Nasturtiums are members of the Tropaeolum genus and can be either annual or perennial. Their blossoms come in a variety of colours, ranging from creamy white to bright red, yellow, orange and multicoloured. Some favourite nasturtiums grown in gardens or containers are the dwarf, climbing and trailing varieties. Nasturtiums are excellent companion plants, as they repel pests such as cucumber beetles and squash vine borers. All parts of the nasturtium are edible, and their flowers and leaves are often used in salads or as a garnish. Nasturtiums thrive in full sun and prefer average, well-drained, damp soil. They are very simple for novice gardeners and children to plant and grow from seeds.
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Things you need
- Small glass container
- Warm water
- Organic compost
- Garden hoe or rake
Soak the nasturtium seeds overnight in a small glass container filled with warm water.
Prepare a suitable garden site in full sun. Nasturtiums will grow in partial shade, but they won’t flower as profusely as in sun.
Amend the garden soil by mixing in a 1-inch layer of organic compost with a rake or garden hoe.
Drench the amended soil with water and then let it drain.
Push the nasturtium seeds 1/2 to 1 inch into the soil with your finger, spacing them 10 to 12 inches apart. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and gently firm it with your finger.
Water the nasturtium seeds lightly directly after planting. Refrain from watering them again until the seeds germinate in 7 to 10 days.
Water the nasturtiums weekly throughout the growing season.
Tips and warnings
- Nasturtiums don’t require additional fertiliser unless the soil is very poor. Too much fertiliser promotes heavy leaf growth and fewer flower blossoms.
- Inspect nasturtiums often for aphids, spider mites, white flies, caterpillars or other noxious pests. Treat infestations, if needed, with an organic insecticide, soap or other natural product.
- Don't use poisonous chemicals or pesticides on nasturtiums if you plan to eat the leaves or flowers.
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