Watercress or Klopovnik sowing (lat. Lepidium sativum) is an edible one-, biennial plant of the Cabbage family. Originally from Iran, found in Africa, Asia. Culturally cultivated watercress began in ancient Rome, Egypt and Greece. It has a pleasant bitter-tart (similar to radish) taste. Used fresh as a seasoning for fish, meat, gravy, soups, omelettes, as a nice addition to salads.
The benefits of watercress
- It has a rich composition of nutrients: mineral salts, vitamins of group B, thiamine, rutin, carotene, mustard essential oil (gives a specific taste and aroma).
- The use of watercress helps to improve digestion, increases appetite, lowers blood pressure, normalizes sleep, has a diuretic and antimicrobial effect, strengthens the immune system as a whole (this is especially important in winter).
- Due to its low calorie content, it is a dietary product.
Growing watercress in room conditions does not require much effort, children are keen on this process. It can be cultivated all year round by highlighting a spot on a windowsill or a glassed-in balcony. The rapid growth and unpretentiousness in the care make watercress one of the best crops for the "home garden".
Preparing capacity for growing cress salad
In which packaging to grow watercress photo
To grow watercress, choose transparent plastic containers with a lid, any food container will do.
You can use a shallow plate, filling it with a seedling substrate, sawdust, foam rubber or cotton wool as a substrate.
Cress salad is grown:
- In the usual way, in the ground
- Without land (there are many variations, more on this below).
How to plant a cress salad on the windowsill without the earth
How to grow a cress salad on the windowsill? In order to get juicy, healthy greenery, you first need seed. Seeds are purchased at specialized points of sale. Packing is usually large - the seeds will last for a long time even with frequent sowing.
How to sow a cress salad without land
Sowing is carried out in a simple way:
- Seeds should be distributed on the bottom of the container with a small distance of 2-3 mm, so that the plants have where to germinate.
- Per 1 m² of area consumed within 5-8 g of seeds. Spray out a fine spray.
- To germinate seeds, cover the container with a transparent lid, sprouts will appear literally in a day.
- Observe the level of humidity inside the container, if necessary (1 races in 1-2 days) spray from the pulveler and close again.
- When the plants rise well, the cover can be removed.
To harvest regularly, sow at intervals of 7-14 days.
An interesting way to grow cress salad through a sieve
There is a rather unconventional way to grow watercress - through a sieve. You do not have to bother with the land and take care of watering, the only drawback is reduced crop.
You will need a cup (mug) and a tea strainer. Pour the seeds evenly into a strainer and place in a mug of water. Seeds will quickly germinate - the roots will appear after 5-6 days.
On sale you can find special trays for growing watercress on the windowsill.
How to water
It is best to spray from a fine spray to wash the leaves including (they will be more tender and fragrant). Spray the crops from the pulveler with a few taps once a day or two, controlling the level of humidity: the container should always be damp. From lack of moisture, the stems are drawn out, and the taste is lost (the leaves turn yellow and acquire an excessively bitter taste). The worst outcome is leaf fall.
Watercress will be an appropriate addition to a variety of dishes. It combines well with both meat and fish, is used for preparing gravies, sauces, soups, vegetable souffles, as a seasoning for cold appetizers and main dishes. The leaves are added to salads, blanched, cooked with oil dressings, with sugar and wine. Watercress is added to stews, omelets, curd casseroles, decorated with sandwiches - beauty and goodness.
Use in traditional medicine
Juice plants are used for diseases of the respiratory tract: they gargle, they drink when they cough, it is also used for anemia. The roots and the aerial parts are used for fever, as an anti-scorbital remedy (due to the high content of ascorbic acid), the seeds are crushed into powder and used as mustard.
Watercress varieties practically do not differ in external data: the color of the leaves is mostly green, there are varieties with a purple tinge.
We classify by maturity:
- Flagship - reaches maturity within 12-18 days after germination.
- Picante - you can harvest after 15-20 days.
- Dukat - ripening period is 18-20 days.
- The pace is a very popular sowing variety, it ripens for 18-23 days.
- Fun - eat spicy greens can be after 20-30 days of growth.
- Accord - technical maturity dates are 25-35 days.
- Ducat. Grows in 18 days from the moment of emergence of shoots.
Useful properties of watercress
Why precisely cress? The answer to this question is simple - it is a very useful plant that is easily grown on a window sill.
Watercress is fragrant green from the type of cabbage. It contains a huge amount of various vitamins, essential oils, ascorbic acid and various useful microelements.
Regular consumption of watercress in food greatly helps the body, namely:
- boosts immunity
- cures cough thanks to alkaloids and resins
- prevents the occurrence of beriberi and anemia,
- clears the bronchi,
- in asthmatics prevents asthma attacks,
- normalizes pressure and improves metabolism
- improves the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract,
- strengthens the nervous system
- relieves insomnia
- helps to quit smoking.
In addition, the crushed leaves of this salad are part of household ointments, lotions, creams, which significantly reduce acne and make acne less noticeable.
Also, watercress is loved because of its unusual sharp taste, similar to the taste of horseradish (in the people it is also called hrennitsey).
Despite the huge number of advantages, the plant is unpretentious in the care. That is why it is very easy to grow watercress on the windowsill all year round: it grows quickly, does not require special attention, is cold-resistant, shade-tolerant.
Today, there are three varieties of watercress:
- curly - it is distinguished by a small rosette of leaves (17 cm) and raised, strongly dissected leaves (for example, "openwork").
- A sowing season is distinguished by a large rosette (up to 21 cm) and horizontal, wide, whole leaves (for example, "Danish", "fun").
- whole-leaf - different large rosette, narrow, low-cut leaves (for example, "ducat").
Because of its precocity, it is most often found on the windowsill of watercress "Dansky". How to grow it is described below.
What it takes to grow watercress on a windowsill
Serious preliminary preparation and difficult-to-reach means for growing watercress will not be required. Initially, you need to choose the most suitable variety and buy seeds. When selecting seeds, it is important to carefully inspect the packaging. It should not be dented or torn. It is also important to check the shelf life of the seed.
Next, you should prepare:
- Capacity for growing lettuce. Its height should be about 10 cm. As a container, you can use a plastic container, a bowl, a bowl, a tray, a tray or a shallow flower pot.
- Nutrient medium (substrate) for growing. This substrate can be cotton wool, cotton pads, foam rubber, gauze, peat, or well shredded wood chips. Substrate can also be replaced by hydrogel.
- Food film or plastic bag.
- Normal or purchased nutrient soil.
- Mug and teaspoon.
How to grow watercress on the windowsill? The ways for this are completely different. Consider the main ones.
Growing watercress in the substrate
You need to take the container and lay on the bottom of a suitable substrate with a layer of 1.5-2 cm. After that, the substrate should be moistened with boiled or distilled water. If peat or wood chips are used as a substrate, then boiling water is used to avoid mold.
After the substrate is prepared, you need to take a glass, pour the seeds into it and pour them with water so that the water completely hides the seeds. Thus, each seed will be in its shell.
Hold the seeds in water for a few seconds, then transfer them with a teaspoon from a glass into a prepared container with a nutrient medium, and gently distribute them in one layer.
To create greenhouse conditions for the seeds, the container should be covered on top with cling film or plastic bag and put on the windowsill. It is important to put the jar so that it does not fall into direct sunlight, and away from the hot battery. So in the seed bank creates a greenhouse effect.
After a day you need to check the seeds, usually at this time there are already slightly sprung sprouts. After another day, good sprouts should appear, then the film is removed.
It is very simple to care for this salad: water it in time, sometimes turn it towards the light by the other side (so that the plants grow straight). It is still good to spray it with water from the sprayer. If desired, you can feed the salad with potash or urea. The main thing is not to overdry the soil, because the press salad loves moisture, and its lack of thinning plants and degrades their taste.
After 1.5-2 weeks, the salad can already be eaten.
In the tank you need to pour fertile soil (about 7 cm). After that, make smooth grooves (depth 0.5 cm). The distance between the grooves should be 10-15 cm. Seeds are covered with a thin layer of soil (about 1 cm).
Seeds can be sown in a chaotic manner - just pour them out of the glass after soaking, level and cover with earth.
After that, the container must be covered with foil. If the room is warm enough (20-23 degrees), then you can leave the container without film.
With this method, the seeds will sprout a little longer (about 2 days), as they germinate through the soil. When the shoots appear, the temperature should be reduced to 10-15 degrees. This will help develop a strong root system of the plant and prevents their stretching.
After sprouting the seeds, you need to care for the plants in the same way as described in the first method.
The most interesting ways to grow watercress
Because of the unpretentious watercress grow it any way, anywhere. Consider a few interesting ways to grow:
- This method does not need land and capacity for cultivation, and the plants do not need daily watering. You need to take a small tea strainer and a cup of water. Seeds are poured into a strainer and watered with warm water (it eventually remains in the cup). After that, a cup with a strainer can be removed on the window sill, in a week the greens will be ready. Growing in this way has a big advantage - you can eat salad with roots.
- This method is quite common. Salad is grown in containers, the bottom of which is covered with wet gauze. The disadvantage of this method is that it takes a lot of seeds. But these seeds germinate very quickly.
- Growing up in an electronic pot. You can grow lettuce in such a pot all year round, and you don’t need to do anything at all, just pour the seeds. True, such a pot is quite expensive.
Above, we have described methods for how to quickly grow watercress on a windowsill. At the same time, they are all quite simple.
Salad picking features
How to grow watercress on the windowsill in the winter, we considered it was time to harvest. To do this, too, need to be correct.
You can cut the salad when the stems grow to 8-9 cm. It is better to do this in the morning or in the evening. Watercress should be eaten fresh, i.e. do not store. In the refrigerator it can be stored no more than a day (preferably in water). If you keep the salad for more than a day, it quickly turns yellow and remains without its beneficial properties.
When the salad has grown to 13-14 cm, it should be cut, and as close as possible to the base. After the lettuce is cut, the roots will no longer grow, therefore, for continuous harvesting, watercress needs to be sown every 2 weeks.
Secrets: how to grow watercress on the windowsill correctly
- In order for the rosette of leaves to be large, the distance between the plants must be at least 5 cm.
- Before sowing the soil must be well compacted.
- It is necessary to sow the seeds consistently, about 1 time in 10 days, so that it grows continuously.
- It is important to carry out watering on time, because watercress loves moisture.
Thus, we figured out how to grow watercress on the windowsill, so that it is fragrant and extremely useful. This small garden does not require a lot of space, does not require special care, but brings a lot of pleasure. By the way, watercress can be grown both on the windowsill and on the garden bed.
Cress - growing on the windowsill in the ground
Klopovnik is an extremely healthy plant that is recommended to be eaten daily and one of the ways to supply fragrant watercress to your table all year round - growing on a windowsill. It is ideal for city dwellers, as mini-beds with greens do not take up much space, and the most common way is getting fresh watercress - growing a house which is produced in universal soil.
To grow watercress on the windowsill, you will need ordinary flower pots or trays (they are often used for seedlings) 5-7 cm deep, they are filled with 2-3 cm of fine drainage - vermiculite, crushed rubble, shards or shredded brick. From above, a layer of 3-5 cm is filled with standard soil for seedlings or houseplants, and it can also be composed independently of the following components:
- 1 part garden land
- 1 piece of leafy land or rotted compost
- 0.5 parts of coarse sand
- 0.5 parts peat
To get high-quality watercress, cultivation on the windowsill must begin with disinfecting the soil, especially if it was made independently. To do this, the soil is heated in the oven for 40 minutes at a temperature of +70 ... + 80 ﹾ С, or it is well spilled with boiling water. If the soil is purchased in a specialized store, he does not need such treatment.
Important! Watercress is a fast-growing plant that needs not so many nutrients and it is not worth adding mineral fertilizers, especially nitrogen fertilizers, to the soil where it will be sown, they can contribute to the accumulation of nitrates in greens.
Watercress in the ground - in the photo
The next step is sowing seeds previously soaked in boiled water for 20-30 minutes. Before planting watercress, the seeds are lightly dried so that they do not stick together, and laid out on the soil surface. A certain scheme for growing is not needed, as klopovnik grows well in thickened crops. From above, the seeds are sprinkled with 1 cm of sifted soil, moistened with a spray bottle, covered with a film or glass and put on a window sill. Watercress shoots will appear in 3-7 days.
What conditions need watercress when grown on a window sill:
- Lighting - anyone will approach, except for the pitch darkness, the bowls with shoots are put on the windowsill with any orientation
- Temperature - below the average for the apartment, that is, from +10 to +18 ﹾ С, the heat from the battery will provoke a rapid overgrowth of greenery, therefore it is better to put a foil or cardboard screen on the heaters under the window sill
- Soil moisture - moderate, without sudden drops, abundant spraying 2-3 times a week will make the watercress more fragrant and tender
- Air humidity - high, without drops, otherwise the greens will grow hard and bitter, so it is advisable to put cups of water next to the mini-garden on the windowsill, and in winter to cover the batteries with a damp napkin
Under such conditions, watercress sprouts grow to the degree of technical readiness (7-10 cm in height) per week, preferably cut them in parts, for use at a time, because in cutting the leaves quickly lose their taste and useful qualities.
Cress - growing cotton and water
A unique feature of the plant, known as klopovnik or watercress - growing on the windowsill of which can be done without a nutrient base. The seeds of this green culture contain enough substances to form a full-fledged stem and leaves. In this case, the nutrient content in them will be at the same high level as with growth in the soil. If it is not possible to place at home pots and boxes in which watercress will grow, growing on a window sill without land can be a pleasant alternative. For greens cress - growing on a windowsill without a nutrient substrate allows you to use:
- tissue or paper napkins
- foam or natural sponges
- cotton wool
Cress salad on cotton wool - on photo
Не менее интересный и легкий способ вырастить кресс-салат — в сите из ткани или металла, для реализации которого потребуется любая емкость для воды и сито. Подойдет даже москитная сетка, натянутая на рамку из проволоки. In the lower tank pour water with a temperature of +30 degrees or slightly higher. Watercress seeds are spread in a sieve and placed in water so that water touches the bottom of the sieve and wets the seeds. An older watercress, cultivated on a window sill which was carried out using a sieve, can be eaten with the roots, because they descend through the cells into the water and stay clean.
When to cut watercress and what to do if it has outgrown
Early watercress - growing on a window sill without soil or in the ground implies fast, without overgrowing and it is important to timely cut the leaves until they become too rough. It is better to focus on the height of the stems, which they should not be more than 13-15 cm. The watercress is 8-10 cm in height. The greenery reaches the specified sizes a week after sowing.
It is noteworthy that green garden cress growing on a windowsill on cotton wool, in soil or water completes faster than blue or red and this must be taken into account. Greens accelerate the growth of heat and excess light. At a temperature of +25 degrees, Klopovnik releases a flower arrow after the appearance of a pair of leaves, so it is important to follow the recommended temperature conditions.
Cress, the benefits and harms of which are not known to everyone, has a rich vitamin composition. Therefore, consuming daily green grass, your body will always receive the necessary amount of vitamins, besides various recipes from the klopovnik will make your food not only healthy, but also tasty.
If, however, watercress has outgrown, do not use it in cooking - the taste of greens will be too sharp and bitter. The use of over-ripe klopovnik can be found in the manufacture of home cosmetics or folk remedies for various diseases. They require watercress juice or stalks and leaves pounded in mashed potatoes. Not useful seed can be thrown away, and in the empty containers to sow new seeds.
Cress growing conditions on the windowsillFor the cultivation of watercress you need to prepare the dishes, soil, drainage and seeds. As pots, you can use flower pots or other low containers, as long as the bottom has holes. Sowing watercress can be combined with other herbs on the windowsill.
At the bottom of dishes with a height of 2-3 cm we pour drainage, on top of which we pour soil in a layer of 2-4 cm. It is better to use purchased universal soil, it is disinfected and has useful substances for normal growth of plants.
Seeds are soaked in a glass of water and evenly distributed in a single layer over the surface of the soil. Sprinkle seeds with soil up to 1 cm thick, compact it and water. We place the container under the film, put it in a dark place and expect seed germination. The first shoots of lettuce in a pot should appear after 3 days.
Location and lightingThis plant differs from others in its unpretentiousness and is characterized as fast-growing greens on a window sill. This type of salad is not demanding of lighting, but rather belongs to shade-loving plants, so it will be comfortable even on the northern windowsill.
After seed germination, the film is removed and the containers are placed on the window sill. Make sure that the warm battery does not warm the window sill. This will be a negative factor in growing lettuce.
Seeds can germinate at temperatures above 5 ° C, but the optimum temperature for the growth of cress is a temperature of 10-18 ° C. To maintain this temperature, the plant is sprayed with cold water and aired the room.
For regular consumption of the salad is better to sow in portions with an interval of 7-10 days. In this case, you will have time to use greens for food.
Watering and fertilizing the soil
The soil should be moist but not waterlogged.. The lack and excess of moisture affects the plant. Watering the plants should be carried out regularly every 2-3 days by intensive spraying, then the greens will be fragrant and tender.
Since the growing season at watercress is small, no fertilizer is added to the soil. It is necessary to use for the cultivation of the house purchased soil that has a sufficient amount of fertilizer.
But the plant is able to give new leaves when cut. In this case, you can feed the plant with liquid fertilizer, its concentration must be reduced relative to the recommended in the instructions, because the plant is very delicate.
Watercress HarvestingIt is possible to use a plant for food at a stem height from 7 cm to 10 cm. To do this, use scissors to cut lettuce leaves with small stems. Watercress is used fresh, so you need to cut only the volume that you are going to use.
Nutritional value and calorie 100 g of this product contains: proteins –2.6 g, fats - 0.7 g, carbohydrates - 6 g, caloric content - 32 Kcal. This plant is used as an additive in salads, as well as seasoning to meat and fish. Watercress goes well with cottage cheese, eggs and cheese.
Ways to grow watercress without land
The peculiarity of growing this plant is that the presence of soil in this process is not mandatory. Watercress can be grown on cotton wool, sponge or paper towel.
Lay the substrate on the bottom of the dish with a layer of up to 2 cm and soak it with water. Pour the seeds into a glass and fill them with water. This is necessary so that they are evenly distributed in a single layer on the substrate.
We create a greenhouse effect with cellophane film and put it on the window sill.Cress can be grown without a substrate - in water. This method is the fastest and less expensive. A week after sowing, the salad is ready to eat.
It is necessary to prepare a tea strainer and a cup of water. Set the strainer on the cup, pour the seeds into it and pour them with water at a temperature of 30 ° C. There should be enough water to soak the seeds.
They must be evenly distributed over the entire surface of the sieve. Sprouts will sprout in a couple of days, and the roots will sink into a cup of water. This watercress can be used in food along with the roots.
Doubt the usefulness of watercress, especially in winter days, is not necessary. Season the cress with olive oil and lemon juice, and your body will receive the necessary amount of nutrients and trace elements.
The plant is considered one of the most unpretentious, and to such an extent that to grow it at home will not have any specific soil to cook, nor look for any specific varieties. Even more than that, it would be best to experiment with several varieties and focus on the more appropriate one. With the ground, everything is much simpler, and so much so that some experienced gardeners plant lettuce seeds to other crops, for example, growing fragrant home cucumbers, or to moisture-loving home flowers.
To prepare for planting, it is necessary to decide exactly how the salad will grow, since there are several landing options:
- in soil mixture
- in a cotton-gauze base,
- in a combined base.
In the first case, for the cultivation of lettuce at home, you can take any soil that is fertile or what you can get. But keep in mind that the most suitable will be a specialized soil mix from the store, the least - the land that you have dug near the road or in the playground. In principle, you can compromise and take the soil from your backyard, after removing all the weeds from it.
In the second case, cotton wool wrapped in gauze is used as the base. Naturally, both cotton wool and gauze should be from a pharmacy, and the density of the latter should be sufficient for long-term use.
If you wish, you can do without a rag.
The funniest way to grow is to sow the seeds of watercress in a tea strainer, put it in a cup, spill it through with warm, separated water so that the bottom of the strainer touches the surface of the water.
A couple of days should appear friendly shoots. The main thing - do not forget to spray them with water (or add it to the cup), rotate 180 degrees daily and avoid heat.
After a week and a half, all this can be eaten right with the roots. If there are several strainers, you can arrange cultivation so that to the table, for example, for breakfast, there is always a portion of vitamin greens. With such cultivation, they eat even more young greens than when grown in the ground. If you wish, you can not grow the leaves at all, but to eat sprouted seeds is also very useful.