Friday, March 5, 2010

Nasturtiums




I can't remember how I came across these amazing flowers but Nastutiums to me are just that. Amazing. They are often referred to as "a gardeners delight or a gardeners dream" and I completely agree. Nasturtiums are easy to grow and completely edible. They reseed like crazy and they help deter aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, cucumber beetles and other pests. Once you grow a few of these plants you will never have to purchase more and will be forever be sharing your seeds with friends. There are a few varieties out there. Some are climbers and some ramble about spilling out of raised beds and containers and they come in a handful of colors from vibrant oranges, yellows & reds, crimson, creams, peaches and a color that looks almost black. Some have variegated leaves and some are a very dark green. The plant has a graceful appearance and the leaves remind me of a water lily pad. Our kids really enjoy seeing them spill out of our raised beds every year and love to help harvest the seeds and I often see them poking them in to the ground. The seeds appear after the bloom dies off and are green in color and sometimes they have up to four in a cluster. You can pull them off the stem or wait until they fall. They are easy to spot on the ground or in your soil. It is best to let the seeds completely dry out (brown with a wrinkled appearance) before storing to prevent moisture & mold. I set them in the hot sun and let them dry. The process is pretty fast. I've read that you should soak them before planting. I've never followed that method and have never had a problem. Easy to direct sow.   Nasturtiums will always find a home in our yard.




Quick Nasturtium Facts:

1) The leaves, flowers and seeds are all edible
2) Great source of Vitamin C 
3) Nasturtiums have a spicy, peppery flavor
4) During World War Two, dried ground nasturtium seeds were used as a substitute for black peeper, 
  which was unattainable 
5) Full sun to part shade

2 comments:

Katie said...

I love Nasturtiums too. I will get my seedlings into pots real soon. Thanks for the facts. Amazing.

Tina said...

These are beautiful photos and so informative, too. Thanks for sharing.