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.FOOD
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.
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.
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.