Growing Nasturtiums in containers, within the indoors, during the earlier stage is recommended, if you are looking for the plant to start flowering, at the start of the spring season. When doing so, ensure that the seeds are sown after the passing of the last frost. They can be transplanted outdoors at a later stage when there is no danger of frost prevailing.
Nasturtiums, are annual plants, can be grown easily, develop at a rapid pace, and display bright greens as well as vibrant-colored flowers. The leaves and flowers borne by the plant are edible in nature.
The flowers of the plant, emit a lovely fragrance, and can be either double consisting of ruffled petals or single varieties. The leaves can be described as shield-shaped, and are peppery to taste. Some plant varieties also exhibit variegated leaves. The varied shapes in which the Nasturtiums are found include, climbing, trailing, and bushy.
The plants are grouped under edible and ornamental varieties. If required for edible purposes, then they can be planted in the garden in an area that receives a good amount of sun. The dwarf varieties can be grown in small containers for decorative uses, and if desired, they can be shifted outdoors afterward.
Growing Nasturtiums serves as a good starting point for the beginners to planting, due to their easy-to-grow nature.
The following details may be helpful when growing Nasturtiums in containers. Growing Nasturtiums indoors is advised if you want the plants to bloom before the frost season has passed, and spring is approaching.
The Nasturtium plants can be grown in a recycled newspaper container, a biodegradable peat pot or hanging baskets. The seeds can be sown indoors 4-6 weeks before the final spring frost, and the flowers will start blooming during the spring season. It is recommended to transfer the plant outdoors when there is no indication of frost.
Faster germination of the plant requires that the seeds be manipulated by either scratching with sand paper or soaking on an overnight basis in lukewarm water. A single seed can be planted in a peat pot, which is filled with seed substrate. The container must be positioned in a room corner which receives adequate sunlight. Spray sufficient water to keep the peat moist.
Larger pots can also be used for planting the seeds, when growing indoors, such as the 3” Cowpots. You can embed two seeds in each pot, and 1 inch deep, while placing them in a sunlit area or under indoor lights. It may be helpful to conduct research on the best indoor grows lights to gather information on light sources for the plants within the home interiors.
Soil that is considered loose, well-draining and moisture-retaining is considered ideal for growing the Nasturtiums. The containers can be packed with the soil during the seed plantation process.
Within the duration of 10-12 days, the seeds begin to germinate. The growing of 2 seeds in cowpats necessitates that the weaker seedling be removed when leaves are seen in the pot, such that only one seedling per pot remains. Regarding the query why plant two seedlings when the weaker one is going to be pinched, it may be stated that two seeds are planted as a form of insurance, wherein one seedling fails to germinate. However, you can also take a chance and plant only one seedling per pot, if feeling confident.
The cowpats can also be moved outdoors during the day, and kept indoors at nighttime, for the purpose of hardening the seedlings, when moderate weather prevails, and the night temperatures are around the 50s. After a few days, the cow pots can be transplanted to the garden. The top edge of the cowpox can be torn, and the pot can be buried in the soil. As a result of doing so, the soil moisture can be prevented from wicking away the seedling.
The peat pots can directly be planted in the soil; the roots do not get disturbed, by doing so. The plants can be grown in sunlight or partially-shaded areas, within indoors or at the outdoors. It has also been observed that if the plants are kept in the partial shade, they stretch towards the light source if any.
A trellis can also be positioned around the planting region to train the climbing Nasturtium varieties to climb effortlessly. Nasturtiums attract aphids, and for this reason, these plants are grown near vegetables, so the pests are kept at bay.
Caring for Nasturtiums
Under caring for Nasturtiums, it would be helpful to water the plants only when the soil seems dull and dry. You can assess the soil, and if found to be moist, it is suggested to wait for a day or two before squirting water on the plants. Also, spurt water around the roots and avoid watering from above. Additionally, the plants should be watered in the morning, so they can dry before it becomes night. This is because there is the possibility of mold infestation when too much moisture is present in the soil during the night.
It is also important to note that nasturtium plants do not require fertilizers, and they can also be grown in poorer soils, though, not extremely poor. The use of fertilizers results in more leaves and lesser flowers. They also do not require too much water, and if they are watered a lot they tend to grow more leaves and not flowers. It is advisable to water the plants upon witnessing that the top layer of soil is dehydrated.
Measures to prevent weeds from invading the plant are also a must. It may also be kept in mind that the Nasturtiums resemble weeds before their flowering. Here, it would be helpful to study the difference between flowers and weeds. Otherwise, you may end up picking the plant parts and not the pests. Keeping the Nasturtium bed free of weeds is essential, so the plants are not deprived of their water and nourishing elements.
Pests such as cucumber beetles and aphids are known to attack the plant. It is best to get rid of these pests, in an organic manner, which consists of picking the pests and setting them inside a bucket filled with soapy water. Alternatively, the flowers can be watered or they can be wiped with soapy water, for getting rid of the pests.
Trimming the plants is a requisite to ensure the plants grow in a healthy manner. When the dead parts are chopped on a regular basis, the plants will flower for a prolonged period during the season.
A pair of scissors can be used to snip the edible parts of the Nasturtium plants, including the leaves and flowers. Here, it may be kept in mind that Nasturtiums have a pungent taste, and therefore, they should be consumed in small quantities.
The plant extracts can be mixed in salad dishes or used as garnishing items. They are peppery to taste, and can enhance the flavor quotient of dishes as a result of their addition.
The leaves and petals can be added to salads containing a mix of greens. They can be coupled with spinach, which is sweet-tasting, to reduce the peppery taste. Stirring them in potato or egg salads is also recommended. Vegetarian sandwiches can also be prepared with them. The flowers of the Nasturtiums are used as garnishing ingredients in pasta, desserts such as cupcakes or salads.
In the above details, we have seen that the growing of Nasturtiums in containers is advised through the early stages. Also, their transplantation at a later stage may be pursued.
It may also be helpful to know that at the end of the season approaches, the Nasturtium plants produce seeds that become mature and start dropping. The seeds can be collected, and the dirt can be brushed off, after which a paper bag may be used for their storage, during the winter months. Come the spring season and you can plant the seeds.
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