Saturday, January 22, 2011

Seed Week and Seed Giveaway <Nasturtium (Indian Cress) ~ Life cycle>

Its the start of seed weeks and lets get some tips and share our own experiences that is related to seeds, bulbs, tubers, rhizomes or cuttings that can be about collecting, propagating,growing them or how to keep them in top shape. For a new gardener or someone who is growing plants which is for the first time, we worry whether our sowed seed will have success in germination. Then we start to wonder how to collect the seeds when the season is over for the plants but have to guess where the seeds are. The wonderful thing about collecting seeds from plants that thrive in your place is that each year and the next year, the seeds will become more and more adapt to your garden environment. Please join us for this seed week. I will randomly choose 5 participants for home saved-seeds give-away. I like to share my home saved-seeds to you:).
Here are interesting and inspiring posts that is very helpful.
Nasturtium is a very popular flower plants for companion planting with brassica as a sacrifice plants for aphids. Apart from that role, the whole plant of nasturtium is edible and is a very worthy plant to grow in the garden. If you don’t have that much space to grow them it can be grown vertically or hanging as well. Nasturtium seeds germinate easily in warm weather. If you live in temperate areas, you can sow the seeds in autumn and in early spring it will give you a show of bright flowers. It can even grow in poorer soil and don’t mind staying in semi-shade area. So it is not a fussy plant to grow and have a long flowering season. It is just not an ornamental plant for the garden but provide nutrition benefits. Bees is also very attracted to the bright colour flower of this easy-going plant.
Nasturtium seedlings that has just germinated.

A week later and rapid growth.
Facts about Nasturtium that I have taken from ‘Discovering vegetables herbs & Spices by Susanna Lyle’. I highly recommend this book.
Nasturtium leaves have a peppery, often hot flavour, similar to cress. They are great in salads, and are often mixed with other greens, as some find their flavour too hot on their own. The flowers are wonderful as garnish, and are edible, wiith a milder flavour than their leaves. The seeds are spicy and have a similar flavour to capers, and can be used in the same way.

The leaves are rich in vitamin A and contain good quantities of vitamin C, as well as fibre, calcium, iron and phosphates. The plant has been used to purify blood and as a tonic. It tastes is largely due to isothiocyanates, which are similar to those found in watercress and other brassicas. The indigenous South Americans used this plant to treat respriratory diseases, and it has been used more recently to treat coughs, flu, colds. These compounds seem to have natural antibiotic properties.
Nasturtiums are highly valued by organic gardeners, as their presence inhibits aphid infestations from nearby plants, and when their leaves, flowers, or stems are macerated in fluid, they can repel whitefly and other pests.
Nastartium (2)

This is how our kitchen veggie bed looks like in previous early spring. The rambling nasturtium was sprawling all over on the ground and poor other plants were suffocating. So my cousin help me made the nasturtium climb the wall with a simple trellis using rope for the nasturtium to hang on. I know this plants needs a lot of space to grow but I would like to encourage gardeners that have small plot to try and grow them as well. This kitchen veggie bed is only about 1 X 2 metre space but we have so many things growing on them. We like to mix our veggie bed with flowers nowadays. I think there are at least 10 variety of plants growing in this patch ~ 3 Nasturtiums plants, capsicum, chili, bolted coriander, komatsunas, carrots, leeks, violas, evening sun sunflower seedlings, 3 celery plants, 3 columbine plants, polyanthus, French Marigold, ect.
kitchen veggie bedThis is our  nastartium that were growing well in semi-shade area. 
After the blooms are long gone, it is time to pick the seeds for saving them or pickling. Found many drop ones at the ground as well.
I have not try pickling them but it is one new thing I like to do for 2011. I keep the collected seeds in the nets to dry them properly before I store them.
Nasturtium seeds shrunk more than half of their original size. Some of the seeds also fell out from the net. Nasturtium self-sowed easily after your first time planting them. We have many new nasturtium babies emerging from our veggie patch now.
I am curious to know what is the name of nasturtium in other language. Please teach me.


~TastyTravels~ said...

Thanks for the Nasturtium tips. I just learned this summer that you can eat them. I may add them to my list of "to grows". They're really pretty!

Sue Garrett said...

We only siwed nasturtium seeds once but they have self seeded ever since and seem to have produced new colours. I leave them be unless they are smothering other plants.

Sue Garrett said...

Sorry should say only sowed once! Fingers have a mind of their own!

Unknown said...

Great post.
In French: Capucine
In Greek: Nerokardamo

Mr. H. said...

I enjoyed this post, thanks for including my links. I liked hearing your thoughts on nasturtiums and will be very curious to se what you think of using them pickled.

Patricia said...

Wonderful, comprehensive post. I have grown Nasturtiums for the past 3 years as a beneficial companion plant for my vegetables. I only planted them once and they reseed and come up each year. I love a gift that keeps on giving! I have never actually tried to eat them, but after reading your post I will!

Discovery School at First Baptist Heath said...

Nasturtiums is the only thing i know to call them.. and I love them. Can not wait to plant them here.. but had them in my old garden! Beautiful post.

rainfield61 said...

There are seeds, there are lives.

And I see they are so colourful and beautiful in your garden.

p3chandan said...

They are very attractive as garden plants with their bright flowers. Are you sure they can be grown in our tropical climate? Thank you for the information on Nasturtiums as this is the first time Ive seen the plants and heard about their good qualities.

p3chandan said...

Sorry Diana, forgot to ask you, are they like our pegaga or are they in the same family, because the leaves resembles a bit like that but Ive never seen pegaga flowers or seeds before.

One said...

Diana, This looks like a must-have plant. Actually I already decided that I wanted to grow this plant a long time ago but the plant is not interested in my garden. I have seeds from US and seeds from you. They remain as seeds after months. Do let me know if others have better success. I shall be reading the links. Thanks.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Holly~ They very easy to grow, absolutely no pampering is needed. I really enjoyed reading your onion post so many research has gone on to it and you summarise it so well for us to refer.

Sue~ Once planted in the garden, no need to sow anymore :). Save us time to plant other stuff.

Ellada~ Thank you.I hope I pronounce it correctly.

Mr. H~ I must remember to collect the seeds then before nasturtium season over at our place.

Patricia~ I have not try eating them either. But I think they will look pretty in the dish.

Mom of M&Ms~ The nasturtium might be one of the flowers that will give you showy display through summer. I can't wait to see how you will capture them in your lens.

Rainfield61~ Not only colourful but something edible as well.

P3chandan~ I think it is worth to try to plant this nasturtium in tropical as well. Because I have self-sowed nasturtium popping in summer when it is about the same temperature as in Malaysia. I was sceptical at first when my mom brought back some bare-rooted alpine strawberry from my garden back to Malaysia that it will bear fruits for her. But surprisingly it did bear her some fruit. I think it is possible. Yes it is the same family as pegaga. Do you think I should make it as ulam?

One~ I hope you won't gave up on this plant it is a must-have plant. I thought I saw this plant in one of Malaysia blog before but I cannot remember whose. But I will informed you if I know. Did you sow them in shade and a bit cooler place?

Darla said...

What do I need to do to be a part of this. As I have saved seeds and do a seed exchange on my blog every winter. I have already been mailing some out. I grow nasturtium and have some seedlings up in the greenhouse now. If you nick or file the seeds, germination is faster.

kitchen flavours said...

Thanks for this very informative post. I did not know about the wonderful qualities of nasturtium, never knew they can be eaten and used in pickles. This is a definite must try for me! The seeds you gave me, I will sow after CNY, as no one is around to water the plants. Will be away the whole week and do not want my precious plants to wilt! I have only sowed the red onions and coriander, the others will be after CNY. The red onions has already sprouted, still waiting for the corianders. Now can't wait for the rest, especially Nasturtium! Thank you!

miruku said...

Thank you for hosting this party. I'm not participating, but diam diam duduk tengok & learn from you and others :))

MSPubRadSM said...

Please visit/join our newly forming group SLOLA (Seed Library of Los Angeles) on Facebook!/home.php?sk=group_155964874452079

and at our blog

Hafiz said...

Thanks for the links! My coriander has flower and I'm going to collect the seed for next sowing.. Saya budak baru belajar.. especially gardening in Australia.. So gotta learn a lot from you.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Darla~ You can share your experience with us by linking an old post or new ones. Its a wonderful thing to trade seeds with other bloggers. Thank you for the tip to get more success in nasturtium seed germination.

Kitchen Flavour~ I heard that the red onions germinate earlier than other seeds from Milka and Autumn Belles as well. They were very fresh seeds. The coriander seeds will soon germinate as well. I just saw many self-seeded coriander while watering just now.

Milka~ I cannot imagine you duduk diam-diam, always have some project to do in the house even at night ;-).

Hafiz~ Have fun collecting the coriander seeds. It will be very fragrant when it is ready.

Malar said...

I just sow few seeds of nasturtium yesterday! nasturtium really have beautiful flowers! Many of the vegetables in your garden are new to me!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Malar~ I hope they germinate for you like the sunflower did! I think Kitchen flavour & ONE would like to know how the nasturtium will be in your garden.

Rosie Gan said...

I did try sowing nasturtiums but didn't succeed - they grow very well on our highlands, though. Maybe I should try again.Can I have some seeds from you? Hope Malar is successful.The flowers in salads I know are peppery.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Rosie~ Sure, No worries. Mail me you address to . Try growing them in shade. We are having the same weather in Malaysia now and my nasturtium in shade area are flowering.