How To Grow Cress Microgreens

<a href=''>Jon Smith</a>Jon Smith
August 1, 2021

Cress is an easy-to-grow microgreen that is filled with nutrients. This delicious microgreen is one of the most popular microgreens on the market. Its unique peppery flavor and leaf structure make it the perfect addition to soups, salads, smoothies, and when used as a garnish.

Microgreen Profile

Below you will find the pertinent information about cress microgreen. Our quick informational table allows you to quickly find the information that you need.

Flavor Cress microgreens are slightly bitter with bold, peppery undertones.
Pre-Soak (Yes/No)  No presoaking is necessary.
Color  Cress microgreens have white stems and pale green leaves.
Germination Time  Cress germination times are 3 to 4 days.
Harvest Time   Cress can be harvested in 8 to 12 days.
Green Thumb Level (1-5)  1 – Cress is extremely easy to grow, making it a great choice for novice microgreen gardeners.

Cress microgreens are easy to grow. Our step-by-step guide will provide you with all the information that you need to grow tasty cress microgreens in a little over a week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are new to microgreen gardening or you have been growing microgreens for a long time, you may have questions. We have gathered the most frequently asked questions about growing cress microgreens.

Do Cress Microgreens Regrow After Harvesting?

No, cress microgreens will not regrow after harvesting. After harvest, compost the growing medium and roots. Then, plant a fresh batch of cress microgreens.

How Fast Do Cress Microgreens Grow?

Cress is a fast-growing type of microgreen. You can expect to harvest cress microgreens within a week to two weeks from planting.

What Vitamins Are in Cress Microgreens?

Cress is filled with vitamins and minerals that promote health. Cress microgreens contain large amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and a plethora of minerals that improve immunity, enhance health, and increase longevity.

How do I Eat Cress Microgreens?

Raw cress microgreens are delicious in salads and on sandwiches.  They add a hint of peppery flavor to your favorite salads. Cress microgreens can also be added to soups and stews at the end of the cooking cycle.

Equipment Needed to Grow Cress Microgreens

Cress microgreens are easy to grow and only require a few simple supplies. Although cress microgreens can be grown hydroponically or in soil, we recommend growing in coconut coir. Coconut coir is a soilless growing medium that helps regulate moisture levels to reduce the risk of mold and other soilborne diseases.

Cress Microgreens Starter Kits

A starter kit has the equipment you need to begin growing microgreens. True Leaf Market's Deluxe Microgreens Starter Kit provides you with growing trays, growing medium, seeds, and a misting bottle.

Specific Equipment Needed for Cress Microgreens

If you prefer, you can purchase individual pieces of equipment. You will need the following equipment to grow cress microgreens.

Cress Microgreens Growing Medium

There are a variety of growing mediums that can be used for cress microgreens, including seed starting potting soil and coconut coir. We recommend using coconut coir as the growing medium for cress microgreens.

Coconut Coir

Coconut coir is made from the husk of coconuts. The coir is ground up into a soil-like substance. Coconut coir retains moisture and is insect neutral. This renewable resource is the preferred growing medium for growing cress microgreens.

MOTHER EARTH Coco Plus Perlite Mix - For Indoor and Outdoor Container Gardens, Provides Strong Aeration & Drainage, 70% Coconut Coir, Resists Compaction, 50 Liter
  • Mother Earth Coco + Perlite is a great alternative to potting soil as it enables gardeners to aggressively feed and not worry about over-watering
  • Use Mother Earth Coco + Perlite with indoor and outdoor container gardens
  • Achieve better aeration and drainage with a mix that incorporates 70% of the finest coconut coir and 30% perlite
  • Plant directly in Mother Earth Coco + Perlite
  • Coconut coir resists compaction and last longer in a container (vs traditional growing media)

Seed Starting Soil

Seed starting soil contains the nutrients that your seeds need to thrive. The soil is fine-grained, which allows for proper root development. Seed starting soil does not retain moisture like other soilless growing mediums like coconut coir.

FoxFarm Ocean Forest FX14000 -1.5 Cubic Foot Organic Potting Soil
  • SIZE: 38.6 quarts of FoxFarm Ocean Forest Potting Soil for your hungry plants
  • APPLICATION: Ultimate potting soil that has everything your plants need in one bag
  • CONTENTS: Blend of earthworm castings, bat guano, sea-going fish & crab meal, forest humus, moss & more
  • PH LEVELS: Ocean Forest is pH adjusted at 6.3 to 6.8 to allow for optimum fertilizer uptake
  • BENEFITS: Encourages strong branching and a sturdy, healthy growth habit and is ideal for containerized plantings

Cress Microgreens Growing Trays

You will need three trays for your Cress microgreens. You will use two trays for the bottom and one tray as a humidity dome. When purchasing growing trays, buy two trays without holes and one tray with holes. Typically, microgreen gardeners prefer using the 10 inch by 20 inch grow trays; however, there are other sizes available as well.

Growing Tray with Holes

The growing tray with holes will be placed inside one of the growing trays without holes. The growing tray with holes will be used to hold the growing medium and seeds. This tray will allow you to water your microgreens from the bottom up.

10 Plant Growing Trays (with Drain Holes) - 20" x 10" - Perfect Garden Seed Starter Grow Trays: for Seedlings, Indoor Gardening, Growing Microgreens, Wheatgrass & More - Soil or Hydroponic
  • Quantity 10 - Durable Plastic - WITH Drain Holes
  • Perfect for hydroponic growing and seed starting
  • Approx: 21" by 11" (top measurement). 20" by 10" bottom of tray - See product description below for precise measurments
  • Accomodates 20" x 10" Sure to Grow Hydroponic Grow Pads and Micro-Mats Perfectly
  • Reusable - Great for Greenhouse, Seedlings, wheatgrass, microgreens and more.

Growing Trays without Holes

One of the growing trays without holes will be used to hold water during bottom watering. The other grow tray without holes will be used during the blackout germination process. The tray will be placed upside down on top of your cress microgreen seeds.

10 Plant Growing Trays (No Drain Holes) - 20" x 10" - Perfect Garden Seed Starter Grow Trays: for Seedlings, Indoor Gardening, Growing Microgreens, Wheatgrass & More - Soil or Hydroponic
  • Quantity 10 - Durable Plastic - NO Drain Holes
  • Perfect for use as a drip tray, hydroponic growing and seed starting
  • Approx: 21" by 11" (top measurement). 20" by 10" bottom of tray - See product description below for precise measurments
  • Accomodates 20" x 10" Sure to Grow Hydroponic Grow Pads and Micro-Mats Perfectly
  • Reusable - Great for Greenhouse, Seedlings, wheatgrass, microgreens and more.

Cress Microgreens Misting Bottle  

A misting bottle is used to gently water your cress microgreens without disturbing the delicate roots of your cress microgreens.

GETTON 2.0L Garden Sprayer, Hand-held Pressure Pump Sprayer Plant Mister Spray Bottle with Adjustable Nozzle and Detachable Wand for Indoor Outdoor Household Cleaning Garden Lawn Watering
  • 【Safe Pressure Valve】The garden spraying bottle equipped with a safety pressure release valve, which allows you to control the pressure of water and automatically releases the excess pressure. The pump holds a good amount of pressure while offers a place reducing fatigue while operating the equipment.
  • 【Adjustable Nozzle】The premium adjustable nozzle of this garden sprayer can be easily adjusted the intensity of the water from direct injection to fine mist spray as desired. Greater even coverage for a better performance.
  • 【Durable & Easy to Clean】The pump sprayer is manufactured from PP material for excellent durability. 2L Translucent water tank can clearly show the liquid level inside so you can add more in time. It is also convenient for cleaning.
  • 【Wide Application】This universal pressure sprayer can accommodate your daily cleaning and watering needs both indoors and outdoors . Ideal for household cleaning, watering plants and flowers, misting veggies, pet bathing, and moisturizing flowers.
  • 【Ergonomic Handle】The pump pressure sprayer comes with an ergonomic 4-finger handle that is non-slip for effortless use and convenient to be carried anywhere. A removable long wand is good to help spray more spaces or hard-to-reach places.

Cress Microgreens Light Source

This full spectrum grow light is designed to activate the photosynthesis process for optimal growth. The grow light is placed directly above your microgreens to ensure your cress microgreens grow evenly.

Barrina LED Grow Light, 144W( 6 x 24W, 800W Equivalent), 2ft T8, Full Spectrum, High Output, Linkable Design, T8 Integrated Bulb+Fixture, Plant Lights for Indoor Plants, 6-Pack
  • Full Spectrum - Barrina grow light is a great option for plants that in seedling, vegetative and flowering cycle. It provides light that plants need, especially blue and red light
  • Integrated Plant Light Chips- Compare with the lamp consisting of only "blue chips" + "red chips", integrated plant light chips have more efficiency and better color layout
  • Super Bright - Consume only 144W with 576 LEDS totally, replacing 800W general plant lights. These grow light provid a higher PPFD
  • Easy Installation - Plug and play. And could link up to 6 grow lights in a series by 48 inches connecting cords. Also, you could mount to ceiling or hang up for shelf. Saving your installation cost and time
  • Quality Assurance - 2-year unlimited warranty, easy and fast replacement is offered if any quality issue

(Optional) Cress Microgreens Heating Mat

A heat mat keeps the growing medium and seeds at a consistent temperature to optimize germination. Indoor ambient temperatures can be too cool for optimal germination. A heat mat helps counteract these cooler temperatures.

HYDGOOHO Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat for Seed Starting Propagation and Increase Germination Success 10 Inch x 20.75 Inch MET Safety Standard Certified
  • Makes a differeance in germination time, leafy greens in about 2 days and tomatoes 3-4 days for sprouts.
  • Try to use the seedling heat mat and heat mat thermostat to heat water in the seed container to increase humidity in your grow tent.
  • Using to keep a batch of fermenting beer wort at 72F is also available
  • Great affordable heating solution to starting plants from seed.
  • If you’re doing home gardening for your seasonings, go find this seedling heat mat sets.

(Optional) Cress Microgreens Circulation Fans

Circulation fans are designed to improve air movement across plants, which decreases the risk of mold and other soilborne diseases. When it comes to circulation fans, you want the fans to gently blow across the microgreens without blowing directly on the soil.

Active Air HORF6 6-Inch Clip-On 360-Degree 5W Brushless Motor Hydroponic Grow Fan with Spring-Loaded Plastic Clip for Gardens, Black, 2 Pack
  • LONG LASTING: Fan features a 5W brushless motor that lasts longer and can be hooked up to fan speed controllers; Features a smooth and quiet operation (2 Pack)
  • CLIP-ON DESIGN: Clip-on portable fan is convenient and effective for small spaces; Can be used to help grow healthy plants or for cooling, in your garden, flood tables for airflow under foliage, small spaces, or on your office desk with a spring-loaded plastic clip that won't mar surfaces
  • AIR-FLOW: With the 6-inch adjustable-angle head that rotates 360 degrees you can direct airflow where you need it and it can also be wall-mounted to free up space
  • DURABLE: The cooling fan features 3 durable plastic blades and the easily-removable safety grills make cleaning a breeze; The motor outlasts traditional fans that use oil to lubricate rotation
  • SPECIFICATIONS: The product has a 6-foot power cord and is powered by DC 5V/5W making it energy efficient; Weight: 1 pound; Dimensions of (L x W x H): 6 x 8 x 8 inches; Quantity: 2

(Optional) Cress Microgreen Planting Rack

If you are limited on space, a planting rack allows you to store multiple trays vertically. Additionally, a rack allows you to hang grow lights directly above your microgreen trays and place circulation fans, so the air blows horizontally across the microgreens.

Storage Shelves 2100Lbs Capacity, 6-Shelf on Casters 48" L×18" W×82" H Wire Shelving Unit Adjustable Layer Metal Rack Strong Steel for Restaurant Garage Pantry Kitchen,Black
  • IMPRESSIVE STORAGE CAPACITY - With six tiers of shelving, this unit boasts an enormous amount of space and shelving. It’s able to provide a great deal of additional storage without taking up too much space itself.
  • STURDY AND DURABLE - Constructed from heavy-duty steel wire, this shelf is durable and resistant to dirt buildup and corrosion. Each shelf has a capacity of up to 220 lbs when properly assembled, with a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs total.
  • ADJUSTABILITY - You can adjust the height of the storage shelves in one-inch increments, creating a customized unit best suited for your specific storage needs.
  • MULTIFUNCTIONALITY - This metal shelving unit can be used virtually anywhere, in the kitchen, the bathroom, the garage, outdoor shed, and more. It’s perfect for storing tools, clothes, books, and whatever else is taking up space in your home or office. Equipped with wheels, you can transport this unit smoothly and efficiently room to room.
  • FAST, EASY ASSEMBLY: The shelving unit comes packaged ready to assemble, and doesn’t require any tools for installation. In just 15 minutes, your unit can be installed and ready to save space.

Cress Microgreen Seed Options

Curled Cress – Curled Cress microgreens are perfect for microgreen salads. These microgreens have a defined peppery flavor that pairs well with sweeter microgreens like corn microgreens, carrot microgreens, kale microgreens, and pea microgreens.

Upland Cress – Upland Cress has a unique peppery flavor that is delicious on sandwiches; however, it should only be used sparingly in microgreen salads. Enjoy Upland cress on meat, cheese, or veggie sandwiches.

Step by Step Growing Guide for Cress Microgreens

Our step-by-step growing guide for cress microgreens will ensure you know everything that is needed to effectively grow cress microgreens. Follow our directions for an optimal harvest of cress microgreens.

Step 1 Prepare Your Growing Trays

Begin by placing your growing medium in the grow tray with holes. Fill the tray to slightly below the top of the tray, ensuring the growing medium goes to the edges of the tray.

Use your misting bottle to spray the growing medium. Spray the soil three or four times to get the growing medium moistened. Conversely, you can place your grow tray in a sink with water a couple of inches deep. Allow the grow tray to sit in the water for 10 minutes before removing it.

Once the soil is adequately moistened, place the tray with holes inside one of the grow trays without holes. It is now time to plant your cress microgreen seeds.

Step 2 Plant Your Cress Microgreen Seeds

You will need approximately 10 grams of seeds for each 10 inch by 20 inch microgreen growing tray. Sprinkle the seeds evenly across the surface of your grow tray. Press the seeds into the soil using your hands or a piece of cardboard.

Once you have sown the cress microgreens, use your misting bottle to gently dampen the cress microgreen seeds. Avoid overwatering as cress microgreen seeds are mucilaginous, which means they form a mucus membrane around the hull of the seed when they are exposed to water. If too much water is used, the germination rate of your cress microgreen seeds will be lower than normal.

Step 3 Understand the Germination Process

Seeds require darkness for proper germination. When seeds are planted in the ground, the seedlings push up through the dirt stretching for the light. Because microgreens are grown in grow trays, you have to mimic the effects of seeds planted deep in the ground.

Once you have sown your cress microgreen seeds, invert the remaining grow tray and place it atop your cress microgreen seeds. Then, place a weight or a heavy book atop the inverted growing tray.

Don't worry, the weight or book will not damage your cress microgreens. In fact, the weight will help strengthen the roots of the cress microgreens for healthy plants.

Then, place your tray of microgreens on the heat mat. The heat mat should be set to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature will help increase the germination rate of your cress microgreens. It will take approximately 3 to 4 days for your cress seeds to germinate.

Step 4 Place Your Microgreens Under Grow Lights

Once 90 percent or more of your cress microgreens have sprouted, remove the top from your cress microgreens. Check the moisture level of the soil and water if needed. Then, place your tray of cress microgreens under the grow lights.

Your grow lights should be approximately 12 inches above the tray. The grow lights will be left on continually throughout the remainder of time until harvest.

The grow lights should be placed directly over the cress microgreens to help ensure the microgreens grow straight and strong. If a grow light isn't used, the microgreens can grow leggy and develop tough stems.

Step 5 Turn on Your Circulation Fans

The circulation fans are used to help prevent mold from developing on your cress microgreens. The fans should be left on throughout the growth cycle until the microgreens are ready for harvest.

 If the air is pointed downward toward the soil, the soil can dry out too quickly. Instead, the air must blow horizontally across the tops of the cress microgreens.

Step 6 Know When to Harvest Cress Microgreens

Knowing when to harvest your cress microgreens is one of the most important things when it comes to growing microgreens. The appearance and flavor of your microgreens can change drastically in a matter of days.

Once the cotyledons have developed, you will need to begin tasting the cress microgreens daily. As soon as they taste the way you want them to taste, withhold watering for 12 hours and then harvest.

Harvesting Cress Microgreens

Harvest cress microgreens using a sharp knife or a sharp pair of scissors. A sharp knife or scissors will ensure that you cut the microgreen stems without pulling or ripping. If you use a dull knife, you can pull seed husks or soil into your cress microgreens.

As you cut your cress microgreens, gently place them in a single layer across a couple of paper towels. Work as quickly as possible as air exposure can cause your microgreens to wilt.

Once you have harvested your microgreens, it is time to either store the microgreens for personal use, package the microgreens for shipping, or immediately enjoy the microgreens.

If you are using the Cress microgreens immediately, place them in a bowl of cool water. Swirl the microgreens gently to remove any growing medium or seed husks that were still attached to the cress microgreens. Remove the microgreens from the water and place them on a paper towel to dry before use.

If you will be storing your cress microgreens, do not allow any water to touch your microgreens. If you wash your microgreens before storing them, it can cut their shelf life by as much as 50 percent.

Storing Cress Microgreens

Gently wrap your microgreens between two pieces of paper towels and place the microgreens inside a sealed plastic or glass storage container or an airtight storage bag. Then, place the microgreens in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. On average, cress microgreens can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Final Thoughts

Cress microgreens are super easy to grow when you follow our step-by-step guide on how to grow cress microgreens. Cress is nutrient-dense and pairs wonderfully with other microgreens. Cress microgreens are often enjoyed on sandwiches, in soups, in salads, or used as a garnish.

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How To Grow Cress Microgreens
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About The Author
I have been growing microgreens for myself and others for quite some time now and I absolutely love the process.

Even more I love spreading awareness of an amazing crop that has so many nutritional benefits for our bodies which improve our overall health and wellbeing.

Jon Smith

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.