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How to Grow Nasturtiums

Guidelines on How to Grow Nasturtiums

Grow Nasturtiums: Looking for vibrant blooms that are a breeze to grow? Look no further than nasturtiums! These cheerful annuals are perfect for gardeners of all levels, even beginners and kids.

Nasturtiums aren’t just about good looks, though. They’re a multi-talented bunch! Here’s why you’ll love them:

  • A Rainbow of Blooms: Forget orange! Nasturtiums come in a stunning array of colors, from classic yellow and red to surprising shades like cream, salmon pink, and even burgundy. Some varieties even boast beautiful marbled or mottled leaves.
  • Bushy or Climbing: Choose your nasturtium style! Bushy varieties thrive in pots, hanging baskets, or borders, adding a pop of color. Climbers love to sprawl across trellises, obelisks, or even sprawl as ground cover.
  • Edible Delights: Did you know nasturtiums are edible? The flowers, leaves, and even seeds are all delicious additions to salads, sandwiches, or even cocktails!
  • Garden Guardians: Nasturtiums play well with others. They attract beneficial insects like bees, while their leaves act as a decoy, attracting pests away from your precious vegetables.
  • Seed Starting Champs: Growing nasturtiums from seed is a breeze! This makes them a perfect project for kids or anyone new to gardening. Plus, they make fantastic cut flowers to brighten up your home.

So, if you’re looking for easy-to-grow, eye-catching blooms with a bonus of attracting pollinators and protecting your veggies, nasturtiums are the perfect choice!

Where to Grow Nasturtiums

Sun-Kissed Nasturtiums: Your Guide to Flourishing Flowers

Nasturtiums are sun-loving plants that need at least half a day of sunshine to truly thrive. They have a unique preference for free-draining soil, and interestingly, they bloom best in poor soils.

If you’re thinking of using fertile soil, think again! Nasturtiums in fertile soil tend to produce an abundance of leafy growth, often at the expense of flowers. The result? Beautiful flowers hidden beneath a canopy of leaves.

So, where should you plant your nasturtiums? They make a stunning addition to the front of a border, adding a splash of color. You can also train them up an obelisk for a vertical display. If you have a vegetable patch, consider nasturtiums as companion plants. They also look fantastic spilling over the edge of raised beds and pots. Let your nasturtiums shine!

When to Sow Nasturtium

Nasturtiums: Easy Flowers for Early Spring or Late Summer Blooms

Nasturtiums are cheerful and colorful flowers that are perfect for adding a splash of sunshine to your garden. But when’s the best time to plant them? You actually have two options:

  • Early Spring Grow Nasturtiums: Get a jump on the season by sowing nasturtium seeds indoors under cover from March. This will give them a head start and allow them to bloom earlier outdoors.
  • Late Spring/Early Summer: Don’t worry if you miss the indoor sowing window. You can sow nasturtium seeds directly outside from March to May. Just make sure the soil has warmed up a bit, as they don’t like cold temperatures.

Here’s a bonus tip: Planting nasturtiums a little later in the season (May) will actually extend their flowering time. They’ll keep blooming right up until the first frost arrives, giving you a beautiful burst of color in your late summer garden.

How to Sow Nasturtium Seeds

Planting Nasturtiums: A Step-by-Step Guide for Ground and Pots

Nasturtiums can be sown directly in their flowering location. Here’s how:

  1. Prepare the soil by raking it to a fine tilth and ensuring it’s weed-free.
  2. Water the area before sowing to prevent washing away the seeds.
  3. Plant the seeds 1.5cm deep and about 10cm apart. You can use your finger or a bamboo cane to make a shallow drill.
  4. Cover the seeds with soil.
  5. Once the seedlings emerge (usually after two weeks), thin them to around 30cm apart.

Feel free to scatter seeds around your garden, perhaps around the edge of raised beds or large pots of bedding.

How to Grow Nasturtiums in Pots

For those who prefer pots, nasturtiums are a great choice. Sowing nasturtium seeds in pots can lead to earlier blooms and is perfect if you’re planning a stunning container display later in the season. Simply sow one seed per 9cm pot in a greenhouse or on a sunny windowsill, harden off, and plant outside in late spring.

How to Plant Out Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums: From Tiny Seedlings to Vibrant Blooms (No Green Thumb Required!)

Ever looked longingly at those cheerful nasturtiums but been intimidated by starting from seed? Don’t worry, fellow gardening enthusiast! You can still enjoy these easy-to-grow beauties by picking up a few small pots from your local nursery.

Here’s how to give your pre-grown nasturtiums a happy home, whether you’re planting them in the ground or in a container:

Planting in the Ground:

  1. Dig a cozy spot: Imagine the pot your nasturtium came in. Dig a hole in your garden that’s roughly the same size. Make sure it’s nice and loose so the roots can breathe easily.
  2. Find the sweet spot: Gently remove your nasturtium from its pot. You’ll see a cluster of leaves at the base – that’s the crown. When planting, position the crown so it sits level with the soil surface in your hole.
  3. Give it a drink: Water your newly planted nasturtium generously to help it settle in.

Planting in a Container:

  1. The perfect mix: Nasturtiums like well-draining soil. To achieve this, mix two parts peat-free multipurpose compost with one part fine gravel or grit. This creates a light and airy environment for the roots to thrive.
  2. Fill ‘er up: Fill your chosen container with the special nasturtium mix you just created.
  3. Welcome home!: Plant your nasturtium in the container, making sure the crown of leaves sits level with the soil surface. Just like in the ground, give your nasturtium a good watering to help it adjust to its new home.

Top Tip: Nasturtiums love sunshine! Choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of direct sun per day for the most vibrant blooms.

With a little TLC (tender loving care, for those not in the know!), your nasturtiums will reward you with a dazzling display of color all summer long. Happy planting!

How to Care for Nasturtium

Nurturing Nasturtiums is a breeze, as they require minimal upkeep. Those planted directly in the soil seldom require hydration. However, those housed in pots need consistent watering to maintain a uniformly damp compost, but refrain from feeding them. Regularly removing faded or spent flowers, a process known as deadheading, will stimulate a longer blooming period.

Nasturtiums: From Pretty Blooms to Edible Treats

Nasturtiums are the unicorns of the flower world – beautiful to look at and delicious to eat! Here’s the scoop on how to turn your nasturtiums into a culinary adventure:

A Feast for the Senses:

  • Peppery Perfection: Nasturtium leaves and flowers have a delightful peppery kick, similar to their cousin, watercress. This makes them a fantastic addition to salads, instantly adding a burst of flavor and color. Think of them as tiny, edible fireworks for your taste buds!
  • The Caper Caper: Ever heard of “poor man’s capers”? Well, nasturtium seed pods are where it’s at! Pick them when they’re mature but still green, then pickle them in vinegar for a delicious caper substitute. Bonus points for impressing your friends with your fancy (and budget-friendly!) culinary skills.

Planting for the Future:

  • Seed Saving Superstar: Once your nasturtiums have finished flowering, you can collect the seeds to plant next year! Simply let them dry completely in a cool, dark spot. Then, when spring rolls around, you can sow them and watch the magic happen all over again.
  • Nature’s Surprise: Nasturtiums are also known for self-seeding, especially in milder climates. So, don’t be surprised if you see little nasturtium volunteers popping up in your garden next year. You can easily transplant them to a desired location or gently remove them if they’re not in your master plan.

Nasturtiums are truly a gift that keeps on giving – beauty for your eyes and a delightful surprise for your taste buds. So, go forth and harvest the bounty of your floral friends!

Cultivating Nasturtiums: Troubleshooting

Nasturtiums are known to draw in both large and small white butterflies, often referred to as cabbage white butterflies. These butterflies deposit their sizable greenish eggs on the underside of the leaves, which eventually hatch into leaf-eating caterpillars.

This can be advantageous for deterring caterpillars from feasting on brassica crops, but it’s not ideal if you’re cultivating nasturtiums for their flowers. The most effective control method is to regularly check the plants and crush the eggs or young caterpillars, or relocate them to plants that you don’t mind being consumed.

Nasturtiums also tend to attract aphids, especially blackfly. By strategically planting nasturtiums near bean crops, you can divert aphids away from your harvest. However, you might not want aphids on nasturtiums that you’re growing for their leaves and flowers.

You can dislodge them with a strong jet of water or allow ladybirds, hoverflies, and lacewings to do the job for you – all three species lay their eggs on aphid colonies and their offspring rapidly devour them.

Nasturtium Varieties for Every Garden Style:

  • Black Velvet: This compact nasturtium boasts velvety dark red flowers, perfect for adding drama to containers or borders. (Height: 30cm, Spread: 45cm)
  • Phoenix: Stand out with the unusual split petals of ‘Phoenix,’ available in shades of red, orange, and yellow. This bushy variety grows to a manageable 30cm x 30cm.
  • Empress of India: Make a statement with the crimson-red blooms and dark leaves of ‘Empress of India.’ This bushy nasturtium reaches 25cm tall and spreads to 45cm. Look for ‘Princess of India’ for a dwarf version.
  • Orange Troika: Add a burst of sunshine with the climbing ‘Orange Troika.’ This variety features vibrant orange flowers and marbled foliage, reaching 30cm tall and trailing up to 1.5 meters.
  • Alaska Series: Embrace a mix of colors with the ‘Alaska Series.’ This bushy nasturtium offers yellow, cream, orange, and red blooms against beautiful marbled leaves. It grows to 25cm x 45cm.
  • Ladybird: A charmer for any garden, ‘Ladybird’ features pretty cream/yellow flowers with a touch of personality – deep red spots at the throat. This bushy variety reaches 30cm tall and spreads to 40cm.
  • Baby Deep Rose: Compact and captivating, ‘Baby Deep Rose’ offers a profusion of deep crimson blooms on a plant that stays put at 20cm x 20cm.
  • Bloody Mary: Spice things up with the splotched and striped blooms of ‘Bloody Mary.’ This variety features a mix of deep red, yellow, and cream, growing to 30cm tall and spreading to 60cm.

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