Saturday, April 24, 2010
Nasturtium -- A garden must have
It's hard to believe that after about 5+ years of vegetable gardening I have never grown a Nasturtium before this year. When visiting my best friend a few weeks ago, she raved about how easy this flower is to grow, and to grow it in between my vegetables. So, while out with her, I bought a few seed packets to take home and give this guy a try. Shortly after I got home, my daughter and I pushed a few of these seeds down in the ground.
I haven't been weeding much because of this though. Mostly because I didn't know what the leaves looked like, I was afraid I'd pull up a baby flower instead of a weed. Yesterday however, I looked up what they looked like, so I could go out there and confidently avoid my baby Nasturtium's.
So why plant them?
1. They are edible! They are a beautiful addition to any salad, and I have read they taste similar to watercress. Once I have an abundant supply, I'll let you know my own personal thoughts on this.
2. According to the book, Great Garden Companions (linked below), they are reputed to keep away cucumber beetles, so they make a great companion for you're cukes. They also create a habitat for predatory insects...you know, the ones you want in your garden to keep the nasties at bay.
3. They are easy. Even you who has a black thumb can grow these babies. They are hard to kill, and generally reseed themselves year after year. So plant them, enjoy them, forget about them. They'll still be there.
4. One plant will have a variety of colors on it. You'll have a beautiful variety of colors in your garden.
5. Because they are a spreading plant, they act like a live mulch, preventing weeds, and helping your garden retain water. Meaning less work for you.
This is a stock photo I found online, I'll be sure to post more pictures as mine continue to grow. The picture of the seedling up top is from the garden.