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Edible Flowers: Nasturtium

by Stephanie Suesan Smith on December 24, 2010

Nasturtium plantNasturtium are pretty flowers that have a peppery flavor similar to watercress. The leaves and unripe seed heads are also edible. Nasturtium comes in many colors and can be used as garnish on salads or other dishes.

To grow nasturtium, you wait until the soil is warm and the danger of frost is past. It is a warm weather crop much like corn or beans. You plant the seeds in groups of three or four seeds. Leave a good foot between each group.

If you are going to eat the flowers, it is best to start with seeds. While you can obtain nasturtium from nurseries, you have no idea what chemicals have been used on the plant. Not a chance you want to take when growing food.

Nasturtium should be ready to harvest 8-9 weeks after the seed germinates. They produce for three or four months then run out of steam, so you need to plant a second crop after two months if you want continuous blooms. Greenhouses work well in the winter, too.

Before eating, inspect the bloom carefully for bugs. The center is deep and the overlapping petals are good hiding places. You don’t want to get an unexpected dose of extra protein! The leaves are also edible, so do not neglect them.

<Gardenbookfrontcoverthumbnail For more help gardening, buy my book, Preparing A Vegetable Garden From The Ground Up
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

flowers in gurgaon November 4, 2011 at 6:12 am

I bought Nasturtium seeds and on the pack of the package, it says you should file them to aid germination. How far should I file? I’m planting them in a pot and keeping them inside.

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Stephanie Suesan Smith November 4, 2011 at 6:29 am

You just roughen the surface with the file. You are thinning the seed cover so the seedling can break through easier.

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