Lepidium - Curled Cress, Garden Cress, Peppergrass
DESCRIPTION: This vegetable is commonly known as Peppergrass, Curled Cress and Garden Cress. The Curled Cress grows quickly and produces medium green leaves, which are cut deeply giving them a lacy look. They have a pungent taste and are used in small amounts in salads or cold stuffings, or as a garnish. It makes a suitable substitute for watercress in the spring and autumn.
POTTING: These plants are started in the spring and fed and watered once in a while to encourage fast, tender growth. Curled Cress usually survives until the temperatures dip to 20 degrees. Curled Cress is ready when 6 to 12 inches high. You can take the whole plant, but if you have only a few, try shearing plants back halfway; strong ones will regrow.
PROPAGATION: Sow seeds thickly in full sun in early spring. They grow so fast that they should be seeded in short rows every 2 weeks to keep fresh leaves available. Stop sowing during the summer and start sowing again in late summer under light shade. Water fall crops often. Curled Cress can be raised indoors by sowing seeds on damp blotters. Seedlings will show in 4 to 5 days.
VARIETIES: L. sativum variety crispum.
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