Water Cress

(Nasturtium officinale) One of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans, watercress was first cultivated commercially in the early 1800's. The clean, lightly peppery flavor of this perennial herb adds kick to salads, stir fries and even smoothies. This very fast-growing, cool weather-loving plant can be grown in the cooler months and will suffer during the peak of summer's heat, so be sure to sow the seeds early in spring and succession sow frequently until the heat of summer sets in. The tiny seeds should be broadcast over a prepared area and lightly raked in about 3 weeks before the last frost date. The key to a successful watercress crop is providing plants with consistent moisture. It makes a perfect addition to a garden water feature! Watercress can be grown in the garden. It prefers very moist soil that is fairly rich. Ideal germination temperature is 50-60F. Keep soil moist until germinated. Seeds germinate in 7-14 days. Space plants 9-12 inches apart.

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