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Ask Garden Eats: Can I Eat Flowering Watercress?

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Question: Help Kath! I just bought the watercress Christine suggested in my new food therapy routine and was planning to plant, pick, eat, grow, but just noticed some parts are flowering. Can I still use it? Should I eat the flowers? Thx for any tips!

-Karol, Los Angeles, California 34

Garden Eats: Not to worry! Watercress is a semi-aquatic herb, meaning it grows best in shallow water and is commonly seen growing in shallow streams. Since that’s not a practical way to grow it at home, it does best in container pots. Watercress’ shallow roots need to be kept wet at all times and it doesn’t need a lot of sun to thrive.

When your plants reach 6 inches, you can start enjoying by cutting the top four inches off. Always leave 1/3 of the plant intact. That will keep your watercress lush and full while encouraging new growth. The more you snip the peppery tasting leaves, the less likely it is to flower and go to seed. If you do see tall spikes start to shoot from the plant, snip them at their base. Watercress will become bitter once it starts producing flowers. You can eat the flowers if you want, but they are more bitter than the leaves.

Watercress is best eaten with salads or other greens so that its pungent flavor is calmed a bit. Enjoy!

Garden Eats Watercress

 

 

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