Grow Your Own

Land cress

Land cress is sometimes referred to as American cress. It is a tasty watercress substitute, ready to eat in seven to eight weeks after sowing. It is rich in vitamins, iron and calcium and provides a continuous supply over a long period. It is easy to grow. Being hardy, it will provide pickings through the winter if covered with a cloche or similar protection.

Barbarea verna (cress)

Sow

Sow seeds thinly 13mm (½in) deep from March to August in rows 15cm (6in) apart. Plants for overwintering can be sown from August to September in rows 30cm (12in) apart.

Grow

Land cress does best in a cool, moist soil and part shade.

When large enough to handle thin seedlings 10cm (4in) apart.

Keep plants well watered, especially sowings made in the spring.

Common problems

Slugs and snails: These feed on the young seedlings and you'll see the tell tale slime trail on the soil around your crop, as well as on the leaves.

Remedy: There are many ways to control slugs and snails, including beer traps, sawdust or eggshell barriers, copper tape and biocontrols.

More info on Slugs and snails

Harvesting

Cut plants regularly while they are fresh and young, as this will encourage further growth.


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