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Cress is treated as both a vegetable and a herb.
There is garden cress (Lepidum sativum) and landcress (Barbarea verna) and watercress (Nasturtium officinale). The leaves tend to have a peppery flavour.
Garden cress is an annual. It grows thick when in rich soil that remains moist. If not, it will grow more sparsely.
Plant seeds directly in the ground and expect fast germination. Ensure that it is in a sheltered position, especially during winter. Alternatively, grow indoors at any time of year.
Harvest when the seedlings are about 4 to 5cm high. Cut from the base of the stems. Replant new seeds for the next crop.
Use in salads after washing. Or, add to sandwiches.
Landcress is a hardy biennial plant. Choose a moist, rich soil for growing the plant.
Pick the outside leaves first when harvesting in the plant's first year, as the new leaves grow from the centre of the plant.
The plant will flower in the second year. It will produce a tall, flowering stem. The leaves are not good to eat at this point because they will taste bitter.
To be completed.
Uses for cress
The first image is the cress from Steve's garden, with 1/4 picked for salads. If you cut it off, it'll grow back quickly, so can provide salad for several weeks if enough is planted. I was able to harvest each quarter 3 times. The 3rd time the stems were somewhat woody, but still tasty.
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