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Growing Flowers In Your Vegetable Garden - Nasturtiums

Growing flowers in your vegetable garden not only brightens your garden, but can help to repel pests, attract pollinators, and some (like nasturtiums) are edible as well! Nasturtiums are a favourite of mine on those days when I go out to peruse my vegetable garden. Growing nasturtiums from seed is incredibly easily with very little effort. Actually, nasturtiums tend to thrive in poor soil and do well in drought conditions! (When you forget to water, these beauties don't mind.) They grow well in both full sun and part shade, although they produce more blossoms in full sun. Nasturtiums act as a ground cover keeping weeds at bay. Pollinators, hummingbirds and ladybugs all love this bright, beautiful flower. Nasturtiums act to repel and trap pests. And to add to this long list, nasturtium flowers, leaves and stems are edible, making a stunning addition to your summer dishes. Are you sold yet? Will you be adding this wonderful flower to your garden? Let's explore these benefits as well as discuss some tips for growing nasturtiums from seed.

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Nasturtium Varieties

Nasturtiums come in a variety of bright colors and varieties include dwarf, bush, climbing and trailing.

Nasturtium seed package with red nasturtiums grown from seed in a vegetable garden, in the background.
These are the nasturtium seeds I grew in my Alberta garden in 2020.

How to Plant Nasturtium Seeds

Nasturtium seeds are pea sized and easy to work with. Nasturtium seeds can be started indoors or direct seeded outdoors. For earlier blossoms, plant nasturtiums indoors 4 - 6 weeks prior to your last frost. (Find my complete list on when to start seeds indoors here.) For faster germination, nasturtium seeds can be soaked in water for 12 to 24 hours prior to planting them.

Nasturtium seeds need darkness to germinate so don't plant near the surface of the soil. Plant seeds 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep. Keep moist until germinated. Because nasturtiums grow so quickly, I like to start them in 2 to 4 inch pots, one seed per pot.