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Growing Nasturtium: Companion Plants, Tips & Tricks

by Jack Grover
yellow colored flower
Reading time: 9 min Prefer to listen?

The addition of nasturtiums in a garden can make a world of difference. These beautiful and vibrant flowers not only add color and beauty to your backyard but also provide numerous benefits as companion plants.

Nasturtiums are easy to grow and care for, making them a popular choice among gardeners. One of the main benefits of nasturtiums as companion plants is their ability to repel pests. These flowers produce a strong scent that deters many common garden pests, including aphids, whiteflies, and cabbage loopers.

Nasturtiums also attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and bees.

Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, so having them in your garden can help control aphid populations. Conversely, bees are essential for pollination. Having them attracted to your garden can increase the yield of fruits and vegetables.

Here’s how to care for nasturtiums and make them a critical element of your garden design.

Why Are Nasturtiums Popular as Companion Plants?

orange colored flower

Firstly, nasturtiums are known for repelling pests, making them a valuable companion plant in any garden.

The strong scent of nasturtium leaves and flowers acts as a deterrent for many garden pests, including aphids and flea beetles. By planting nasturtiums alongside other vegetables, you can protect your garden from these destructive insects.

Furthermore, nasturtiums attract beneficial insects, which are natural predators of common pests. Having these beneficial insects in your garden helps to control pest populations without the need for harmful pesticides.

In addition to their pest-repelling properties, nasturtiums add beauty and color to the garden. Their vibrant flowers, which come in a variety of shades, create a stunning visual display that can enhance any garden landscape.

Their flowers boast a wide range of colors, including red, orange, and yellow. Nasturtiums also have attractive round leaves that provide a lush ground cover.

How To Grow Nasturtiums in Your Garden?

Growing nasturtiums in your garden is relatively easy. You can start by planting nasturtium seeds directly into the soil, preferably in a location that receives full sun.

Since nasturtiums prefer well-drained soil, make sure to prepare the soil by loosening it before sowing the seeds.

Once the seeds are sown, water the area thoroughly to ensure germination. Nasturtium seeds usually germinate within 7 to 10 days.

As the plants grow, it’s important to regularly water them to keep the soil moist. However, avoid overwatering as this can lead to root rot.

If you don’t have a garden or prefer container gardening, you can also grow nasturtiums in pots or hanging baskets.

These plants are known for their trailing habit, which makes them a perfect choice for hanging baskets. Simply plant the seeds or seedlings in well-draining potting soil and place the container in a sunny spot.

What Vegetables Benefit From Companion Planting With Nasturtiums?

Nasturtiums make excellent companions for a variety of vegetables. Some of the vegetables that benefit from companion planting with nasturtiums include:

Squash, in particular, benefits from being planted near nasturtiums. The strong scent of nasturtiums helps repel squash bugs, a common pest for squash plants. Planting nasturtiums alongside your squash is an excellent way to reduce the risk of infestation and protect your crop.

Cucumbers are another vegetable that can greatly benefit from the presence of nasturtiums. Nasturtiums act as a natural deterrent for cucumber beetles, which are known to feed on cucumber plants.

Cabbage plants, especially members of the brassica family, also thrive when planted near nasturtiums. Nasturtiums attract cabbage white butterflies, which are the primary pests of cabbage plants. You can divert their attention away from the cabbage by attracting these butterflies to the nasturtiums. Additionally, the peppery flavor of nasturtium leaves adds a unique taste to cabbage when used together in recipes.

What Are Some Creative Ways To Use Nasturtiums in Your Recipes?

Nasturtiums are beautiful and edible, making them a versatile addition to your culinary creations. Here are some creative ways to use nasturtiums in your recipes:

  1. Adding them to salads for a peppery flavor: Nasturtium leaves and flowers have a unique peppery taste that adds a pleasant tang to salads. You can simply toss the leaves and flowers into your favorite green salad or mix them with other herbs for a flavorful twist.
  2. Using the flowers as a garnish: The vibrant colors of nasturtium flowers make them a beautiful garnish for various dishes. Whether it’s a pasta dish, a soup, or a dessert, adding a few nasturtium flowers on top can elevate the presentation and add a pop of color.
  3. Infusing oils and vinegar with nasturtium flowers: Nasturtium flowers can be infused into oils and vinegar to add a subtle floral flavor. This infused oil or vinegar can be used as a salad dressing, a marinade for grilled vegetables, or a flavor enhancer in various recipes.

Conclusion

Adding nasturtium plants to your garden is a wise move. They make great companion plants for veggies, like the tomato plant. Besides, nasturtiums fit nicely into various garden designs. These versatile plants are truly an incredible addition to any outdoor space.

There are plenty of nasturtium varieties you can choose from to enrich your garden. All you need to do is consider where you want to plant the nasturtiums not to disturb the nearby plants.

By carefully planning your planting scheme, you can maximize the potential of these distinct plants while maintaining the delicate balance of your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are nasturtiums?

Nasturtiums are flowering plants that belong to the genus nasturtium. They are known for their vibrant flowers and peppery leaves, which are commonly used in salads.

Can nasturtiums be grown in a vegetable garden?

Absolutely! Nasturtiums are a great addition to any vegetable garden as they are known to repel pests and attract beneficial insects. Their bright flowers also add aesthetic value to the garden.

How do I grow nasturtiums?

Growing nasturtiums is quite easy. They can be grown from seeds and prefer well-drained soil in full sun. Sow the seeds and keep the soil moist until the plants start to grow.

Are nasturtiums good companion plants?

Yes, nasturtiums are excellent companion plants. They help repel pests like aphids, cucumber beetles, and flea beetles, making them a great companion for vegetables like tomatoes and cabbage.

Can I use nasturtiums in salads?

Definitely! Nasturtium flowers and leaves are edible and can be an excellent addition to salads. They not only provide a burst of color but also have a unique peppery flavor.

What are some good companion plants for nasturtiums?

Some excellent companion plants for nasturtiums include tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, etc.), and capers. These plants benefit from having nasturtiums nearby.

Are there different varieties of nasturtiums?

Yes, there are several varieties of nasturtiums available, each with unique flower colors and growth habits. Some popular types include “Dwarf Jewel Mix,” “Empress of India,” and “Alaska Mix.”

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