For some reason we have only just started to grow watercress recently – but can we tell you – we were missing out big time!
Not only does watercress grow mighty quickly… its health benefits are through the roof – seriously!
You might be surprised to know that watercress is actually a BRASSICA!
…Meaning that its sweet little cousins are Broccoli & Mustard Greens!
More importantly – this also means that it provides the body with the same body-loving compounds known throughout the brassica boys – Isothiocyanates.
You may have heard us prattle on about this compound before – but just incase…
Isothiocyanates is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables & is released when the raw leaves are chopped up or chewed. It’s been shown to reduce the risk of cancer by actually preventing pro-carcinogenic cells from becoming carcinogenic & by mitigating the damage done by the active carcinogenic cells! Cooking the leaves reduces the effects of Isothiocyanates by up to 50% so make sure you’re getting both cooked & uncooked on your plate!
Other reasons why watercress rocks our socks:
– Watercress is loaded with Calcium which is essential for maintaining bone & teeth strength as well as keeping hair & nails healthy.
– Watercress also contains Sulpher which makes up important amino acids in order to help the body to create proteins & it also helps the produce collagen which is integral for our connective tissue.
– It’s also rich in the Anti Oxidant “Lutein” which is critical for anti-ageing & heart disease prevention, as well as maintaining awesome vision.
– Watercress is also used in alternative medicine as a blood purifier, as well as to treat skin infections kidney issues & chest problems.
– It’s great for dehydration as it has a high water content (suprise surprise)
– And last but not least – it is said that macerated watercress improves the health of your hair & increases its thickness!
How To Grow Watercress
Now you might have guessed from the name… but watercress likes A LOT of water!
Perfect if you have a healthy soil which retains a lot of moisture – not so good if you are trying to grow it in an average ‘nursery potting mix’.
Bottom line – make sure the soil is moist at ALL times! If you don’t let it dry out, not a lot can go wrong!
When to grow:
Watercress is super hardy which means it’s pretty easy going, however it had to choose, it would go for a cool, rainy climate over a sunny hot one!
If you do have extremely cold winters it may die back – otherwise watch it spread like wildfire! If you have incredibly hot summers, it won’t go too well as it will probably dry out!
Watercress prefers partial shade over full sun, but if you’re in a temperate climate like us, full sun shouldn’t bee too much of an issue.
…We will say this though – shade does make the leaves grow larger – your call.
Once Watercress has settled in & got comfortable he will start growing like crazy! Expect to harvest your first salad within 6-8 weeks!
Beets, celery, cucumbers & marigolds
Don’t plant with:
Strawberries!!! Remember they are a brassica – they hate strawberries!