Growing Nasturtium

NasturtiumA fast growing annual plant that reseeds itself freely. Home gardeners are growing nasturtium (Tropaeolum) for their colorful flowers and attractive foliage. The flowers and leaves are edible and make a peppery addition to salads, pastas or used as a garnish. Hardy annual, 12-14 inches tall.

Site Preparation:

Nasturtiums prefer full sun and average moist soil, but beware; once established it may be hard to eradicate. In hot climates plant in partial shade.

How to Plant:

Sow outdoors one week after last frost 1/4 inch beneath the surface of the soil. Nasturtium seeds germinate in 7-12 days. Some of the taller climbing varieties will need support. Pinch off the spent blooms to extend the flowering season.

Insects and Disease:

Check often for aphids. If they occur, treat with an insecticidal soap or other natural pest control method.

Seed Saving Instructions:

Nasturtiums will cross-pollinate. Gardeners should only grow one variety at a time to save pure seed, or isolate varieties by 1/2 mile. Seeds are formed in pods beneath the blossoms containing around 2-3 large seeds. Pods do have a tendency to burst, so placing an old sheet or newspaper around the plants may be necessary. Picking the seedpods slightly premature is also an option.

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