Why Your Garden Needs Nasturtium

Taylor Hillman This Land of Ours

plantingNasturtium is a plant that vines out and is so attractive that many people plant them as additions to ornamental gardens. There are several varieties of nasturtium for just about whatever shape plant is needed: Some cascade, others climb, and still, others are bushy. They work well for borders, as pot plants, or for vertical gardening up walls or fences. In warmer zones, they will grow as perennials, but throughout most of the U-S, they are planted as annuals. They are great for thwarting squash beetles, distracting aphids, and enticing cabbage moths.

The leaves of the nasturtium plant, which tends to be very leafy, are edible and deliciously peppery, á la watercress. They are not frost-tolerant, so they shouldn’t be planted out until the last frost date has passed. After that, they’ll provide blooms, benefits, and enjoyment into the autumn, when the first frost comes.