Nasturtiums As Pest Control – Planting Nasturtiums For Pest Management
By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
Can you really use nasturtiums for pest management? If you?re fighting pests in your flower garden, you may want to give it a try! Click here to learn more about nasturtium insect management, along with a few helpful tips on how to control pests with nasturtiums.
Picking Nasturtiums To Eat – Learn How To Harvest Edible Nasturtiums
By Mary Ellen Ellis
Nasturtium is an annual that you can grow for pretty foliage and pretty flowers, but it can also be eaten. Both the flowers and leaves of nasturtium are tasty eaten raw and fresh. Harvesting nasturtium plants as food is easy, as long as you know a few simple tips found here.
Nasturtium Flowers – How To Grow Nasturtiums
By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden
Nasturtium flowers are versatile; attractive in the landscape and useful in the garden. Nasturtium plants are easy to grow and may be climbing, cascading, or bushy. Get tips on growing these flowers in this article.
How to Plant Nasturtiums in a Hanging Basket
Gardeners looking for a quick, inexpensive way to brighten the appearance of a home's patio or entryway can't go wrong with a hanging basket filled with trailing nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus). The old-fashioned bloomers thrive in poor soil and bright sunlight with minimal care. Annual plants that bloom for a single season, nasturtiums require little water, prefer no fertilizer and are rarely bothered by insects. Once planted, nasturtiums bloom in six to eight weeks.
Plant nasturtiums as soon as danger of frost passes in early spring.
Select a variety of semi-trailing nasturtiums for a hanging basket. Semi-trailing nasturtiums grow to lengths of 2 to 3 feet. Other types of nasturtiums include dwarf nasturtiums, which display bushy, compact growth, and climbing types with runners that grow as long as 8 feet.
Fill a hanging container with general purpose commercial potting soil. Avoid rich potting mixtures or potting mixtures with fertilizer added, as rich soil creates full, lush plants that produce few blooms.
Moisten the potting soil lightly with a spray bottle.
Plant nasturtium seeds directly in the potting soil. Allow 2 to 3 inches between each seed, and cover the seeds with 1/2 inch to 1 inch of potting soil.
Place the hanging basket in full sunlight. Although nasturtiums tolerate partial shade, bright light promotes healthy growth and big, bright blooms.
Water the nasturtiums whenever the top 2 to 3 inches of soil feels dry to the touch. Add water until it runs through the drainage hole, and then allow it to dry between waterings.
Things You Will Need
Hanging basket with drainage hole
General purpose commercial potting soil
Because they germinate easily and require little care, nasturtiums are a good choice for beginning gardeners. Children enjoy planting nasturtiums because the large, pea-sized seeds are easy to handle.
Nasturtium seeds germinate in about a week.
Nasturtiums are edible and the leaves and flowers are often used to add color and flavor to salads and other dishes.
Never use nasturtiums in food if the plants have been treated with toxic chemicals such as pesticides.
Plant nasturtium under apple trees to repel the codling moth.
Nasturtiums also are an excellent addition to your flower garden or patio. Their yellow, gold, orange, peach, mahogany or coral blooms pair well with many heat-loving plants.
In the flower bed, add nasturtiums as a border. Let them spill onto your walkways. Plant railing nasturtiums in front of contrasting marigolds, snapdragons, cleomes, salvia or nicotiana. Or within the bed, nasturtiums would fit in among your anise hyssop, camellias, daisies and hostas.
- Plant nasturtium around tomatoes, celery, carrots, radishes, potatoes and beans to deter whiteflies, aphids, carrot fly, Colorado potato beetle and the Mexican bean beetle.
- Broccoli, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi and Brussels sprouts grow better with nasturtiums planted nearby.
In containers, use the trailing nasturtiums on the edge of the pot. Fill the centers with petunias, ornamental grasses, lamb's ear or geraniums.
You can contrast the nasturtium's bright primary colors with flowers that produce cool-colored blooms of purple, blue or pink. Or let them blend in with other strong reds, oranges and yellows.
In the herb garden, nasturtium's blooms will attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and bees. Its flowers also add spots of colors to a bed that is often mainly green foliage.
Start indoors in pots:
If you want to start with larger plants — and get earlier blooms — start the seeds indoors.
Because they are large seeds, I like to start with a relative large, 2-3/4" or 3" seed starting pot. Put two seeds (1" deep) in each pot and grow them under lights or in a bright location, such as a south-facing window. It takes about 10 to 12 days for nasturtiums to germinate. When the seedlings have a few sets of leaves, pinch out the weaker seedling, leaving one per pot. Why plant two seedlings when you're going to pluck out the weaker one? It's mostly for insurance, in case one of the seeds fails to germinate. If you're feeling confident about your seed source — or thrifty — go with smaller pots and plant one seed in each.
When the weather moderates and nighttime temperatures are in the 50s, I harden off the seedlings. This involves moving them outdoors during the day and bringing them in at night. After a couple days, I plant them in the garden. To reduce transplant shock, I tear off the top edge of the Cowpot and plant the seedling — pot and all. It's important that the top edge of the pot is buried to prevent soil moisture from wicking away from the seedling.