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Jamanda

Watercress

Has anyone here ever grown water cress? Apparently you can put a bucket of peat in your pond to create a small bog and grow it in that.
Slim

I've had it from a cool spring-fed stream.

I don't think it needs bog conditions, does it?
frewen

Can it be grown in still water?
Jam Lady

Has to be grown in potable water. Does not need bog / peat moss. Watercress purchased in shop and stuck in jar of water will root and can then be "planted" in slow moving water.

Alternative is buy seed for mustard and cress, peppery taste to sprouts. But not watercress.
wellington womble

I think you can just plant it in a pot and keep it wet. Ie soaking. I keep meaning to try it.
Mistress Rose

As Jam Lady says, it has to be potable water. If you grow it in a stream, you need to watch out for liver fluke. Killed by cooking, but a danger if eaten raw.
Fee

We grew it in the top of our little pond a few years ago, little top pond that led down to the main pond. It grew pretty well but HT wasn't convinced about eating it given the state of our pond, in wasn't the cleanest.

I've always wanted to do a herb spiral with watercress at the top in a little pool and a stream running alongside the spiral as it goes down, another pond at the bottom and a pump sending it back to the top.
dpack

clean water, beast free or cook it.

i planted some shop stuff in a spring run off that did pretty well

water that never dries up or gets too deep for long or fast enough to scour seems about right.
full sun is good in a sheltered place.
some say chalk streams , some like me prefer it on gritstone filtered water but it will grow in either.

next to a pumped water feature it might survive in pond but it wont be likely to thrive or be super to eat. from water to mouth is awesome when it is growing in the right place.
Fee

Mine was a shop bought sprig, too. Hmm, maybe we ought to bring a bit of Hampshire to Cheshire and plan for some sort of watercress bed. Or maybe finally do that herb spiral!
Jamanda

Well, I don't have a stream. I don't suppose the pond water is too evil - the main beasts it has are frogs and newts. I'll give it a go.
Mistress Rose

I have never thought about growing it in our garden pond, but as it isn't stream fed, I would never be sure about it anyway. Not too keen on watercress either. The best in this area grows in chalk streams, but the stuff I know nearest to us isn't safe to eat. Not sure why, but probably run off from something like the road.
Chez

I've got a rainwater-off-the-roof runnel I was going to try to grow it along. I've got seeds I was going to chuck down.
Nicky Colour it green

my parents have a stream at their place and watercress grows in it readily - so much so it chokes the stream and they have to pull it up by the armful. The chickens love it. I will only eat it cooked though, as there are sheep further up, and I don't want liver fluke. Don't think I would fancy it if it was in standing water either... running water is the best way.
Nicky Colour it green

Well, I don't have a stream. I don't suppose the pond water is too evil - the main beasts it has are frogs and newts. I'll give it a go.


it's the teeny beasties you need to be wary of - the parasites and bacteria - liver fluke is a parasite that lives on watersnails, IIRC
dpack

if i was set on growing it and did not have a spring or suitable stream i spose scrap heap hydroponics might provide a suitable grow table.

corrugated roofing or siding sheets, charity shop net curtains as spreader mats/ anchors, a light proof tank of some sort. the only bits to buy are a pond pump and some mylar to plant through and a few fittings.

getting the pH, EC, O2 levels etc sorted can be done with hi tech kit or by a bit of knowledge, maths and the use of a measuring jug Wink

i recon less than £50 if you can scrapheap the big bits and are clever on the techy stuff.
Slim

Well, I don't have a stream. I don't suppose the pond water is too evil - the main beasts it has are frogs and newts. I'll give it a go.


it's the teeny beasties you need to be wary of - the parasites and bacteria - liver fluke is a parasite that lives on watersnails, IIRC

I think it needs both snails and sheep to complete its lifecycle

www.scops.org.uk/internal-parasites/liver-fluke/lifecycle/
Nicky Colour it green

Well, I don't have a stream. I don't suppose the pond water is too evil - the main beasts it has are frogs and newts. I'll give it a go.

it's the teeny beasties you need to be wary of - the parasites and bacteria - liver fluke is a parasite that lives on watersnails, IIRC

I think it needs both snails and sheep to complete its lifecycle

www.scops.org.uk/internal-parasites/liver-fluke/lifecycle/
No, it doesn't need sheep to complete the cycle, as I understand it, just something to eat the fluke eggs, in you link the something is a sheep, but other animals can compkete the cycle, cattle, rabbuts, and humans.... if a human eats an egg, say by chewing grass, or eating infected raw food, they can develop fluke. In various Asian countries it is common to catch it by eating raw fish
Slim

Well, I don't have a stream. I don't suppose the pond water is too evil - the main beasts it has are frogs and newts. I'll give it a go.

it's the teeny beasties you need to be wary of - the parasites and bacteria - liver fluke is a parasite that lives on watersnails, IIRC

I think it needs both snails and sheep to complete its lifecycle

www.scops.org.uk/internal-parasites/liver-fluke/lifecycle/
No, it doesn't need sheep to complete the cycle, as I understand it, just something to eat the fluke eggs, in you link the something is a sheep, but other animals can compkete the cycle, cattle, rabbuts, and humans.... if a human eats an egg, say by chewing grass, or eating infected raw food, they can develop fluke. In various Asian countries it is common to catch it by eating raw fish

Ah yes, good clarification. I guess the question is if you don't have sheep, and are keeping your poo out of water, what else is eating the eggs to keep the life cycle going in that locality? (unless you're frequently getting an influx of migratory snails?)
Mistress Rose

The problem is knowing what is upstream of you. If you have a spring in the garden, you are all right, but otherwise, it could go through enough countryside for all sorts of things to be using. Nicky Colour it green

I guess the question is if you don't have sheep, and are keeping your poo out of water, what else is eating the eggs to keep the life cycle going in that locality? (unless you're frequently getting an influx of migratory snails?)

I'm not really up on freshwater snail migration Smile - but they do seem to just appear in garden ponds... maybe they hitch a lift on visiting frogs?...who knows... there's probably a study about it somewhere Smile

Not pooing in the garden pond seems like a good general life rule....
Mistress Rose

Tell birds and fish that. gregotyn

Liver fluke definitely needs the sheep and the snail to do its life cycle. It is one of the few things that stick in my mind after 35 years since college, the snail is called limnia trunculata, useless gen to me now I don't have sheep!
Dry summers reduce the snail numbers significantly, as does generally dry ground, reeds present in a pasture indicate there is a fair bit of wetness. Cattle can also get liver fluke, but this doesn't show to the degree that it does in sheep due to the size of cattle, they can stand it. Not sure about horses. It is also interesting that only one particular stage,(third stage larval) is infective to sheep. So not only does this snail have to be there for infection to occur, there also has to be a passing sheep to pick up the infective stage for sheep, picking up the 1st or 2nd stage larvae does not cause the disease to take place. This is all memory so hazy!
I will find my old college notes and check, but the gist is right!
Mistress Rose

The other question with watercress is, does it pick up and concentrate heavy metals and other toxic substances. I know lettuce does, which is why market gardens have been removed from high soil levels of arsenic areas. Slim

The other question with watercress is, does it pick up and concentrate heavy metals and other toxic substances. I know lettuce does, which is why market gardens have been removed from high soil levels of arsenic areas.

I don't think there are any greens that selectively exclude heavy metals to a much greater degree than any others.

The bigger differences are between sections of a plant. i.e., the further removed from the soil that tissue is (and therefore the number of barriers, e.g., kasparian strip, placental barrier) the less metal it will contain.

In the case of soil containing elevated lead levels, while it is ill-advised to eat root crops, you will ingest more lead from that same dirt on the outside of your tomato than you will from the inside of the fruit.
oliveoyl

Due to the aforementioned water issues, I grow land cress instead, it grows well in damp, shady conditions, it tastes very similar to watercress, I use as cut and come again leaves, it self seeds if you let it, so only need to buy one packet, and it's jolly hardy, I've been picking throughout the winter. Bolts if allowed to dry out.

https://www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk/cress-seeds-american-land-pid2330.html
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