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Formerly an old-fashioned ingredient in Watercress sandwiches served at tea-time, Cress is enjoying new popularity among the multitude of lush salad greens now available. New varieties offer larger leaves, various levels of bite, and rapid growth. Microgreens have hit the big time, bringing sprouted seeds into vogue in chichi restaurants. Cress prefers cool weather and moist soil, otherwise the refreshing peppery taste becomes unpleasantly hot. Most Cress will be ready for tossing into a salad or soup three to four weeks from seeding. Harvest with scissors and water with kelp or fish fertilizer to promote rapid regrowth.

Average seed life: 2 years.

Broad Leaf Cress

Broad Leaf Cress Broad Leaf Cress Broad Leaf Cress
32 days. Here is a fast-growing, peppery-sweet Cress that performs well in any garden soil and requires less coddling than standard Watercress. Broad Leaf Cress features large leaves up to 3" long and 1" wide, making it ideal for sandwiches! Sow Broad Leaf in the early spring in moderately fertile soil. Broad Leaf hails from Holland and is delicious in a savory spring soup: in a soup pot, saute diced Onions and Garlic in a bit of olive oil till tender. Add chicken or vegetable broth, diced Potatoes, white or red beans and pasta and simmer until the Potatoes are tender. Add a couple large handfuls of coarsely chopped Cress and season to taste. Don't forget to add croutons and some freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese. (OP.)

One packet of about 1,000 seeds
Catalog #2050
  • Buy 10 for $3.40 each and save 10%
  • Buy 50 for $2.80 each and save 26%

Availability: In stock


Gardening Tips

Cress Sowing Instructions
Planting Depth
Row Spacing:12”
Seed Spacing:1/2”
Days to Germination: 3-5 days
Germination Temperature: 45°-85°F

A snap to grow in almost any soil, Cress is vitamin rich and a lovely addition to soups and salads. Sow Cress seed as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring, every 8 to 10 days, in rows spaced one foot apart for a continuous harvest. For larger plants, thin seedlings to 4" to 8" apart. If you plan to harvest Cress in the “cut and come again” method, you don’t need to thin out the seedlings. Cress can tolerate a bit of shade in the garden and tastes best if grown in moderately fertile, moist soil. Try starting some Cress indoors in a sunny, well-ventilated area in flats for very early spring salads. Watercress loves wet soil and is traditionally grown next to streams. To replicate these conditions, use a 4" high pot with a deep saucer and keep the saucer filled with water at all times.

Success with Cress
The secret to growing good Cress is vigilance. It is one crop you don't want to let sneak by you. Harvest it when it is just big enough to pick; don't let it get too large or too strongly flavored. Succession plantings are a must, so that you always have some new Cress coming along. Cool weather is kindest to Watercress and a winter greenhouse is almost as good as a stream bed for growing it. It is easy to keep the soil moist when the sun is low in the sky and little water evaporates.

Shade Tolerance