5 Reason Why I Grow Nasturtiums In My Garden
Today I found myself collecting seeds from my Nasturtiums all the while patting myself on the back for making the decision to grow this wonderful annual in my garden. As I was admiring the flowers I started thinking of the benefits of growing this plant and thought of a few but I'll share my top 5 reasons why I grow Nasturtiums in my garden.
1. Easy germination. Nasturtiums, or "Nasties" as I've become fond of calling them, are easy to germinate if you scarify them and soak them for 24 hours in warm water.
2. The large seeds that Nasturtiums produce are easy to sow, so easy that even a child can do it. This past spring I let my 2 year old nephew sow them for me in my garden. The seeds were big enough that he could pick them up and toss them in the general direction of where I wanted them to go, I'd follow behind him and cover them with a light dusting of soil. In your garden you may not even have to sow them yourself because they can self-sow and have even over-wintered here in Chicago.
3. The young leaves and flowers of Nasturtiums are edible. You can add fresh young leaves to your salads, sandwiches or cold soups for a peppery flavor. The flowers make good garnishes for soups, salads or press the flower petals into soft cheeses or butters to create a tasty spread.
4. Nasturtiums grow well in poor soils and once established they don't get supplemental watering in my garden. In rich soils or over-fertilized gardens they tend to create more foliage than flowers-so starve them if you want more blooms which will results in lost of seeds.
5. If you're a vegetable gardener or have an aphid problem in your garden grow Nasturtiums as a sacrificial crop. This annual attracts aphids and once they're spotted on a stem you can pinch it off and dispose of the aphids keeping them away from your more valuable plants or crops.
I could go probably go on but I promised only 5 reasons to grow this wonderful annual. If you haven't or don't grow Nasturtiums in your garden you really should. Seeds are easy to find in stores and they're very inexpensive and come in many colors. Even the"Dwarf Cherry Rose" that I dismissed earlier is starting to grow on me.