By June 4, 2012 My Garden, plants 2 Comments

The hapless young gardener is often warned against excessively fertilizing nasturtiums, because (so the books say) the plant will engage in excessive leaf production, at the expense of flowers. Nasturtiums, they say, want a poor, somewhat dry soil, in order to achieve maximum flower production.

But words like “overly rich soil” can mean all sorts of things. What counts as overly? They did very well last year in the vegetable garden, so this year I put on an inch of mushroom compost and planted nasturtiums again.



Ah. Yes. Hmm. Apparently an inch of mushroom compost is the bit that turns “rich” into “overly rich.” This is the nasturtiums, AFTER I cut them back (they were vining wildly across the pathway) where they have entirely eaten my herb-mound. They are knee-high everywhere and nearly thigh-high in places. There are bits of basil sticking up through the carnage, but I had to plant another row of basil (after taking out the spent peas) and if Kevin ever needs any fresh sage, I’m going to have to go in with a machete. It forced the also-highly-crazed cilantro back against the deck railing, requiring me to do a rescue-and-extraction operation on the lemon verbena.

I grow nasturtiums for no reason except that they say “garden” to me—the flowers are edible but we hardly ever use them, certainly not in the quantities they are produced. I love them simply because they are one of the quintessential garden plants and they grow extremely easily from seed (which for ME is very important. I’m not good at it.)

I have no idea how I am supposed to edge my vegetable garden with these in the future, if they’re going to do this in my improved garden soil…


  • Wolf Lahti says:

    Not just the flowers but also the leaves of nasturtium are edible – so you’ve got lots of salad stuff in the works.

    Did you know that nasturtium is Latin for ‘nose burn’?

  • Rhianimator says:

    I generally like nasturtiums with spring mix for a salad with a bit of color. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems that the darker the flowers, the more radishy hotness they have.