New World Little Gardens

nasturtium pattern2
nasturtium

Nasturtium

Tropaeolum majus

Nasturtium ‘Gleam’ is an easy-to-grow groundcover. The leaves, seed pods and brightly coloured flowers are edible too.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Getting started

  • Put the soil tablet on a saucer and pour 50ml of water over it.
  • Put on gloves and mix the water into the soil with your hands to make a wet mixture. Watch the soil expand.
  • Use most of your soil to fill up the pot to around 2cm below the top.
  • Carefully tear open the sachet and place the seeds on top of the soil (take care not to press down too hard).
  • Now use the rest of your soil mixture to cover the seed mat.
  • Remember to wash your hands when you’re done!

How to keep your Little Garden healthy

  • Place the pot on a clean saucer in a place with enough light, but not directly in the sun.
  • Check the soil in the morning, and before bed. If the soil feels dry and crumbly, pour a small amount of clean water over the surface.
  • Within 10-12 days you should see a little plant appear from the soil. That means the seeds have germinated and will be ready soon to move into a bigger pot or garden.
  • If more than one little plant grows, you can thin your nasturtium seedling by choosing the strongest-looking one and removing the others.

When your seedling is ready to go in the garden

  • When the nasturtium is about as tall as your finger (in about 2-3 weeks), it’s ready to shift into the garden or pot.
  • Get your nasturtium used to life outside: You can harden off your nasturtium seedling by putting it in a warm and sheltered spot for 1-2 hours a day and return inside for the night. Do this for 4-5 days, leaving it outside for a little longer each day before you shift it out into the garden forever.

Planting best practice

  • Nasturtiums like full sun, but prefer poor soil. They thrive in soil that’s low in nutrients and they don’t need fertiliser or compost. They also grow well in pots and hanging baskets.
  • Nasturtiums hate having their roots disturbed, so plant the whole soil plug carefully.

Look after your plant while it’s growing

  • The established plants should need very little care, but water regularly while the plants are getting started.

Harvest time

  • You can pick and eat nasturtium leaves and flowers when they’re young.
  • As they mature they will start to taste peppery.
  • The seed heads can be picked and pickled, and used as a substitute for capers.

Watch out

  • Nasturtium self-seeds very quickly, so can become a nuisance.
  • To prevent the plants from self-seeding, you can thin your nasturtium by cutting them down at the base after they flower, but before the seed pods form.
  • The plants will be killed off by a winter frost.

Nasturtium in your gardens