OK, we’ll admit it, we are huge fans of nasturtiums. Such a happy flower, it comes in many colors – orange, pink, peach, cream, mahogany and cherry – and it’s fun to eat. Nasturtiums are related to mustard and garden cress and are known for a peppery bite. You’ll often find them mixed into gourmet salad blends at high-end food markets.

Best of all they are so simple to grow, and now is a super time to get some planted. They will grow in the ground, raised beds, and patio pots. They mound or you can get some that trail. With regular watering and our mild winters you’ll have a beautiful, tasty spring. We’ve got a fresh supply of nasturtium seeds in the shop now. Come pick up your favorites and start planting!

How to plant: Grab at least two packets of seeds. Fill a pot with good potting soil or work your garden bed soil to loosen it up. Nasturtium is not a fussy plant so there’s not a lot of soil amending needed. Plant seeds no more than 1/2 inch deep, cover with soil and then gently water. It’s best to keep the seedlings moist for about the first week until shoots emerge to about 2 inches high – yes, they are fast growers! Then pull back on your watering. In some areas you may want to cover your seedlings with some netting to keep the birds from stealing your bounty. Please don’t waste fertilizer on these plants, it will make them grow lots of leaves but fewer flowers.

Nasturtiums come in three varieties: dwarf, semi-trailing and single flower, and good quality seed companies – like Botanical Interests and Renee’s Garden – will give you information on that. Customer favorites here at Southwest Gardener are the Whirlybird and Empress of India from Renee’s Garden and Mahogany from Botanical Interests, but if we had the space we’d plant every variety.