Land Cress and American Cress – How to Grow It

land cress

Land Cress or American Cress

Barbarea verna

Land cress or American cress, regardless of which, cress is actually a European biennial, grown as an annual, that has become naturalised in North America. A low-growing plant, its leaves spread out in a rosette formation and look and taste rather similar to water cress.

Sow successionally, a few plants at a time; in small groups or blocks from spring to autumn. They should be spaced, or later thinned, to intervals of 120-150 mm (4-1/2 – 6 in). The later sowings should be protected by cloches or polythene tunnels; alternatively, the crops may be raised in a cold frame or a grow bag.

Soil should be good and moisture-retentive, with plenty of peat or compost added if necessary. An open site is preferable, but in very warm areas some shade should be provided. Keep the soil well watered in dry weather.

Slugs and snails may be a nuisance and should be dealt with by Draza pellets. Flea beetles should be controlled with derris. If this pest is a particular nuisance in your area, it may be best to sow only in autumn for spring crops.

Harvest when the plants have developed several leaves; pull a few leaves, but not all, from each plant as required.

Site: Open; shaded in warm areas

Soil: Rich, moisture-retentive

Sow: Spring to autumn

Harvest: As required when sufficient leaves have developed

19. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit & Veg, Kitchen Garden, Salads | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Land Cress and American Cress – How to Grow It


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