On and off I’ve talked about watercress quite a lot over the past couple of years and there is always some surprise in the comments that it can be grown on an allotment or in a garden. I’m guessing that this is because what we see in supermarkets is sourced from specialised farms where it’s grown in streams or watercress beds and also because I don’t think I’ve ever seen the seeds for sale in any of the ‘normal’ outlets.
We came across them by chance at a Franchi Seeds open day. If you ever get the opportunity to go to one do, their range of seeds is extensive and one of the more interesting.
I grow it in bags, these from Wilkinson are a bit deeper than needed so I folded the top over. Then it goes like this:
Fill the bag to a depth of 20cm with multi purpose compost.
Water the compost well and sow the seeds thickly.
Add another centimetre of compost.
Place the bag in light shade and keep the compost damp.
Sown earlier in the year than normal I’ve covered the bag with some clear plastic sheet leaving a gap at the side for the air to circulate.
It’s that simple. There’s no need to thin out and bar the odd slug that tries to get into the bags it’s untroubled by any pests. The seedlings in the first photograph were sown just under three weeks ago and if the weather continues to be as good as it is now I’d expect to start picking it in a months time, although if you like micro greens you could cut sooner.
The details for Franchi are here.