I love nasturtiums so I must share how to grow these beautiful edible flowers. Especially as I have had an overwhelming request for learning how to grow these from all my Instagram followers, so here it is for you all!
Nasturtiums are easy to grow from seeds and there is a huge variety, from pale shades to vibrant hues. Whether you have a balcony, tiny patio or even a doorstep, nasturtiums will promise you a pretty summer display. They make great companion plants in your vegetable patch, acting as decoys for pests, so a permanent resident in my raised beds.
Plus a great activity to sow these with children as the seeds are large and very forgiving!
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How to Grow Nasturtiums from Seeds
Buy your seeds from your local garden centre, shops or online. There are lots of varieties so have a good browse and see which colours appeal to you!
Sowing Seeds Indoors
You can easily start nasturtiums by sowing seeds indoors in March so that they are ready to be planted outdoors once the weather turns warmer. Nasturtiums don’t like frost, so it is best to plant them outdoors once the frosty nights are over.
Use any small recycled plastic containers or pots but they must have holes at the bottom so that excess water can drain out easily. Use fresh new sowing or multipurpose compost.
Fill the containers or pots with the compost and firm down gently. Make a hole with a chopstick or blunt pencil that is 1.5 cm deep and drop a seed in it. Cover the seed with the compost from the sides and continue sowing more seeds if your pot has space.
Water gently and keep indoors, somewhere that is frost free. Keep the compost moist and once they have germinated, move them to a bright windowsill!
How to grow Nasturtiums Outdoors
Sowing Seeds Outdoors
- I plant them straight outdoors in early spring (around April) into prepared pots, planters or beds to a depth of 1.5 cm.
- Cover and water well and keep the compost moist but not too damp.
- I like to sow them at the corners of my raised beds as each plant will cover a lot of space. They can trail on the ground or you can support them up on a trellis or arch too.
- Once they have germinated and started growing, ensure that the compost is kept moist.
- Nasturtiums don’t need much attention apart from watering. If they are left dry then the leaves will become yellow and the plants will not grow well.
- Once you’ve grown them, you will not need to sow their seeds again. This is because they are great self-seeders. In autumn, nasturtiums drop their seeds on the ground, which will pop up in spring to greet you!
Harvesting Nasturtium Flowers, Leaves and Seeds
You can harvest the flowers and leaves regularly throughout summer and autumn. Nasturtium flowers are delicately sweet, perfect for salads and garnishing. The leaves are peppery in flavour and ideal for salads, stir fries and popping into sandwiches and wraps! Nasturtium seeds which appear in late summer and autumn have a strong peppery hit, and beautiful pickled in vinegar for preserving.
Benefits of Growing Nasturtiums
- These make the best companion plants in your vegetable patch. Nasturtiums act as decoys for pests like slugs, aphids and cabbage white caterpillars. They become the sacrificial plants, thereby protecting the rest of your vegetables from being damaged. This is why I plant nasturtiums on my raised bed corners – it is a great trap for pests!
- Nasturtiums are great at attracting pollinators. So important for bringing in the bees into our gardens. Plus the bees and other insects help to pollinate the flowers on the vegetables that we are growing, like cucumbers!
- So easy to grow from seeds, so undemanding and don’t require rich soil either! Growing nasturtiums is literally child’s play and that reminds me, these are ideal for sowing and growing with children.
- Edible flowers, leaves, seeds – need I say more!
- Nasturtiums grow vigorously in the warmer months and therefore make the ideal plants to fill bare spaces in your garden. As they trail so easily, they also make good ground cover and will not let weeds thrive!
- With their trailing habit, you can plant them in baskets or tubs to allow them to pour out! Or better still, let them climb up an arch or a trellis for a fine summer display of edible flowers and salads leaves!
Now you can see why I love growing these edible flowers. I hope that you will find reading this guide on how to grow nasturtiums helpful and give it a go this spring!