If you’re wondering what to grow in the greenhouse this autumn, have you considered watercress?
In addition to growing easily in the outdoors, and being particularly suited to the cold months, watercress grows well throughout the winter even in unheated and shaded greenhouses.
As Bunny Guinness writes in an article in the Telegraph, this also provides a huge, year-round supply of an extremely healthy plant that can be used for soups, pasta sauces and salads.
You don’t even have to grow them from seed. Buy a packet, cut the stems to about 100mm in length, put them in a glass of water and they should root within a couple of weeks.
In addition to the health benefits of working outside in your garden or greenhouse, the benefits you get from eating watercress are often overlooked and yet it is full of nutritious vitamins and minerals.
A member of the cruciferous vegetable family, like broccoli, cabbage and Brussel sprouts, watercress contains a unique chemical called PEITC which has cancer fighting properties. Studies have shown that PEITC inhibited the growth of both human prostate and colon cancer cells and blocked the growth of breast cancer cells. And in times when cancer affects one in three people, we all need to be practicing as much prevention as we can.
It can also lower the risk of the most common cause of adult blindness, macular degeneration, and also cataracts, through its high levels of carotenoids. The lutein in watercress may have the additional benefit of preventing the development of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.
And as watercress is low in calories, you don’t have to worry about piling on the pounds.
Let us know how your watercress grows!