This is the sad lament of many an unheated Greenhouse, tomatoes finished and cleared out. Lots of space but not a lot doing. I could mention the delights of growing lambs lettuce or even late rocket (much mellower flavour and slow to seed) but for the latter, time’s probably run out. So lets be positive and concentrate on one of the easiest plants to grow now, and whats more is so packed with nutrients and vitamins its classed as a super-food.
I’m talking about water cress, no you don’t need running water to grow it, but try not to use stagnant old water from a butt, clean one out just for this purpose. Now to the process of growing, no seeds just a jam jar full of water and a bag of water cress from the supermarket. Selecting the right bag to buy is probably the hardest thing to do, look for a long sell-by date (freshest) make sure its not too bashed and has few yellow leaves.
The next step is simplicity itself just pop the growing shoots (those with a growing point) into the jam jar brimful with water (it helps being on a saucer) and wait until they show 2 inches of fresh root (middle finger tip to second joint). Please bear in mind that the plants have had a rough time to this stage so avoid direct sunlight, but give good indirect light.
Now the hardest bit, pot on into 3 inch pots place them all on a drip tray and give plenty of water in the bottom of the tray, about half way up the pot for 5 days, to get them over the transition. Then replace with fresh water just to keep the bottom half inch of the pots moist and don’t let them dry out.
Relax and remember to keep visiting to pick and water, and don’t forget to use that staging to save your back!
As an after thought why not pot up some bought parsley for Christmas Turkey stuffing (lemon and parsley). Most supermarkets sell pots of growing parsley for less than £1.00 and all you need to do is hold the root ball in water and gently shake, there’s probably 20 plus plants in those small pots. Pot on carefully and allow time for them to recover, for they have, truth to be told, been some what forced to get to this stage.
More great growing tips from Robert by visiting his homepage.
Another job you can do at this time of the year – start making your own compost.
Our Master Gardeners are here to help! If you or a community group you support need some help growing your own or you don’t know where to start, then get in touch and you could have the one-to-one support from one of our experienced volunteers. Just contact us. It’s that easy!