Spring is just around the corner here in Manchester and I’ve been re-inspired to get my green fingers out and grow some food. As well as refresh and cheer up my pepper, broccoli and courgette plants from last year and planting more of those seeds, I’m also making a nod to my childhood by growing cress!
I think most children grew cress at school, and I remember how mysterious it was that you could grow it with just some kitchen roll and water. Even now I don’t really understand how it’s possible (maybe the lessons from school weren’t very good!)
In case anyone else is feeling nostalgic I’ve created a simple how-to (complete with pictures!) of growing cress.
Assembly of tools and ingredients:
You will need:
– cress seeds
– kitchen roll
– a tray to stand your plants in (optional)
Create some plant pots:
Using the newspaper, take one page (rip the ajoined sheets down the middle) and fold it in half three or four times. Look through the folds and find one with no hole in the bottom, and use this to form a small cup-shaped container
Using kitchen paper, dip it in some water to moisten it and place it inside the newspaper plant pots. It took three sheets for me to reach the top of the pot, leaving a gap which will be filled later.
As simple as it sounds – take a few seeds and place them on the moist kitchen roll
Cress like darkness to germinate, so cover the seeds with a folded sheet of kitchen roll. Don’t secure this because you’ll need to remove it periodically to check on their progress
Follow these steps for as many pots as you want to make – I’ve done six
Every day, check the kitchen roll to ensure it is moist. In a few days you will see shoots begin to form. When this happens, remove the cover from your plants and place them somewhere where they can get a good amount of sunlight. A windowsill will be fine.
After a few weeks, your cress will be ready to harvest. Do so when the shoots are about five centimetres tall using a pair of sharp scissors.
Harvest the cress every couple of weeks to ensure you get a continuous crop. Once the weather warms you can even plant them in soil outdoors which will provide you with cress which has larger leaves and a hotter flavour. I’m planning on doing this in the next couple of months.
Growing cress is a great thing to do both alone and with children, so if you have any kids they’d love it if you got them involved!
If you decide to grow cress, I’d love to hear how it goes so feel free to contact me! 🙂