My Flower Garden: Nasturtiums

nasturtiumNasturtiums can be grown for many reasons.  You can grow them because they are pretty flowers that are easy to grow.  You can grow them to eat both the flowers and the leaves.  I grow them because they are beneficial to the bug population that I want to have in my garden, or not so beneficial to the bug population I don’t want.

There are many different types of nasturtiums you can grow in your garden.  Some grow like bushes, some grow like vines.  The colors range from yellow to red to shades of purple.  They grow well in not so good soil, so they can be planted anywhere there is full sun.  You pretty much just plant them and they grow.  I plant mine when I plant my beans and they bloom throughout the summer all over the garden.

Nasturtiums have a sort of peppery taste to them.  They are related to the cress family and are often added to salads both for their flavor and for their decorative qualities.  You can even use the seeds in pickling for an interesting taste.

I grow nasturtiums because they are known to ward off bad bugs.  An excellent form of organic pest control.  Cucumber beetles and squash vine borers dislike the peppery smell they emit.  Good places to plant them are among cucs, pumpkins, squash or anywhere you have room really.  Aphids, slugs and white cabbage butterflies like nasturtiums so they can be planted near other plants these bugs like so that they will go after the nasturtiums first.  I personally don’t like this idea, but some people do use it with success.  Most flowers also attract pollinators to your garden.  Bees and butterflies are always a good thing to have around to help pollinate your crops.

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