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On watercress.


 
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tippben
Rank attained: Vegetable garden tender


Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 896
Location: north tipperary

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject: On watercress. Reply with quote

I have a pond, 15' by 7', deep part is 4' deep. It has scallops, shelving, and edging, as it is a small wildlife pond, in a small garden. I used to live by watercress beds in shallow fast chalk streams, I love it, and used to "adopt" a bit here and there when i wanted some..., So last year I had a go at growing some.

I rooted some cuttings from a supermarket bag, and threw some in the pond to float around. I planted some in the 2' square little bog garden next to the pond, where it had to compete with cotton grass and cuckooflower. Also, a couple went in a raised bed.

The stuff in the pond grew very leggy, but with hardly any leaves (it's still there). The bog garden crop bolted, no matter how often i picked it (most went in the stockpot). The slugs ate the raised bed crop. I was watering with tapwater, as the plants of my youth obviously liked the alkilinity.

Does anybody have any advice on how to get a sustainable, successional crop this year? I can propagate from the survivors in the pond.
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kindredspirit
Rank attained: Chlorophyll for blood


Joined: 10 Nov 2008
Posts: 2024
Location: Mid-west.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no expert but I think watercress has to be in very shallow, moving water.

We used to pick it and eat it all the time when we were kids but I've been told since that wild water cress has diseases in it. Don't know how true that is.
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Blowin
Rank attained: Orchard owner


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 678
Location: Drimoleague, Co Cork

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, used to pick it straight out of a stream and eat it when I was a child and I agree with Kindredspirit's view that it needs running water.

Bearing in mind that I never heard of anyone being ill through eating it, I'm tempted to think that this is one of those modern day alarmist stories based on an innocent fact. There was a general principle that, if you wanted to create an aquarium, the first step was to put a few roots of watercress in it. Presumably because it harboured all sorts of insect eggs, they would hatch in your tank and form the nucleus of a living community, ready for the addition of fish and other larger stock.

Put that fact in the hands of today's fearmongers and you have a health risk of epidemic proportions - but we survived.

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