Friday, July 21

Water gardening

Several years ago (according to my photo library it was in 2008!) we noticed this plant growing in our pond.
We were almost sure that it was watercress that had somehow arrived unannounced and been growing quietly unnoticed. The niggling little doubt though meant that we just were not confident enough to harvest it and we unceremoniously removed it.

Then in 2013 (aren't photo libraries wonderful for tracking dates?), we decided to have a go at growing some watercress in a pot. We easily rooted some sprigs bought from the grocer and planted them up.
The pot was placed in a tray of water and grew reasonably well.
However, it didn't really produce enough to provide a worthwhile harvest and the water became stagnant if we forgot to change it.

The idea of growing watercress disappeared from our consciousness until Mark mentioned that he was growing some and described his methods on his blog here.

Then we bought some planting baskets for the pond to try and protect the frogspawn from becoming fish food.
Later the cogs started turning - as they do. If watercress could grow wild in our pond why couldn't we plant some.
We bought a bunch from the local greengrocer and I placed one small sprig in  a glass of water.
Within a couple of days or so roots had grown.

The rooted piece of watercress was plopped - literally - into the basket that was already in the pond and just left. Really the basket was just to keep the watercress in place and stop it floating about. It grew fairly slowly at first but now it looks like this.
Soon it will need a good trim but it is providing us with a ready supply of fresh watercress with absolutely no effort needed on our part.
That's what I call a low maintenance crop. Does anyone know whether watercress is a hardy plant?

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

23 comments:

  1. It is such an easy plant to grow isn't it....mine comes back each year, I have some in the pond, in bowls of water and even in the soil, it seems happy to grow anywhere.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly is, Dina. I don't know why I haven't grown it before now.

      Delete
  2. I had some growing in a big pot on the allotment for a couple of years but it hasn't come back this year. I will grow another pot but our pond isn't big enough o grow it in there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't a harsh winter last year either, Margaret. I wonder why it died. Could it have dried up?

      Delete
    2. It could have dried up, Sue. But it has also been overshadowed by a big clump of comfrey and a big tree. I think the pot needs to be moved to a better spot

      Delete
  3. Wow!! Lucky you! When it comes to watercress, all I can say is that when I was a kid, we used to harvest it from the side of streams in a couple of different parks. Now, of course, harvesting anything in a provincial park is unlawful - I sometimes wonder whether that watercress is still there. Anyhow, I'm thinking that if it came back, year after year, in our climate, surely it will do the same in yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope it does, Margaret but if not it will be easy to start it off again. The frogs may use it as a good place to lay their spawn next year.

      Delete
  4. Mine has flowered now and seems to be dying back. I'm not sure what happens next... Will it survive until next year, I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No doubt we will just have to wait and see, Mark

      Delete
  5. Sadly I don't have a pond, but the news that watercress grows in pots is very welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing to lose, Belinda, just have a go.

      Delete
  6. I adore watercress. I have a packet of seeds but not got around to sowing them yet. I used to have access to wild watercress, on private land with a small spring so the provenance of the crop was known. I blitzed it into puree to freeze for the winter months too. Thank you for sharing this, I will certainly look at giving it a go, maybe in a sealed container as I don't have a pond.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The rooted cutting was easier than sowing seed, Deborah. You could always use a washing up bowl as a makeshift pond but keep refreshing the water.

      Delete
  7. It never ceases to amaze me how just a small sprig can morph into a substantial plant. Hope that it turns out to be hardy Sue but if not at least you've established that it it will be relatively easy to start off from scratch again. Enjoy your harvest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Or a tiny seed grow intima huge plant, Anna

      Delete
  8. Thanks for this prompt Sue. Now I've water propogated mint and basil this way watercress should be a scoosh. Only problem for me is that the "pond" is already full!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Never heard the word 'scoosh', Mal. I like it. The good thing is watercress naturally grows in water.

      Delete
  9. It looks like the watercress loves it in your pond, what a great way to get some greens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed, Phuong the only cost was 60p for a bunch of watercress that I bought to eat anyway and only needed one small pieces of it.

      Delete
  10. Usually I clean the pond and throw out algae that grow there. I can not imagine how any food grows in the pond, besides water lilies.
    But you have proven Sue that the pond is suitable for harvesting watercress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should add that the pond water is filtered Nadezda so we don't get mush algae - lots of duckweed though.

      Delete
  11. That's very easy to grow plant! Good for gardeners with limited time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bo seeing necessary either, Malar.

      Delete

Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment - it is great to hear from you and know that there are people out there actually reading what I write! Come back soon.
(By the way any comments just to promote a commercial site, or any comments not directly linked to the theme of my blog, will be deleted)
I am getting quite a lot of spam. It isnot published and is just deleted. I have stopped sifting through it and just delete any that ends up in my spam folder in one go so I am sorry if one of your messages is deleted accidentally.
Comments to posts over five days old are all moderated.