Garden cress, or ground cress, does not need waterlogged soil to grow. It can therefore be easily cultivated in the vegetable garden.
Its flavor is very spicy, more pronounced than that of watercress.
In summary, what you need to know:
Last name : Barbarea verna (syn. Barbarea praecox)
Family : Brassicaceae
Type : leaf vegetable, condiment plant
Vegetation : biennial, evergreen
Height : 40-60 cm
Exposure : sun, partial shade
Ground : drained, rich in humus, not too dry to cool
Sowing : March to August
Harvest : July to November
Sowing and planting garden cress
Contrary to watercress which needs to grow in water, garden watercress grows in normal soil.
Garden watercress is sown in spring and summer, in rows, in the ground.
Cover the seeds with 5 cm of fine soil, keep the soil cool and then, after emergence, thin out, leaving one plant every 10-15 cm.
You can also sow in a container or in a planter.
If you sow in a nursery, transplant the seedlings at the 5-leaf stage, in place, in the vegetable garden.
Maintenance of garden cress
- Water regularly to keep the soil relatively cool, making watercress less pungent and more tender;
- Mulch the soil in summer to limit water evaporation;
- Hoe and remove weeds;
- Remove the branches carrying flowers during the 2nd year of cultivation, to prolong the harvests a little.
Garden watercress harvest
The harvest begins between 2 months and 2 and a half months after sowing. Cut off the larger leaves as needed, and let the rest grow.
IF you protect your garden watercress from frost (frame, tunnel greenhouse, wintering veil, etc.), you can also harvest during the winter following sowing.
Diseases and pests that affect garden cress
Garden cress is attacked by aphids, slugs and snails.