Home Gardening Articles About HGSA Member Activities

Easiest Plants to Grow
from Seed
... and How to Do It

and Herbs


Print Version

Nasturtiums, a popular edible flower, add a peppery zing to salads and stir-fries, and an attractive garnish to any plate. There are two types, trailing and bush, and both come in a variety of vibrant colors.

The large seeds germinate within a week and begin to flower about a month later, making them great choices for children or beginning gardeners. Sow them in a sunny location about a week before the last frost date for your area; in frost free areas wait until the night temperatures are evenly in the 50F (10C) range before starting them directly from seed outdoors.

1. Prepare.
Loosen soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches using a shovel or fork, and mix in some compost to improve the soil structure and drainage. Nasturtiums don't like excessive fertilization, especially nitrogen; if the soil is too rich, the plants will respond with large leaves and fewer flowers Rake the soil smooth, removing any large clumps and rocks.

2. Plant. Sow nasturtium seeds about 1/2 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart. Either poke a hole with your finger and place the seed in the hole, or use a hoe to create a shallow furrow. Cover seed with soil and press gently.

3. Grow. Water soil to keep it moist, and pull weeds that sprout nearby. Once seedlings are a few inches tall, thin them by removing extra plants so the remaining ones are about a foot apart. Apply organic mulch, like bark chips, to control weeds and conserve soil moisture, keeping the mulch an inch or two from stems.

4. Enjoy. This is one plant that you can enjoy in the garden and on the plate. Harvest flowers and young, tender leaves in the midmorning and use them when they are fresh!

 Home Garden Seed Association (HGSA) | P.O. Box 93, Maxwell, CA 95955 | Phone (530) 438-2126 | Email Us




 Exposure: Full sun

Planting time: 1 week before the final frost. Can be sown again in summer.

Planting depth: 1/2 inch deep

Spacing in row: Sow 4-6 inches apart; thin to about a foot apart

Time to Harvest: Harvest edible flowers and young leaves throughout the season.

Nasturtiums are an excellent choice for containers and window boxes.