watercress grow test

watercressI finally made it out to the grocery store this morning, and couldn’t wait to get home and try out this watercress experiment. You may recall a post last week about watercress (someone had asked me about it at the La Leche League Garage Sale) where I mentioned that I’d like to try growing it from a grocery store bundle.

Well, looking at it in the store, I wasn’t so sure about the stems – they looked like new growth, and I figured it might be tricky to root. However, as I continued to look closer, I discovered that there were already little roots growing from the nodes on the stems!! Yay!! This means it will probably do just as well as the mint does when I snip it and throw it in some soil.

When I tasted it, the peppery taste really reminded me of something that I couldn’t put my finger on, until I found a website that told me the scientific name – Nasturtium officinale – and that jogged my memory, so I knew where I had tasted that flavour before… the taste totally reminds me of Nasturtium flowers and leaves. They have a stronger kick than the watercress does, though, so I can’t eat too many before my taste buds are exhausted. I look forward to putting the leftovers of the watercress experiment in my salad, though – it’s like a taste of summer.

I took photos of my progress, in case anyone wants to try their own or is curious about the process. I just did this today, so I can’t verify that this works, but given the state of the watercress, with roots already starting, I’m sure it will turn out just fine. I should also say that normally I would start them in the early spring, so they could then be planted outside once they were big enough.

Ready? Here we go…

snipping petioles

First I snipped off the petioles – these are the stems that branch off the main stem. See the roots already starting??? Also notice, I’m leaving the stipules, which are the little stems growing out between the main stem and the branching stems.

snipping between nodes

Then I snipped between the nodes.

cuttings

I made 16 cuttings since that’s how many grow holes I have in the tray I’m using to start them.

cuttings planted

Aren’t they cute?

planted cuttings under lights

I put them under my grow lights, since these days are turning grey and I’d like to give them as much light as I can. Now I wait and water and see how it goes!

watercress leftovers

AND eat the leftovers.

Updates to follow!

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