This week I finally got around to sowing my Nasturtium "Spitfire" seeds in the garden. I find Nasturtium seeds to be so easy and carefree that I can't bring myself to starting them indoors or in a seed starting kit/greenhouse like the ghetto greenhouse, newspaper pots, paper tube seed pots or even in plastic baggies.
The direct sowing method is definitely the way to go with these annual seeds in my experience. I just take one of the seeds and sink it into the ground with my index finger and move on until I am out of seeds. To give myself a challenge for the seed GROW project I started a www.GardenBloggers.com I decided to pre-soak some of my nasturtium seeds and direct sow the rest straight of out the seed packet.
A handful of Nasturtium "Spitfire" seeds that I soaked in warm water for 24 hours before planting them in the garden. The reasoning behind soaking them before sowing seeds is to make sure that the seeds germinate, by softening the seed coating and giving the embryo a chance to emerge.
I sprinkled the seeds in the same cinder blocks I used as 'containers' for the Nasturtium "Moonlight" seeds I grew last year. Hopefully there weren't any self-sown seeds in them from last year. The "Moonlight" seeds I also got from Renee's Garden and it was my experience growing them last season that prompted the seed GROW project idea. I blogged about how the seeds didn't do much after germinating and there wasn't any climbing occurring and how it wasn't until right after I complained to Renee about the seeds that they started growing like gangbusters. It was my experience growing them that got me wondering about the experience of other gardeners who bought the same seeds and how the seed GROW project came to be.
Nasturtiums have been a favorite annual of mine because they are relatively inexpensive, easy to start from seed, flower more in poor soil and provide me blooms right up to, and sometimes after, the first frost of the season when everything else in the garden is starting to go dormant. The leaves, flowers and seeds are edible and decorative and I recommend them for every sized garden.
Update 5/17: While walking around the garden today I noticed that both the Nasturtium seeds I scarified and the seeds I just planted without pre-soaking them had both sprouted. I would've expected the seeds that were scarified to germinate first, but I think the wet weather we had after I sowed the seeds in the garden helped the untreated seeds catch up with the scarified and pre-soaked seeds.
One of the seedlings spotted in the garden today. As I was expecting, the seeds started in the cider block containers are a little taller than the ones that were planted in the ground. I attribute this to the soil in the cinder blocks being warmer than the ground this spring.
Previous Posts on Nasturtiums:
5 Reasons Why I Grow Nasturtiums in my Garden
Nasturtium "Dwarf Cherry Rose"
Nasturtium "Jewel Mix"
Climbing Nasturtium, "Moonlight" (pics & video)
When I Collect Nasturtium Seeds.(pics & video)