The cultivation of nasturtiums presents no challenges at all (Tropaeolum spp.) The plants thrive in poor soil and produce their cheerful orange or yellow flowers throughout the whole summer. In really warm locations, they continue to flourish even throughout the winter months. Although they are annuals, they rapidly produce their own seeds.
Because their growth is so prolific, some homeowners may mistake them for weeds rather than flowering herbs. However, it is difficult to find a plant that provides more colour and vibrancy to the garden with as little effort as this handy herb does. If you have a garden, you should try growing some of these flowering herbs. You probably already have an idea of how simple it is to harvest nasturtium seeds in preparation for the next year’s planting season.
Growing Garden Nasturtiums
When you consider the amount of time and effort that gardeners put into tending to finicky blooming plants, nasturtiums seem like an almost impossible fantasy flower to grow. Nasturtiums are particularly popular visitors to most gardens since they are low maintenance, robust, almost entirely free of pests, and strong.
The blossoms of nasturtiums are a brilliant shade of orange, and their solitary leaves are rounded and green. Either the plants will grow in an upright bushy shape (Tropaeolum majus) or they will grow in a cascading/vining form (Tropaeolum minor) (Tropaeolum minus). You may cultivate nasturtiums in the ground beds of your garden, in containers, or even in hanging baskets.
Nasturtiums are not only beautiful additions to a garden bed or container with their leaves and blossoms, but they are also helpful herbs in the kitchen. The flowers, leaves, and even the seeds of nasturtium plants are all edible and provide a peppery flavour to raw salads and foods that have been cooked.
Collecting Nasturtium Seeds
Because the seeds of nasturtiums are big and spherical and roughly the same size as garbanzo beans, they are regarded to be the ideal first plants for children to start from seed in the garden. Because of their little size, harvesting nasturtium seeds is a breeze. Even after they have landed on the ground, there is a considerable chance that you will still be able to discover them and retrieve them.
When young, the seeds have a fresh green colour, but by the time they are fully grown, they have a wrinkled brown colour. The blossoms have a vibrant orange colour. On the plant, they develop in groups of threes, although you could only discover two of them if one of the groups fails to mature. You could find mature seeds connected to the plant, but the best location to start searching for them is below the plant foliage that is growing on the ground. Put the larger ones in a dish or bag to store them.
Storing Nasturtium Seeds
Bring your seeds inside and lay them out to dry on a sheet of newspaper or some paper towels. Allow them to totally dry out. If some of the seeds are still green when you go to store them, you should wait until they have gone brown first. Throw away any seeds that have developed mould.
Should the wrinkled shell that surrounds the seeds be removed? There is no justification for going through the bother. The germination process for nasturtiums is relatively straightforward, and the outer shell poses no obstacle whatsoever to the process. Simply place all of the dried seeds in a container, put the container in the refrigerator, and wait to plant the seeds until you are ready.
Growing Nasturtium Plants
Nasturtium plants will grow and blossom best in a location that receives full sun for the whole of the day, but they will perform nearly as well with a little light shade. Don’t worry too much about providing them with biologically rich soil since they thrive in mediocre dirt. Just make sure there is sufficient drainage in the soil.
Plant the seeds of nasturtiums in moist soil that has been worked over, either in the garden or in the potting soil of containers. The large seeds should be planted about an inch deep, and the soil should be kept wet until the seeds sprout. Because these flowers are sensitive to being moved, you shouldn’t begin sowing seeds inside. Instead, if you are pressed for time, you should soak the seeds for a full twelve hours before planting them.
In the dry, hot heat of the summer, nasturtiums may do pretty well without much water, although they do like an occasional soaking. On the other hand, if you want to utilise the blooms or leaves of nasturtiums in your cuisine, you need be sure to water the plants regularly. In such case, the peppery flavour of the leaves becomes more pronounced until it is rather dominant.