This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol4", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This quick-growing Persian annual (Lepidium sativum) is highly valued for the pungent flavour of its young and tender leaves and stalks. Seeds are sown several times during the season under glass on flat beds in nicely prepared fine soil, and are given a good watering, after which the beds are covered with mats. These are removed as soon as germination takes place, and when the stalks are about 2 in. high they are cut with a special knife in handfuls, and are deftly placed upright in chip punnets, in which they are sent to market.
Very often Mustard (or rather Rape) is grown with the Cress, in which case the latter, being slower in germination than the Mustard, is sown two or three days in advance. In this way both the Mustard and Cress arrive simultaneously at a fit state for cutting. The best prices are realized from January to March and April (2s. to 4s. per dozen punnets), but the prices come down later on.
Fig. 505 - Crate packed with Punnets of Mustard and Cress.