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Growing cress


by Pippa Greenwood

I love growing cress. The seed is ridiculously cheap, and incredibly quick to germinate. And, of course, growing cress is a great way of introducing children to the pleasures of gardening.


CressIt is much maligned, but I rather like it. It has a little fire to its breath, adding 'zing' to salads, and perking up sandwiches. No, I'm not thinking of any trendy leaves from a supermarket 'luxury range', or from a delicatessen. I'm thinking of cress.

I love growing cress. The seed is ridiculously cheap, and incredibly quick to germinate. And, of course, growing cress is a great way of introducing children to the pleasures of gardening. Just buy the packets of seed, get sowing and you'll see the results within a week or two. No greenhouse needed - a well-lit window sill will suffice. You don't even need compost, as soggy kitchen roll or cotton wool will serve as a perfectly adequate growing medium.

Children always enjoy sowing the seed in patterns: a cross, a heart, a star, a smiley face or their own initials. I use recycled plastic trays, ideally the clear plastic sort with no holes, then about four thicknesses of kitchen roll, thoroughly dampened, then kept just moist at all times.

Making cress heads is great fun, too. Don't throw the shells from boiled eggs away - instead, wash them thoroughly, dry and fill with cotton wool, then water well and draw a face on the egg before topping the moist cotton wool off with mustard and cress seed.

Having an extra source of fresh greenery to hand is particularly useful at this time of year, when there is less available to harvest in the garden. And cress will grow considerably faster than rocket at this time of year!



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Gardeners' World Web User 30/12/2010 at 15:08

Mustard seeds give you a good crop to sprinkle on salads or omelettes at this time of year too. And don't forget mung beans and other sprouts to keep colds at bay. I have cress to thank for getting me running to school as a five-year-old to see how my saucerful was growing on the classroom windowsill so have always loved it. Children love to grow a broad bean as well and sprout a carrot top. I am sure there must be lots more ways to get them interested, probably being able to eat something scrumptious made with their produce would be the best enticement.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/01/2011 at 12:06

Egg and cress sarnies are divine.Must plant some cress and never buy another turkey - ever.

Gardeners' World Web User 06/01/2011 at 02:11

Comments: An excellent and convincing detailed description, I could not find it any anywhere in gardening books so far to the best of my knowledge , as I have looked at almost every book available in this area of growing herbs. The detailed description has answered many questions I came across, as I am an absolute beginner in practical gardening, 6 months experience in growing herbs for my personal use. Key terms ;(a) a well-let window sill will suffice. (b) Adequate growing medium. (c) Using recycle plastic trays……etc.; cress will grow faster than rocket at this time year I wish to see some more of growing herbs in such simplest way….[ in container] Thank you

Gardeners' World Web User 06/01/2011 at 16:20

i am actually a child and i like gardening

Gardeners' World Web User 06/01/2011 at 16:21

cress is really nice and i grow more

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