Sow Once – Nasturtiums Forever

Nasturtiums are those exuberant annuals with bright red, yellow and orange flowers and almost circular leaves. Plant a few seeds once and you will never be without them again. If I have one thing against them it is their tendency to spread rather more than you want. But they are such a useful plant as Susan Betz explains in her article which I found on the Gardening Know How website.

Nasturtiums are top on my list of favorite flowering annuals. Each year I start a few extra annual flowers and herbs from seed to have on hand to fill unexpected gaps in my garden beds and containers. I call it desperate use of annuals. Quick,easy and fun to grow, nasturtiums are suitable for garden edges and beds, climbing trellises, annual ground covers, hanging baskets and containers. Beauty and taste: their leaves, flowers, and seeds are all edible.

Nasturtiums belong to the genus Tropaeolum, which includes some 50 annual or perennial plants. Tropaeolum is from the Greek tropaion, ?trophy? because the leaves are look like round shields and the flower blossoms resemble small helmets. The varieties most commonly available to gardeners are usually one of two species: T. majors, a cascading or climbing type; and T. minus, with a more bushy habit. Nasturtiums? showy blossoms range in colors from brilliant yellow and orange to dark reddish mahogany, while others are softly hued with bright blotches of contrasting color. Their leaves resemble tiny Water lily pads and come in various shades of green and variegated patterns splashed with yellow or cream colors.
They are easily grown from seed planted after danger of frost is past, and the ground is thoroughly warmed. They prefer full sun, but some will do well in part shade. Nasturtiums are fairly drought tolerant and will produce flowers best in average soil. Too much fertilizer will yield a great display of leaves but few flowers. They tend to resent transplanting, so if you start your seeds early be sure to grow them in peat pots, so their roots are not disturbed when planted.
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