Growing Water Cress


Cress.–Two very unlike species of plants are grown under the name of cress,–the upland-cress and the water-cress. There are still other species, but not much known in this country.

The upland cress, or the true pepper grass, may be grown on any garden soil. Sow early in the spring. It makes a rapid growth and can be cut in from four to five weeks. Succession of sowings must be made, as it runs quickly to seed. The curled variety is the one usually grown, as the leaves may be used for garnishing as well as for ‘salads. One packet of seed will be sufficient for each sowing. Any good soil will do. Sow thickly in drills 12 to 18 inches apart. In summer it runs to seed quickly, so that it is usually grown in spring and fall.

The water-cress is more exacting in its culture, and can be successfully grown only in moist places, such as edges of shallow slow-running creeks, open drains, or beds excavated near such streams. A few plants for private use may be grown in a frame, provided a retentive soil is used and attention given to watering the bed often. Watercress may be propagated from pieces of the stem, used as cuttings. If one is fond of water-cress, it is well to colonize it in some clean creek or pool. It will take care of itself year by year. Seeds may also be used for propagating it.


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