Whilst there are many different types of watercress around the world, in Australia, we just have one generic variety.
Climate & Aspect
Watercress isn’t fussy and can be grown throughout Australia, to help it thrive plant it in a position that gets at least a couple of hours of morning sunshine. It prefers cooler climates.
How to grow watercress
As the name suggests watercress thrives on water. You can grow it in pots indoors, outside in your garden bed, fish pond or straight in the water.
How to grow in water from cuttings
Growing watercress in water is one of the easiest methods and requires no soil.
- Simply purchase a bunch of organic watercress from the supermarket that has lots of roots intact.
- Place in a vase of water with rocks at the bottom and fill with water.
- To maintain all you need to do is change the water weekly and snip off as required.
How to grow from seeds
Growing watercress from seeds is one of the more complex options but it is not impossible. Some methods grow seedlings in cotton wool and then plant but this process is lengthy and unnecessary.
- Firstly choose your location and vessel, when growing watercress from seeds using a pot or container is the easiest option. Before you get started to make sure your pot or container has drainage holes and find a shallow dish or a container that is slightly bigger than you can fill with water.
- Fill the container with potting rich (with a pH of approximately 6.5-7.5) and water well. Sow seeds 1 cm deep and 10 cm apart.
- Place the container inside the larger container and fill the outside container with water. Make sure you keep water in the pot at all times because watercress plants like to have wet feet.
How to grow in a pond
The most hands-off watercress growing method is growing watercress in a pond. Wild watercress is often found growing in shallow streams so in its natural environment and allows you to set and forget. Simply use a planting basket from Bunnings or your local hardware. Plant your watercress seedlings in the basket and let it float in your pond all day.
How to harvest
When it comes to harvesting watercress don’t think twice, it will take between 15-20 days from seed for the watercress shoots to fully develop. Simply snip off what you need and come back later for more (every 2-3 days). Top chefs believe that the younger leaves have more spice than the older leaves so pick and choose.
Watercress is fuss-free, the only thing you need to do is make sure that no weeds grow in the area as they’ll zap the nutrients from the soil and can take over the pot.
Watercress’ green leaves make it a target for many pests keep an eye out for:
- Spider mites
- Lady Beetles
To keep them under control simply a. remove the pest and then b. spray your watercress with a natural insecticide.
The best companion plants for watercress are chives, peppermint and wintergreen. As watercress is such a small crop it is perfect in between others.
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