Watercress (Broad Leaf)
Latin Name: Nasturtium officinale
Item #: 78C
WATERCRESS - Broad leafed strain
oz/28 g - approx. 8,000 plants.
GREENHOUSE: Most growers prefer to start their seedlings during the late fall - Oct. to Nov. so that the seedlings will mature during Dec. and Jan., when the greenhouse is cool and not being used for bedding plants etc. Germinate the seed in a moist paper towel for about 10 days at 60°F/16°C. Seedlings produce a spider like root system (this helps the plant float in water.) Tender roots must be transplanted into flats or greenhouse benches, 0.25 in/6 mm deep in a mixture of 1/3 soil and 2/3 sand. The soil must be kept very moist, almost muddy, to encourage succulent growth. Transplant seedlings 8 in/20 cm apart in rows 8 in/20 cm apart. Grow plants at 55-65°F/13-18°C. Higher temperatures result in a very soft spindly growth.
HARVEST: Mature plants produce many runners and shoots which mound-up in dense rows. Trim back plants to about 4 in/10 cm above the soil. Cuttings are usually propagated from the first few harvests to provide new crops on a year round basis.
DIRECT SEEDING: Seed may be sown outdoors only if you have a moist shaded gravel area or a stream of slow, running fresh water on your property. Start seed indoors, as above, Apr. 1st. Transplant seedlings into Jiffy 7 peat pellets. Keep your transplants in a cool damp, shady area for about 3 weeks. Transplant outdoors in a shady moist area or along a shallow stream, about June 1st. Store freshly cut shoots in your refrigerator for 7 to 10 days in a bowl of water. Plants seem to be more tasty during cool weather, so harvest during cool spring and fall months only.