Cress, Curled

   Curled Cress

Heirloom. Organic. Garden cress also called broadleaf cress–and other cresses: curly cress and watercress–are quick growing cool-weather vegetables. Sow cress in the garden early in spring, as early as 4 or 6 before the last frost, or grow cress indoors year round. Cress is quick growing from seed; it will be ready for harvest 15 to 20 days after sowing. Sow successive crops until mid summer. Sow cress again in early autumn for autumn and winter harvest.

Planting Curled Cress While starting seeds of the Curled Cress is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful.  Most gardeners sow Curled Cress  Seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed or plant is containers (grows great on a window ledge). Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Heirloom / Open Pollinated Curled Cress are cool weather loving plants that prefer well drained loose soil and an even amount of water. Plant heirloom Curled Cress in rows or hills but make sure the soil is well warmed. Plant seeds 1/4" deep. Plant Curled Cress in full sun. Germination should occur in 5-10 days in soil 70-85°F. 

In rows 3-5" apart. Height: 3”   Spacing: no spacing between rows is necessary Depth: 1/4  inch Germination: 5-10 days

Starting from Seed Indoors

Generally, the time to start your seeds is about 2- 3 weeks before the last expected spring frost date in your area, planting the seedlings outdoors about 2 weeks after that date. Another way to figure is to plan on setting out sturdy seedlings in the garden when night temperatures stay in the mid-50 degree range both day and night. Count back and sow seeds 2 to 3 weeks before that date normally arrives. Broadcast seeds over the area to be planted. Cover the seeds to a depth of approximately 1/4 inches of the potting mix. Mist each  pot with water until the soil appears moist. Place the pots in an area which will provide both light (which is required for germination) and heat, preferably about 65 to 70 degrees F and at least 8 hours of light each day. Check on the seeds every day and keep the seeds damp but not drenched by misting with your plant mister. You should see sprouting in about 5 to 10 days. Once your seedlings have reached about 2 to 3 inches in height, choose an area in your garden to transfer them. You can also use containers like barrels or clay pots. Dig holes twice the width and depth of each of your pots. Fill up each hole with water then let it drain off. Place a pot in the hole center and level so that your seedling is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Push dirt in carefully all the way to fill the hole back up. Water each seedling carefully so as not to soak the leaves or stem.  You can grow several crops during a season.  I grow these year round on my window ledge in my kitchen.

Direct-seeding into the Garden

Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 2 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the row. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 1/4 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 4 inches in rows approximately 12-18 inches apart, and cover seeds with 1/4 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for the Cress is approximately 5 to 10 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.