If you are on the search for a vibrant and beneficial plant for your garden, you should definitely consider nasturtiums. Part of the Tropaeolum family, this plant is one of the top choices for your garden, and below we will discuss all the reasons why.
Let’s take it slow.
How to Grow Nasturtiums?
You can sow nasturtiums inside pots and keep them in or out of the house (March to May). The plant will come into full bloom in summertime and last until the fall.
Of course, if you prefer an early bloom, you can grow the plant indoors, using biodegradable ‘pots’, like toilet paper rolls. First seeds will start developing in 10-12 days. When planting nasturtiums outside, make sure the plants are hardened off.
Where to Put Nasturtiums?
Eager for sunlight, nasturtiums also need some shelter. They don’t mind the soil quality but require continuous watering.
Pull out any weeds growing alongside your plants, and do not use too much fertilizer during planting, to avoid loss of blooms.
How to Care for Nasturtiums?
The main thing to remember about these plants is to water them frequently. Allow for the soil to dry between two watering sessions, without dehydrating the plant.
By removing dead flowers and leaves, you will allow the plant to create more blooms when in season. At the same time, you can collect the flowers and leaves and use them in your homemade dishes.
Top 5 Benefits of Growing Nasturtiums in Your Garden
The main qualities in having nasturtiums in your backyard include:
1. Attracting Beneficial Insects
Plants like nasturtiums are a magnet for favorable insects, including bees and other pollinators.
2. A Plant ‘Buddy’ for Fruits and Vegetables
Aside from pollinators, the plants bring along other insects, like beetles, aphids, and weevils, which benefit your other plants, too. The ideal companion for squash and cucumbers, nasturtiums keep the pests away and your garden spotless.
3. Ground Cover
Keen on insects, nasturtiums will keep the other plants safe from infestation or insect damage. Also used as a ground cover, these resistant plants help your garden survive drier seasons.
4. Covering Walls or Fences
Aesthetic as well, nasturtiums make the ideal decoration to your dull walls or garden fences. Go ahead, let your home look livelier!
5. For Yield
As weird as it may sound, nasturtiums are edible plants, which makes them perfect for both cooking and gardening.
10 Recipes you can do with Nasturtiums
The interesting thing about these plants is that every part of the plant is edible, from the leaves to the stems and blooms. This adds another level of quality and health to your dishes and here are 10 of them to get you started:
- Nasturtium salads.
- Nasturtium and black pepper vinegar.
- Nasturtium stir fry.
- Nasturtium pesto.
- Nasturtium soup or stew.
- Nasturtium omelet, quiche or a frittata.
- Nasturtium fritters.
- Nasturtium dolmades used the same way as cabbage wraps.
- Nasturtium pizza, perfect as a topping.
- Caper substitute, using the nasturtium seed pods.
Nasturtiums Benefits and Healthy Uses
Together with food, nasturtiums can also be used for a number of other purposes, health-wise. Nasturtiums are rich in vitamin C, which helps them treat bacteria, fungi, viruses, and even tumors.
Some of the other health purposes of these plants are:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Mild muscle pain (apply topically).
Still, in some cases, nasturtiums are not recommended for consumption. Such include:
- In children, when taken orally. Children are free to use the plant topically.
- In patients treating stomach or intestinal ulcers.
- During pregnancy or while breast-feeding.
- In patients diagnosed with kidney disease.
Should you feel any other side-effect from using these plants, don’t hesitate to visit your doctor for a check-up. And finally, even if you cannot eat them, you can still plant and admire these zesty plants all summer long.