Cress is a very popular plant in Poland especially before Easter. When to sow cress to make it a joy to look at on Easter?
Cress – the most important information
Cress is a plant belonging to the cabbage family. There are about 200 species of cress in the world. Some species of cress are ornamental plants. In Poland there are about 12 species of cress, but the most cultivated are two:
- garden cress – grown at home,
- meadow cress – it can be found in moist cultivated areas.
In Poland the plant is grown for its taste and is associated with Easter.
How do I grow cress?
Garden cress can be grown indoors, on the balcony or in a bed with other vegetables. Cress should be sown in the ground from March to October, while in pots it can be grown all year round. When sowing cress into the ground in spring and autumn, choose a sunny and warm location. If cress is sown into the ground in summer, it requires a shady and warm position.
Cress is a plant with low requirements. For rapid growth it needs only the right temperature and regular watering. This plant does not have any soil requirements – it grows on any substrate such as lignin or cotton wool.
Growing watercress in 5 steps
1. Buying seeds
In spring you can buy cress seeds practically in every gardening store or supermarket. It is advisable to buy pre-packaged seeds with a given lot number, they are of better quality than seeds available in bulk.
2. Choosing the right container
The container for sowing seeds should be flat. It should be lined with lignin or cotton wool and slightly moistened with water. The water must not stand in the container.
3. Sowing the seeds
Cress should be sown very densely, but its seeds must not overlap. The seeds should be evenly placed in the pot. The sown seeds should be sprayed with water.
4. Position, temperature, watering
The optimum temperature for germination is 20-22°C. The position should be bright and sunny, the germinated seeds should be watered gently every day – it is best to water them with a flower sprayer.
Cress seeds in suitable conditions will germinate in 3 days at the most, and after about 6 days cress will be ready for consumption. When the plant reaches a height of 4-5 cm it can be cut and frozen.
Health promoting properties of cress
By eating this plant you can provide the body with a lot of valuable vitamins and minerals. In cress there are:
- vitamins: C, PP, K, A, B group;
- mineral salts;
- minerals: iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine, chromium.
Cress has a great influence on the skin, thanks to the high content of isosulphocyanine glycoside.
Cress has a lot of medicinal properties, such as:
- strengthening the skeletal system,
- it is effective against anemia.
Uses of cress
The characteristic pungent taste of cress makes it a great addition to
- vegetable soups,
- sandwich spreads,
- cottage cheese,
Regular eating of cress has a very positive effect on the condition of the whole body.