Nasturtiums and Colorado go great together. I see them all over our state. They do well up in higher elevations and well on the Front Range. Here in Colorado (and elsewhere), Nasturtiums are a gardener’s dream. They are virtually carefree once established. I was introduced to this beauty by my friend Nancy. The summer of 2007, while a summer of grief over the loss of my sister Leslie, was also a summer to discover my love for this cheerful plant. If you are in grief, there will be new joys that come along. The garden reminds me of this truth and helps remind me of my rooted hope.
The funniest thing about the nasturtium is that it likes old soil. It does not do well in soil that has been amended with nutrients and fertilizers. Best thing to do is to use soil that you have had in another pot for years. Use that old dirt and stick some seeds in that pot. Yes, please use seeds. I would not recommend transplanting nasturtiums. Instead, I recommend getting your pots filled with other annual flowers and your beds all planted. Then go around and stick nasturtium seeds in empty spots. Also take an empty pot or two and just fill it with seeds. And then watch then sprout. Be patient as they can take upwards of two weeks to germinate. Do all this once the threat of frost is past. Nasturtiums and Colorado only go great together once it has warmed up a bit.
I like to edge my borders with nasturtiums. I also like to plant nasturtiums around pieces of wood and decorative rock. I plant the trailing nasturtium near fences so they can climb. The flower is so delicate and yet they have a showy, often intensely bright color. This makes macrophotography quite challenging (as you can see in my photos).
But for me, I mostly like nasturtiums for its leaves. They bounce. Yes, you read that right. They bounce! The way they sway in the wind makes them seem happy. And even on the hardest of days I can go outside and laugh WITH these flowers and regain a bit of hope.
NASTURTIUMS are known as a companion plant. This is why I love that my friend Nancy is the one who introduced me to them. Companion planting in agriculture is planting of different crops in close proximity because it is thought that certain plants together benefit one another. This means nasturtiums benefit the other plants that are around them by helping to ward off pests.
Most don’t know that the entire plant is edible. They have a peppery taste and make a great addition to salads. I do that a lot. But I can’t bring myself to pluck enough out of my garden to make things like nasturtium butter or nasturtium mayonnaise.
In the spring buy a lot of these seeds. Get several varieties. Stick them in pots with other flowers and all over your backyard. You won’t regret it. Why? Because Nasturtiums and Colorado go great together! Enjoy some of my pictures below.
This post was originally published on February 15, 2015
It was updated and republished on May 27, 2015