Nasturtium is an excellent choice for beginning gardeners. Garden nasturtium is a very versatile plant and can grow virtually by itself, meaning that it takes very little care and maintenance. It comes in different varieties including bushy, climbing and trailing. Beginning gardeners can have a beautiful garden trellis sporting these vibrant flowers with just the least bit of care. And, the plant is edible. The leaves, seedlings and flowers are all completely edible which makes it an even better choice for the beginning gardener.
If you are planning to grow your own garden nasturtium you will need to select a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight. These plants tend to like dry areas as opposed to wet areas so choose a spot that has good drainage and provides lots of sun. There really is no preparation needed for the soil. You simply have to ensure that the soil is not overly wet and then push the seeds down into the soil about an inch or so. Space the seeds at least ten to fifteen inches apart to allow for growth when the plants get larger. You should water them directly after planting and then leave them be for at least a week before you water them again. Remember, they prefer little water and over watering will cause the foliage to come through thicker and give you fewer blooms. If you are planting a climbing variety of the garden nasturtium you should be sure to provide support for the plant and spend a bit of time training it to vine up the trellis or other support as it grows.
Very little maintenance is required to properly grow garden nasturtium. They will germinate in about ten days and then begin to bloom after 55 to 65 days. Once the blooms are fully open you can harvest the flowers to add them to your favorite dishes if you want. The leaves can be harvested at any time. If you are waiting for the seed pods, which make wonderful capers, you will need to wait until after the flower blooms have wilted. The seed pods will grow in after the wilted flowers are gone. Although garden nasturtium are considered to be annuals, they will reseed themselves so you can have them for many years. Be sure however not to overwater them and do not feed them or add fertilizer to the soil. It is best just to plant them and leave them alone and allow them to grow. They will thrive in a semi-neglected environment and begin producing beautiful flowers in many vibrant colors in just a short period of time.
Again, there are different varieties of nasturtium that you will need to choose. If you prefer a bushy plant then the Alaska Species is a good choice. For potting and growing in flower boxes, Peach Melba is a good series to consider and those looking for a vining plant will prefer the Canary Creeper with its beautiful bright yellow blooms.