Nasturtiums grow in mounds or as vines. They produce flowers in shades of cream, yellow, orange, rust and red. The plants have round foliage and a peppery scent. The plants provide salad greens and decorative edible flowers with long throats and soft petals. Nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus, is native to South America and Central America. The tough, wrinkly pea-sized seeds take a long time to germinate without help, and soaking is one way to speed the process. In cold climates, start nasturtiums in early April and grow them indoors for five to six weeks, according to the University of Minnesota.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Waterproof bowl
Pour nasturtium seeds into a bowl.
Add warm water, covering the seeds with 1 inch of water.
Soak the nasturtiums seeds overnight.
Drain off the water. Plant the seeds right away.
Plant the nasturtium seeds 1/2 inch deep and 10 to 12 inches apart. Sow the seeds directly in the garden after the danger of frost passes. Alternatively, plant nasturtiums in window boxes, hanging baskets or start them in pots indoors. Choose a location with full sun. They will grow in partial shade but need sun to bloom well, according to the University of Wisconsin.
Tips and warnings
- Plant nasturtiums in neglected areas and allow the soil to dry out before each watering. Nasturtiums don't flower well in rich soil or constantly damp conditions.
- Keep the soil damp, but not saturated, until the seeds germinate. Germination usually takes one to two weeks. Excessive watering will rot the seedlings.
- Don't fertilise nasturtiums. Fertilising promotes leaf growth and fewer blooms, according to the University of Wisconsin.
- Deadhead or pick the nasturtium blooms to increase flowering.
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