GROWING AND SAVING SEED OF NASTURTIUM
Latin name Tropaeolum majus is an annual flowering herb. It is a popular flower to plant in the vegetable garden. With its spicy foliage and flowers, which give a nice kick to salad and recipes, it may be the best-known edible flower!
Native to Peru, nasturtium was used by the ancient Inca as a leafy green and medicinal herb. Brought to Europe by Spanish conquistadors in the 15th-16th centuries.
- Popular edible flower with delicious spicy flavor. You can eat the leaves and blooms, and the young green seed pods can be pickled into mock capers.
- Great for beds, borders, containers, window boxes, cottage garden, kitchen garden or interplanted in vegetable gardens.
- Visited by hummingbirds, bees and other pollinating insects.
- Soak seeds overnight in warm water before planting.
- Seeds germinate in 7-10 days.
- Start seeds indoors 4 weeks before last frost date or direct seed after last chance of frost has passed.
- Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep.
- Ideal germination temperature is 55-65 F.
- Plants prefer full sun but will tolerate some light shade.
- Provide well-drained soil and do not fertilize or plant in overly rich soil.
- Plants are fairly drought tolerant will grow in a range of soil, including low- fertility soil, provided that it is well drained.
- Space plants 8-12 inches apart.
- Aphids can be a pest for nasturtiums. Treat with organic approved insecticidal soap.
- To prevent wilt and bacterial leaf spot, provide adequate air circulation and do not water the foliage..
- Nasturtiums will often reseed, but to save seeds, allow them to mature and fall to the ground.
- Collect them and store in a cool, dark, dry place over the winter.