What Does Garden Cress Looks Like?
Garden cress plant looks like a small greenish-yellow flower with white spots. They are very easy to recognize when they bloom. Garden cress plants have two main parts: the stem part and the leaves. The stems are usually round or oval shaped, but not always. Some varieties have five or six stems instead of just one.
The leaves are either single or double leaflets, depending on the variety. Leaves are arranged in rows and along the stem. The leaves may be simple, wavy, twisted, pointed or even hairy. The flowers are tiny yellow flowers with white spots on them.
Flowering time varies from year to year; some blooms last only a few days while others bloom for months at a time!
How Do You Grow Garden Cress Plants?
Growing garden cress plants requires a little bit of care. The most common way to grow garden cress is in pots. These types of plants require less water than other kinds. They will also thrive better if you keep the soil moist during dry periods. Other ways to grow garden cress include hanging baskets, raised beds, trellises and planters.
Hanging Baskets: Garden cress plants can be grown in hanging basket type containers called “basket gardens”. These are typically long and slender with handles on each end for you to hang them. They can also be placed on a table or other surface.
Raised Beds: You can create a small garden bed that has about four inches of good quality soil in it. The plants can then be planted close together and climb up a trellis or other support system. This allows the leaves of the cress to be closer and easier to pick.
Trellises: You can train the cress plant to climb up a trellis or other support system. This helps keep the leaves of the plants closer and easier to pick, while allowing more sunlight into the plants themselves. It also looks very pretty and makes a nice addition to any garden.
Planters: You can plant cress in a large pot and put it on your porch or near your front door for easy access.
How do you care for garden cress plants?
Caring for your garden cress plants is relatively easy. The most important thing you need to remember is that garden cress is a cool season crop. This means that in the spring and fall you should keep the soil moist and apply water as needed. During the summer months, you will need to water the plants every day unless it has rained recently. You can also mulch around the plants to help keep in the moisture.
You will also need to trim the plants back to promote more bushy growth. The best time to do this is right after it blooms. Snip off the stem at the base and new stems will grow all along its length within a few weeks.
How do you pick garden cress?
The best time to pick garden cress is before it goes to bloom. You can do this by clipping off the stem just above the row of leaves. If left alone, it will flower and go to seed. The seeds are not really good to eat so many people remove the plants once they start to bloom. To keep the plant producing new leaves, clip off the bloom stem as soon as you see it begin to bloom.
How do you eat garden cress?
Once you pick the leaves, you can either eat them right away or store them in a container with a damp paper towel. If refrigerated, the leaves should stay fresh for about a week.
There are so many ways to eat garden cress that it would be impossible to list them all here. One thing is certain, once you start growing and eating this wonderful plant, you will be hooked! Some ideas include:
Add fresh leaves to a salad
Add fresh leaves to tuna or chicken salad
Add fresh leaves to deviled eggs
Place fresh leaves on top of a baked potato
Mix with mayonnaise and add to a sandwich
Add to scrambled eggs or an omelet
Fold in with cream cheese and serve with crackers
Combine with cream cheese, onions, and green peppers for appetizer dip
Combine with mayonnaise, brown sugar, and soy sauce for a delicious Asian style sauce to serve with chicken or shrimp
Combine with rice, black beans, and salsa for a quick burrito filling.
There are so many ways to eat garden cress that you will never run out of ideas. Just remember, the fresher the leaves the better they are. So snip those stems and enjoy!
Sources & references used in this article:
Ebb-and-flow and floating systems to grow leafy vegetables: a review for rocket, corn salad, garden cress and purslane by S Nicola, J Hoeberechts, E Fontana – VIII International Symposium on …, 2006 – actahort.org
Nourishing and healing prowess of garden cress (Lepidium sativum Linn.)- A review by S Sharma, N Agarwal – 2011 – nopr.niscair.res.in
Garden cress (Lepidium sativum Linn.) seed oil as a potential feedstock for biodiesel production by IA Nehdi, H Sbihi, CP Tan, SI Al-Resayes – Bioresource technology, 2012 – Elsevier
Garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) seed‐an important medicinal source: A by S Doke, M Guha – Journal of Natural Products of Plant Resources, 2014 – researchgate.net
… growth, photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism while at low dose it up regulates sulfur assimilation and antioxidant machinery in garden cress (Lepidium sativum L.) by SS Gill, NA Khan, N Tuteja – Plant Science, 2012 – Elsevier