Cress is one of the few salad plants that can be grown year round. I am not sure if it would be classified as a salad leaf, but I don’t really use cress in any other way than in salads. The ability to grow cress year round is likely attributed to the fact they are best grown in pots. I grew my first tray of cress in late winter, and will be planting successive trays two weeks out from each other basically until I run out of seeds.
I planted my seeds in one of those disposable Chinese takeaway containers in seed raising mix. I did poke 4 holes in the bottom of the container for drainage. I sprinkled the seeds on top of the soil and then covered with a fine sprinkling of soil and gently patted down, then watered all the seeds in.
Caring for seedlings
In took one week for a few shoots to appear, and then over the next couple of days there were about 50. I loved how quickly these grew and I can see why growing cress with children is so popular. It appears that all the seeds I sprinkled have germinated, and in a few more weeks I should be able to harvest my first batch of cress. It is important while looking after seedlings to make sure you rotate the container, as you will very quickly notice that they will stretch towards the source of sunlight, for me this was a nearby window. You will need to keep the soil relatively moist, but make sure it is draining so they have a constant source of good, clean water.
You can harvest the seedlings early for your salads, but the general consensus seems to be to wait until the seedlings or plants are about 10 cm tall.