Pepper Cress seeds Lepidium sativum
A fast-growing, edible plant botanically related to watercress and mustard and sharing their peppery, tangy flavor and aroma.
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In some regions garden cress is known as garden pepper cress, pepper grass or pepperwort. Garden cress is a perennial plant most typically used as a garnish or as a leaf vegetable.
Growing cress is remarkably easy. It can be planted in late summer, as long as temperatures have cooled. Soak cotton wool or peat moss in water and stuff it into a small pot. Sprinkle seeds on top, and keep them well watered until they start to sprout.
Keep the cress in a light area, but not in direct sunlight, and keep watering.
As it matures, you can harvest the whole young cress or let it grow to a larger size so that it will develop big, peppery leaves. The cress will be usable within about five days of planting.
It is the easiest of the cresses to grow. Garden cress can be harvested in as little as two weeks after sowing as a micro-green. It’s peppery taste adds zing to salads, but hot weather makes this cool-season crop bitter and inedible.
Full sun part shade. Prefers part shade during hot summer weather.
Requires well-drained soil. Prefers moist, fertile soil with high matter and pH 6.0 to 6.7
How to plant:
Propagate by seed. Germination temperature: 55 F to 75 F. Days to emergence: 2 to 7 - In early spring when soils are cold (~45 F), germination may take two weeks. Seed can be saved 5 years.
Plant in early spring as soon as you can work the soil. Broadcast seed and cover very lightly with soil or compost. A small patch (1- to 2-feet square) provides plenty of cress. Make succession plantings every 2 to 3 weeks until weather warms. Start planting fall crops when weather cools in late summer.
Microgreens growing instructions: this is not the only way to do microgreens, everyone will acquire their own techniques, but here are the basics:
Cover the bottom of the container with an inch or two of moistened potting soil/mix or coir. Flatten and level it with your hand or a small piece of cardboard, taking care not to over-compress the soil. Scatter seeds evenly on top of the soil. Press gently into the soil using your hand or the cardboard. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil. Dampen the surface with a mister. If you prefer, you can skip this step and instead cover the container with a clear lid or plastic wrap until the seeds are sprouted. While waiting for sprouts to appear, usually within three to seven days, use the mister once or twice daily to keep the soil moist but not wet. Once seeds have sprouted, remove the cover (if you've used one) and continue to mist once or twice a day. Microgreens need about four hours daily of direct sunlight to thrive (south facing window). In winter months, some may need even more. Leggy, pale greens are a sign of not enough sunlight. Light needs can also be satisfied with a grow light that has a low heat output — you don't want to scorch your delicate greens. Microgreens will be ready to harvest about two to three weeks after planting. Look for the first set of "true leaves" as a sign of readiness. Then grab your scissors and snip the greens just above the soil line. To serve, wash the microgreens with water and dry with paper towels or a salad spinner. Harvest and serve them immediately for the freshest flavor, and add to soups, salads, sandwiches or main dishes. Store remaining cut microgreens in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.