I hope everyone has had a good rest, is enjoying the bounty of last year’s garden, and is ready to put their hands into dirt for the very first time this year. We all know how important and beneficial it is for you and your family to eat the very best – and the best can be found right in your own garden! One of our favourites in the garden is the nasturtium.
Nasturtium flowers are versatile – they are attractive in the landscape and useful in the garden. Nasturtium plants are fully edible and growing nasturtiums can be used to lure aphids away from other plants in the garden. Nasturtium plants are easy to grow and may be climbing, cascading, or bushy. Care of nasturtiums is minimal. In fact, nasturtium plants are one of those specimens that thrive on neglect. Rich, fertile soil or too much fertilizer results in lush foliage growth and few nasturtium flowers.
The old-fashioned nasturtium, Tropaeolum majus, is popular in the garden as an edible. Use nasturtium flowers as a spiller in window boxes and hanging baskets. Plant bush-type nasturtiums as aphid traps in the vegetable garden. Nasturtiums may add a peppery taste to salads, or their flowers may be used to decorate a cake. Hot sauce and pesto can also be made with this plant. It’s not just a pretty flower.
I get such a joy when we have visitors, I ask, ‘Would you like to eat a flower?’ And when that spice hits! These plants are also so easy to grow and retrieving seeds at the end of the season is easy. Your first package of seeds will be the only ones you need. So let’s ‘Get Growing!’
For those who are interested, I have started a page on Facebook called Dunnville Seed Swap.
Susan and Brad Emery are members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS). DHS meets the third Thursday of the month at the Optimist Hall, and is resuming in-person meetings on March 17. For more information, check out dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org or their Facebook page Dunnville Horticultural Society. DHS President, Deb Zynomirski, can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at 416-566-9337.