Watercress is an amazing soft green annual herb that contains vitamins and many other beneficial substances. The unusual spicy taste of young leaves resembles horseradish, mustard or radish. Eating this plant in food helps to restore a person's strength after an illness, strengthen immunity, cleanse the body of toxins and toxins, and regulate blood pressure. Growing watercress on a windowsill will help provide the family with nutrients all year round.
The annual vegetable plant watercress belongs to the genus Bugwort of the Cruciferous family. It is used in cooking, cosmetology, traditional medicine is widely used, fighting many ailments. Young leaves with a white stem are eaten. It has been known since antiquity, even Hippocrates believed that watercress purifies the blood, restores strength to the suffering.
All this is due to the amazing combination of elements useful for humans. In the composition of watercress, scientists discovered carotene, vitamins A, E, C, K, D, PP, almost all B vitamins, a huge amount of minerals, and besides them, proteins, sugars, essential and fatty oils, flavonoids, propsolin glycoside and alkaloid lepidine. It is hard to believe that delicate green leaves on white thin stems contain so much of everything that the human body needs.
Usually only young leaves are eaten. A plant that has reached maturity, flowering and fruiting, becomes not so tender, the concentration of nutrients in the leaves decreases. Oil is made from seeds, but for this you need to have equipment, at home they are insisted on vegetable oil. The taste of young sprouts is sharp, piquant, reminiscent of horseradish, radish or mustard. Three types of watercress are usually cultivated:
Curly lettuce has heavily cut leaves, which reflects the name, its varieties are early-ripening or mid-ripening. Early ripening ripens 3 weeks after the first shoots appear. Whole-leaved has larger, less ornate leaves. Among its varieties there are both early ripening (the most famous variety "Dukat") and late ripening. Sowing watercress is known for such early ripening varieties as "Dansky", "Zabava". Seeds of different species do not have noticeable differences, but grown plants differ in their appearance. Leaves, depending on the variety, are bright green, yellowish green or even gray.
Frosts of watercress are not terrible, you can sow it on the site as soon as the snow melts, it becomes the first vitamin green that is eaten in spring. It grows very quickly, it is not at all picky about the soil. 100 g of greens contains only 32 kilocalories, which is why it is simply not replaceable for weight loss.
All this together makes watercress so popular and in demand. Originally from Asia, this amazing vegetable has taken root in all cuisines of the world. In Europe, it is introduced into salads, served with meat and fish, and decorated with sandwiches and soups. The French make soufflés, gravies and mousses from it. The Chinese serve it with sugar as a dessert - a combination that surprises Europeans, but is becoming more and more popular.
Watercress is known for its antioxidant and mild sedative properties, when used regularly, it can normalize sleep and blood pressure, and relieve depression. Traditional medicine widely uses it as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diuretic, wound healing, anti-sclerotic, sedative. Leaves treat many skin conditions, wounds and ulcers, chronic cough, gallbladder problems and joint pain. Official medicine recommends consuming watercress regularly to prevent eye diseases and many types of cancer. Dentists advise to eat leaves, germinated seeds of watercress to prevent periodontal disease and strengthen tooth enamel.
Cosmetology uses the leaves, juice and seed oil of this wonderful salad for skin and hair care. Fighting pimples and acne, it shows great results. All of this is worth considering growing watercress at home.
Video recommendations for sprouting watercress at home.
You can grow watercress on the windowsill all year round, from the moment of planting to consumption, a maximum of 2 weeks pass. This can get rid of seasonal vitamin deficiency, cure many ailments, help with weight loss. And only too high air temperature can interfere.
First you need to buy seeds. The expiration date must be indicated on the package, it is desirable that at least six months remain until its end. In addition, you need to carefully examine the packaging - if the seeds get wet, then they ceased to be a suitable material for sowing. After making sure that the seeds have retained their suitability, you can proceed to the selection and preparation of dishes.
You can plant watercress in the ground so that it grows, almost like in a vegetable garden. To do this, put a layer of expanded clay for drainage in a low flower pot, on top of a soil rich in humus 3 cm thick. Before that, it is advisable to soak the seeds in warm, settled water, they are saturated with it while the soil is being prepared for them. Water with seeds is poured onto the prepared soil so that the seeds are distributed as evenly as possible. A centimeter layer of earth is spread on top of the seeds, watered, covered with cellophane or cling film, removed to a dark place with an air temperature of +7 degrees.
The next day, the film must be removed, the crops watered, then closed again. In a couple of days, shoots will appear, they can be thinned out so that there is a distance of 1 - 2 cm between the shoots. Then the pot can be opened, transferred to a warmer and brighter room, the temperature should not be higher than +15 degrees. Over the next week (approximately), you need to make sure that fresh air gets into the room, water the seedlings, loosen the ground, if it becomes compacted, turn the pot 180 degrees in relation to the sun. When the plants reach a height of 7-10 cm, and this usually happens 2 weeks after sowing, you can cut the crop with a sharp knife or scissors and eat. You need to cut off exactly as much as will go for food immediately, you do not need to store it.
Balcony watercress can be grown without soil. Any shallow plastic container will do. On its bottom, you need to lay a 2 cm layer of gauze, cotton wool or any cotton rag, moisten abundantly with water, lay the seeds on top, previously soaked for several minutes in warm water. Then the container is covered with foil and put away in a dark place. After the first sprouts appear, the film is removed and the sprouts are looked after in the same way as in the previous description.
If you wish, you can do without a cloth. The funniest way to grow is to sow watercress seeds in a tea strainer, put it in a cup, and spill it through with warm, settled water so that the bottom of the strainer touches the surface of the water. Friendly shoots should appear in a couple of days. The main thing is to remember to spray them with water (or add it to the cup), turn them 180 degrees daily and keep them out of the heat.
In a week and a half, all this can be eaten directly with the roots. If there are several strainers, you can arrange the cultivation so that there is always a portion of vitamin greens at the table, for example, for breakfast. With this cultivation, even younger greens are eaten than when grown in the ground. If you wish, you can not grow the leaves at all, but eating the sprouted seeds is also very useful.
Video review on sowing watercress seeds and the process of further growing them at home.
In winter, I really want fresh herbs and vegetables. In stores, we are usually offered watery tomatoes and cucumbers that do not smell. Where to get vitamins? There is an exit! Today I want to talk about how to grow your own vegetable garden on the windowsill!
Seeds are usually sown in early spring. But this plant withstands sowing and in late autumn - winter. You can grow watercress in rows. But he gives a good harvest and in crops with ribbons or continuous beds.
Moreover, you can sow the salad in several passes: from early spring to the onset of the summer heat. In later lines it is undesirable to do this: the plant will start throwing out arrows, which will deteriorate its taste. From August, you can start sowing again.
One of the main advantages of growing watercress is its very fast growth rate. Literally half a month after sowing, it is already suitable for human consumption.Watercress on the windowsill: how ... Growing watercress on a windowsill Growing watercress on a windowsill ... Watercress: The Best Tips for ... Watercress: planting, leaving and ...
The seeds of this salad are relatively large. They need to be evenly distributed over the grooves 1 centimeter deep. If in open ground 1 gram of seeds is consumed per 1 m2, then in a greenhouse this rate should be at least doubled. To get a large rosette of leaves, the distance between two adjacent plants should be at least 5 centimeters, and after diving - at least ten. The soil above the sowing site should be compacted. After 3 days, the first shoots appear.
If you do not adhere to agricultural technology or simply choose old seeds, then you can ruin the entire crop or not get it at all. After all, the proverb "what you sow, you reap" is not just nice words.
It is not difficult to grow a salad as a whole, but it is still better to choose the most unassuming types and varieties. Especially if you plant it for the first time.
Leafy varieties are much easier to grow on their own than cabbage varieties. The latter are more demanding on conditions and need constant care, and they mature longer.
Lettuce does not require too active and difficult care (although it reacts painfully to heat and drought) and ripens very quickly - edible greens will appear in a couple of weeks.
However, it is worth remembering that a leafy one at home rarely grows large, to the same size as the one sold in the store. To do this, the first shoots must be planted from each other or thinned out - 1 - 2 cm immediately after the first shoots and 3 - 4 cm when leaves appear. But, in principle, medium-sized leaves are no less tasty, so it is not even necessary to grow them for a long time.
This is the best way to start planting salad at home on the windowsill. Failure is almost impossible here.
He is unpretentious and even cold-resistant (he has enough temperature +15 - 18 degrees). The main thing is to regularly moisten the soil and air.
You will get the harvest in 2 weeks.
The short growing season assumes that the supply of nutrients accumulated in the seeds of the crop will be sufficient until the time of harvest. Vitamin greens can be obtained using soil, water or other types of substrate. Consider how to grow watercress on a windowsill in various ways. The planting technology in each case has slight differences.
The traditional way of growing watercress at home involves sowing seeds in an earthen mixture. You can purchase a special soil for vegetable seedlings or prepare the soil yourself.
To do this, mix in equal proportions:
The soil dug out in the garden is recommended to be ignited in the oven or spilled with Fitosporin solution. This will get rid of the pest larvae and destroy the spores of the fungus.
1-2 cm of expanded clay drainage is placed on the bottom of the container. Fill with a layer of fertile soil, not reaching the top edge. Spill the soil with settled water and tamp lightly. Seeds are sown thickly on the surface and 1 cm of the remaining soil is covered. The dish can be covered with plastic or left uncovered. In the first case, the seeds will sprout a day earlier.
You can grow watercress on a windowsill without using land. For the formation of greenery, there is enough water and microelements contained in the seeds. As a suitable substrate, ordinary cotton wool, foam rubber, paper napkins are chosen. Landing technology consists of the following steps:
In the created microclimate, the first shoots of watercress will appear in the first few days. After that, you should remove the shelter.
In addition to the listed substrates, you can plant seeds in peat or sawdust, having previously scalded them with boiling water and cooled.
Another way to get the vitamin spice is to grow watercress at home using water. To do this, you will need a planting container, a fine sieve and gauze. First, a structure is built so that there is water at the bottom of the bowl, then a mesh is fixed on which the seeds are placed. Additionally, it is recommended to use cheesecloth folded in 2-3 layers. When planting, the surface of the water should barely touch the seeds. Fine roots grow through the sieve, in contact with the liquid. The watercress grown in this way is consumed along with the roots.
The great thing about watercress is that you don't even need to use soil to grow it. In fact, you can use any dish (plate, bowl, plastic container) with a substrate on the bottom - cotton wool, a sponge, or even a paper towel can be used as such. I myself germinated my first cress seeds on a paper towel.
Our sowing base is ready. Then we take ourselves watercress seeds , pour them into a container and fill with a small amount of water. You will see: the water, as it were, will enclose each grain in a shell - this is done in order to evenly distribute the seeds, because they are sown thickly. And then we just gently pour the water along with the seeds onto our prepared surface, trying to ensure that the seeds lay on it in one row and more or less evenly.
You don't need to do anything else with the seeds themselves. We cover our container on top with cling film or an ordinary plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect, and put it on the windowsill away from the battery and in a semi-shaded place (the watercress does not need a lot of light and does not like heat either).
Watercress seeds hatch pretty quickly - usually within a day, and after another day, sprouts appear.Then we remove the film and then just take care of the seedlings: we water them regularly (the watercress loves moisture), spray them with water from a spray bottle to increase the humidity, and turn them around the axis by 180o daily so that the stems do not stretch in one direction.
Usually watercress is ready to eat about 2 weeks after sowing, when the stems are 6 to 8 cm in height.
As you can see, everything is pretty simple.
To improve the yield of greenery, as well as to facilitate the process of caring for it, use the recommendations from experienced gardeners:
The correct cultivation of watercress on the windowsill guarantees a bountiful harvest of tasty and healthy greens. Such a plant is not only easy to care for, but can also become a prophylactic agent against many diseases.