It's a plant I've liked although never planted or properly respected until 4yrs ago and I'm obsessed now. I am an avid gardener, so avid that I have a Walipini so I can eat fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit year round. My property utilizes our gutter water in 'gutter creeks' that wind through my sloping side yard, watering the food and flowers. So why did I avoid it?
I had so many other things on the go AND I thought they were annoying because they get aphids. That's two of the main reasons TO plant these! A) plant and forget. Seriously. These plants do not want a drip-line set to them or even weekly watering. They want you to mostly ignore them and in return they will greatly reward you! And when i learned they'll happily self sow if left to see although so easy to remove if desired. Well I'll be damned if these aren't simply the perfect plant. B) they're an amazing aphid trap crop keeping your aphids off your veggies - check out my article here. PLUS they can help with cabbage butterflies!
They are EDIBLE - flowers, leaves and seeds. And tasty! Take your summer salads up a notch by including these flowers and leaves. Include the flowers in cocktails or muddled drinks. Use the large round flat leaves to roll up food in.... are your wheels turning? Their seeds can be pickled, similar to capers! As always, check with your dr if pregnant, nursing or have health conditions, especially ulcers and kidney disease.
NOTE they are ZIPPY and peppery, so not for everyone.
They are high in Vitamin C, Iron, Manganese, Beta Carotene
I've read that many people find them to be a great remedy for hay fever!
Cheap and cheerful - 1 plant will cover 4-5x the ground of a typical flower
They bloom all summer, a non stop buffet of vivid orange, yellow and red.
They are a Xeriscape plant, so ideal for a dry spot you want a pop of colour or for everyone that forgets to water their hanging baskets!
Most vine like crazy, and they will climb, but don't choke out others. I love the Tall Single Mix from West Coast Seeds. 10' long vines Yellow, Orange and Red flowers.
They can be trained up over an archway or up a fence
If you have chickens, they'll raise a statue to you. I grow these beside the coop every year and they eat every bite they can get to (they are a semi protected snack bar). Some say it's a natural
Bees, hummingbirds & butterflies love them too
They will tumble out of a planter or hanging basket or cascade down a rock wall.
They are a FANTASTIC ground cover~ A beautiful flowery carpet with the coolest leaves.
They block out weeds.
They help retain the soil moisture.
They can grow in partial shade, so are great under your fruit trees. In shade they rarely flower and have massive leaves.
They save your fruit and veg from aphids if you didn't catch that already. Nasturtiums are aphids magnets so all other nearby plants are safe. Every 2-3 days pick off the obvious aphid patches from your nasturtium and feed that flower or vine to a chicken. Or burn it. Or squish the whole works and bury in your compost.
They're a great companion plant near anything, especially your brassicas where they can help fight the Cabbage White
Use them to revitalize an area with poor soil. Chop and Drop them in the fall and as they decompose they'll add potassium, nitrogen and calcium!
I have Nasturtiums in every bed in my Walapini and EVERY garden bed! They are my weed blocking, water-retaining, aphid snatching, gorgeous living mulch.
This is the West Coast Seeds blend I have growing everywhere. It self-seeds but is easily controlled. https://www.westcoastseeds.com/collections/nasturtium-seeds/products/tall-single-mix If you grow this beauty, share some photos and your results in my natural gardening group. Happy Growing, Cooking & Eating!
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