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Curled Cress

$0.99 USD

Seed Count: Approx. 300 seeds

Days to Maturity: 14

Description: This slow bolting garden cress produces plants up to 8" tall with dark green finely cut curled leaves. Sprouts add zesty, spicy flavor to sandwiches! First harvest of sprouts about 14 days after sowing.

How To Grow

Sowing:  Cress grows nearly anywhere, but it prefers rich, moist, well drained soil and full sun, but it can also handle partial shade. Since it is a cool weather plant, excess heat tends to give the leaves a bitter taste.  Cress should be grown in the spring and in the fall in most areas. After the last spring frost or late in the summer, direct sow the seeds 1/4" deep, in rows 6" apart, thinning to 3-6" apart when the seedlings appear. If planning to harvest cress at a small size, the plants can be spaced 2-3" apart. Keep the ground moist for the best growth. For a continuous harvest, sow a new crop every 10 days.

Growing:  Weed control and sufficient moisture are crucial to the healthy growth of cress. Since it has shallow roots, take care not to disturb them when removing weeds. A layer of mulch often helps conserve moisture and control weeds. Companion plant cress with bunching onions, chives, peppermint, spearmint, and wintergreen. Cress can also be inter-planted with other small crops.

Harvesting:  Cress can be harvested at any size, from micro-greens up to a height of 6". If part of the stem is left above ground level, new leaves will continue to grow. The leaves should only be used fresh, since they do not store well. Cress reseeds itself readily, if left alone after flowering, but the seeds can easily be gathered. Soon after blooming, the flowers will begin to fade and the seed pods will develop. Wait until most of the pods ripen to a light brown before picking the whole cluster of pods. Since the pods will split open and drop their seeds when fully ripe, watch them carefully. You can also place a mesh jewelry bag over the seed heads to catch them, just in case.  Spread the heads out in a protected location away from direct sunlight to dry fully, then thresh out the seeds and store.