Nasturtiums are a great plant to put in your garden for many reasons. As a great companion plant with a beautiful edible flower, or a full and engulfing wall/fence covering.
Depending on the variety that you choose to grow you, they can be grown in the ground or in a container to be enjoyed wherever you hang it. The color varieties available can make your jaw drop a little, especially with how easy they are to grow.
They make a great companion for nearly any vegetable as they will present a more delicious meal to any aphids who may be wandering in your garden.
Nasturtiums differ from other plants in the fact that they attract instead of repel aphids. This can be a savior if you are finding your garden beds over run with the lovely little black bugs. While plants like lavender will repel aphids, a nasturtium will attract all the aphids around to a singular point allowing for disposal. I recommend following the disposal method located on http://www.nature-and-garden.com. (Depicted below)
Disposing of aphid colonies on nasturtiums
Once your decoy is in place, visit the growing bed every two or three days. You can spot new aphid colonies on your nasturtium easily. Carefully pick or cut the colonies into a small pail. Do this delicately so aphids don’t fall off and get away.
Your best solution then is to feed them to your chickens, but it’s also good to simply bury them deep under the compost pile or burn them.”
The rainbow in your garden bed
Another bonus to Nasturtiums is the wide variety available. Going to Eden Brothers and searching for “Nasturtiums” returned “27 results”. The color ranges are spectacular and the blooms are a beautiful addition to anyone’s garden. I currently have two types growing the Empress of India and a Dwarf Jewel Mix.(Pictured Below)
Some of my “favorite” ones
Nasturtium Seeds – Moonlight With their beautiful pale, creamy yellow blooms on long vi… [More]
Nasturtium Seeds – Black Velvet Also known as Tom Thumb Black Velvet, these strikingly … [More]
They are a very easy plant to grow and require little to no attention, with the exception of a dry spell occurring they will strive and bloom.
It is recommended to start your nasturtiums in-doors 4-6 weeks prior to the last frost. Or you can directly sow into the ground or the container they are going to grow in. If you want an easy way to remember when that is check out this article. “The Mother’s Day Rule”. Sow your seeds around 1″ below the soil in any seed starting mix. No extra attention is required just perform normal watering and the seed sprout in around 15 days.
Once your seedlings are around 1-2 inches tall, thin them out to one plant per cell/division or container. For in-ground planting thin them to one plant per around 10 inches. The spacing doesn’t have to be perfect as these plants will bush up and spread themselves all over.
After the danger of last frost has passed you can transplant your fresh babies into their new homes. If you are experiencing a drought or notice that your plants are not growing that fast give them water. They will drink it up and grow like made given the only thing they really need to survive.
This plant strives in the struggle and will actually bloom more with less fertile soil. No fertilizers or soil additives are necessary to grow this plant. If your soil is fertile you will notice that your nasturtium will bush up more than flowering. This is due to the plant trying to create more seeds and propagate itself.
An annual that takes care of itself
As an annual, Nasturtiums will only grow for one season. There is a catch, most of the time they will self seed for the next year. The seeds can seen growing on the underside of your plants stems, they look like a fresh version of the seed you planted to grow that one. If you don’t wish to have them popping up next year make sure you clean up any debris left behind after the growing season is over. If a few get through you can easily identify and pluck them in the spring time after the snow has melted.
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