When is Watercress Ready for Picking?

An herb that can be used both as an alternative medicine and in food, growing your own watercress is a delightful hobby.  They require little attention once established and will give you a continuous harvest all throughout the year.

From seeds, it actually takes about 60 to as long as 70 days for watercress to reach maturity.  Watercress grown from cuttings will take a shorter time to mature.

But this aquatic herb can be harvested when they are still young and tender.  In fact, they should be harvested when they are at this stage as mature watercress—those that have grown mature enough to have flowers—will taste too strong and rank to be edible.

They can be picked when they reach a height of at least three inches.  To harvest this perennial herb, simply trim or cut off the top half portion of the shoots.  Do not include the roots as they will grow side shoots after harvest.

Watercress has a short shelf life so do not harvest everything all at once and store them.  Instead, pick only what you will use right away.

A peppery-tasting herb, many gardeners believe that the taste of watercress is at its best in spring and autumn.

You can continue harvesting your watercress but after three cuts, the stalks will begin to toughen.  The taste will be a bit stronger, too.  At this stage, you can feed your watercress with organic fertilizer.