow bowl.  The bowl must be filled with a quarter of an inch of water.  The bowl must be put in an area with a temperature of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Germination of watercress is quick—about a week to as long as 10 days.  You can then transfer the seedlings in individual peat containers and let them grow for about three weeks.  After that, you can finally set them outdoors where they can propagate freely.  Harvest before the watercress begins to flower.

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