Friday, April 2, 2010

Growing nasturtiums with the GROW Project, March report

One of the many reasons nasturtiums are on my top-five list of annuals is for the saucer-like shape of the leaves; in a mixed planting, they set off other foliage beautifully.

As you can see from the first photo, the Spitfire seedlings are doing nicely. I think everything I planted germinated, but, my bad, I'm such a sloppy record-keeper... I've got about 25 seeds in various locations, in containers as well as the ground, where they can trail or climb. One location will suffer from more neglect than others, so that will be a test. Traditionally, the more they are neglected, the more they bloom.

With a bit of luck, I'll get the first flowers by late April.

I'm hoping that Spitfire will hold its blooms above the foliage. One fault in older varieties of these otherwise splendid plants is that you have to hunt for the (edible) flowers. The second photo shows a trailing nasturtium snaking along but its lovely yellow blossoms tend to stay out of sight.

20 comments:

NanaK said...

I should try these again. The seeds I planted in the fall sprouted but were killed because I neglected to bring them in during the freeze. I guess too much neglect CAN kill a nasturtium:)

Penny McCrea said...

Yep, Nana, they're not frost proof!

Ami said...

I love the trailing effect of this plant, and the leaf shape is so unique! Beautiful, I think I will try it too!

Penny McCrea said...

Go for it, Ami. They're so easy, generally bug and disease free. Try reneesgarden.com for the Spitfire variety, and she has nine others to choose from, too. Another source is tmseeds.com.

debsgarden said...

I believe i would like nasturtiums even if they didn't flower. I love the leaves!

Ever Green Tree said...

I have never tried growing them, but would love too. Like your shots showcasing just the folaige!

Diane said...

Can't wait to see the flowers - your plants are way ahead of ours up in the north!

Penny McCrea said...

Thanks, Diane and Ever Green.

Mr Brown Thumb said...

I think Spitfire may hold the leaves over the foliage. Moonlight did a pretty good job of that having them over the foliage last year. Made taking pics easy.

GardenMom said...

I love the little tendril snaking away over the ground...like it's sneaking away. I didn't know that some nasturtium hid the flowers underneath...the ones I've had before had flowers on top.

Penny McCrea said...

HI, MBT and GM. I think you have to read the descriptions carefully. I looked at Renee's Garden and Thompson & Morgan and both companies note which ones hold the flowers up. Not that I really mind if they don't. I love all nasturtiums...

Shady Gardener said...

I'm so impressed! It will be fun when mine begin growing! :-)

Penny McCrea said...

And mine will be over while yours are still going (growing) strong. Swings and roundabouts.

Tamara Jansen said...

We've never grown nasturtium in the greenhouse. It looks like it's tough to get germination but I LOVE the blooms.

Penny McCrea said...

Tamara: Nasturtiums are big seeds and germinate very easily. And once they're going, they need little care. I see you're in Canada; I used to grow them in southern England and they loved the long summer days. Give 'em a go!

Anonymous said...

I started planting the Nasturtiums also. I didn't realize they were vine growing plants. The packet made no indication of such. Do they do well as ground cover? They also look like the dollar weed we have in the back yard.

-redmango

Penny McCrea said...

Hi, Redmango. The majority of nasturtiums are not vining, plus those that are don't have tendrils, so they're more "scrambling" than vining. If your seed packet didn't say anything, then they are probably the mounding kind.

I'm not sure about ground cover.

They do have leaves that look like big dollar weed leaves, and they also taste nice -- like watercress -- and are good in salads (along with the flowers).

Have a look at reneesgarden.com and tmseeds.com; both offer lots of old and new, mounding and vining varieties.

Good luck with them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Penny. I checked out tmseeds.com and my Empress of India looks like a mound type plant.

I'll be transferring them to the front yard tomorrow. They're in peat pellets now. I can wait to see them bloom.

-redmango

Penny McCrea said...

RM: You are most welcome. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do mine.

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