The Q&A Archives: Care of Spinach And Watercress

Question: I started my garden in May. Unfortunately, I did not read up on growing spinach and watercress and, until now, found out that watercress should be planted by water and that spinach is a cool season plant. Both plants have sprouted OK, but not quite like my other plants. My spinach is turning yellow on the edges and my watercress has only grown approx. 2". Should I transplant? Should I just keep the soil wet/moist? What should I do?

Answer: To be honest, I think it is too late in the season for the spinach. You can try keeping the soil evenly moist and shading it a bit, but it just may be too hot for it. You can plant it in late August as a fall crop, though. As you've found, watercress, a streambank native, needs constant moisture. You can try keeping it very wet, and see what happens. It has been known to thrive even under the eaves of houses where rainwater drips on it. Keeping it in a container set in a dish of water may allow you to fine tune the moisture and growing conditions, or, if you have a naturally damp spot with a neutral to alkaline soil, you might try planting it there.

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