Popular in the diet of Roman soldiers centuries ago, people now still regard hydroponic watercress as great food in everyday meals. To be more specific, this water-loving perennial provides many nutritional advantages. But is growing watercress hydroponically at home possible? And how long does it take to grow watercress?
We will show you the most straight-to-the-point instructions on how to grow watercress at home, and detailed information on “ Where does watercress grow best?” or “How to grow watercress in aquaponics?”
Keep scrolling through our article to start exploring!
FAQ About Watercress
How long does it take to grow watercress?
To harvest watercress, there is a fixed period you should be aware of. To make the watercress seed well develop, you have to wait from 15 to 20 days.
According to many top chefs, the younger the leaves, the spicier it is. You could use this criterion to calculate your perfect time to use the watercress.
Best way to eat watercres?
Watercress is a typical kind of herb, which is grown for culinary purposes. Here are some common way of using it :
- Adding a little bit of watercress in the salad is one of the most favorite dishes of many people, as a small amount of watercress could be an alternative for salt.
- European use watercress to make sandwiches for their tea time.
- For soups, the peppery taste of the food works as a substitution for garnish.
- It is also a great idea to add watercress instead of spinach or kale due to its rich nutrition in smoothies.
Is watercress a Superfood?
Not only because of flavorful reasons, implementing watercress in the diet is also a good idea due to its amazing health benefits.
Besides, people use the Aggregate Nutrient Index (ANDI) to gauge the nutrition of food. The nutrient density of food has a scale ranging from 0 to 1000, and the higher the number, the healthier the food is.
The ANDI is pretty high for watercress as it contains more Vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, potassium, and calcium than any other vegetables.
Can you grow watercress in winter?
Like any other herbs, people cultivate watercress indoors and all year round, as there are no typical crops. However, in the cooler months, especially in winter, the leaves flavor will taste spicier on every pick.
How To Grow Hydroponic Watercress Indoors
As the meaning of the name hydroponic watercress, people cultivate watercress on water, and no soil is required here. Moreover, growing watercress hydroponically is quite easy, as there are several ways you could choose to apply, such as raising it in a pot indoors, in the garden, or even directly under the water. Here are some popular ways to grow watercress indoors you should not miss.
Growing With Stem Cuttings
When taking stem cuttings, there are some breeding instructions you should know:
- Start the process by cutting off a section of the stem. Otherwise, you could choose to buy a watercress bunch right in the supermarket or plant shops if possible.
- Prepare a glass or a jar of water and place the stem cutting into it. Keep waiting until the roots grow and have at least one inch in length.
- After the roots are ready, gently plant them in the wet soil around the water source.
Finally, twice a week, replace the water regularly to keep the plant growing well.
Cultivating From Seeds
People may think that cultivating seeds seems to be the most straightforward way. However, this is a misconception. To grow watercress from seeds, you need to do several complex steps. Traditionally, it is popular to hear that we could use cotton wool to grow the seedlings. This method is effective, but it is time-consuming and unnecessary.
Here are the best steps you should know:
- Pick a suitable place and vessel. A pot or a container is the easiest option you should have a try, just make sure that your pot has draining holes to obtain oxygen. Find a superficial bowl that should be somewhat larger in size in comparison with the full water to grow watercress.
- Add the potting rich into the container. The pH of this solution should be around 6.5 to 7.5. Afterward, disseminate seeds 1 cm in depth and keep them the average distance of 10 cm.
- Locate the pot inside a bigger one and fill them up with water. Remember that the pot should have water all the time as the watercress could not live well without moist feet.
How to grow watercress in aquaponics?
Growing watercress in the pond seems to be the most hands-off growing method; you could easily find wild watercress growing in natural environments like shallow streams. It is possible to use a growing bunning basket or through your native hardware. Then just let the basket cover your watercress seedlings and make them naturally float in the pond all the time.
This method is both simple to follow and effective, as the watercress could live well even longer than the other ways. However, this is just for a pond. If you want to grow watercress for both culinary and decorating purposes, it would be best to grow the plant in a pot or jar of water.
Regardless of what plant you’re growing, caring is a vital step to take. More specifically, water height should always be around a couple of inches in the large container. To prevent the water from getting stagnant, remember to change or add freshwater with a suitable amount.
In terms of fertilizing, the amount of periodical fertilizer is quite small. It should be less than half of the recommended rate on the label. To make the plants absorb more, mix the dilute solution well in water and add to the larger container.
For pest problems, there are some common types of insects eating your watercress leaves like whiteflies, lady beetles, and especially, snails.
To make everything under your control, use a natural insecticide to prevent the herb from the pest.
With the step-by-step instructions above, we bet that you have got quite a thorough understanding of how to grow watercress at home. Additionally, please keep in mind about basic notes we’ve listed above on how to care for the herb.
Now choose the most suitable method for you, and let get planting and enjoy the greatest watercress ever.