4 ideas for growing pretty and edible nasturtiums

June 23, 2015

Informal and perky, nasturtiums are a wonderful choice for beginning gardeners, with their big, pea-size seeds, fast growth and peppery edible leaves and flowers.

4 ideas for growing pretty and edible nasturtiums

How nasturtiums grow

Plants form a low, 30-centimetre-tall mound and then begin to trail a bit, often forming a carpet of leaves and flowers.

  • Nasturtium leaves are bright green and rounded, and the brightly coloured flowers come in shades of red, yellow, orange, cream or crimson.

1. Grow from seed

While seedlings are readily available in spring, nasturtiums are easy to grow from a packet of seeds.

  • Sow in early spring by poking the seeds into sun-drenched soil about one centimetre deep.
  • Thin seedlings to 15 centimetres apart, and the plants will soon be off and running.

2. Make pretty configurations

Plant a pretty pyramid.

  • Drive a stake into the centre of a wooden barrel. Stretch about a dozen pieces of string from the top of the stake to the edges of the container and fasten with tacks.
  • Plant climbing nasturtiums around the barrel perimeter and train the vines up the strings, then use the barrel as a centrepiece in an herb garden or on a patio.

You can also use trailing nasturtiums as a low screen by training the vines up a short trellis. These shapes make beautiful flowers look even better.

3. Make a great pairing

Pair nasturtiums with potted citrus.

  • Plant bush-type nasturtiums around the base of a potted lemon, lime or orange tree.
  • Their bright yellow, orange and red blooms will complement the colours of the citrus fruits.
  • These plants and flowers look better in tandem.

4. Bundle the plants

Mix them with your vegetables.

  • Plant nasturtiums between rows of vegetables, 30 to 45 centimetres apart.
  • They'll form a pretty ground cover and are said to repel some insects — and their blooms are edible!
  • Sprinkle a few right onto a summer salad for eye appeal.
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