Once you start growing nasturtium, it will frequently self seed year after year.
It is a hardy annual that you grow from seed and it's best, if you want to use it in the kitchen, to sow seeds every year.
You can use the leaves in salad - they're quite peppery - and the flowers are also used in salads.
A recipe from 1739 for pickling nasturtium seeds (they're a bit like capers once they're done) begins 'gather your little knobs, put them in cold water and salt for 3 days...' so go gather your knobs!
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Buy a pack of seeds and plant indoors in spring, to plant out after the frosts have gone.
There are quite a variety to choose from and your local garden centre will have dozens on sale.
Merely put them into pots of growing compost, give them a watering and let them get on with it.
Nasturtium thrive in poor soil and sun - they will give you a wonderful show of flowers from summer through to the first frost, plus a crop of leaves and flowers to add to drinks and salads.
Preserving Nasturtium This is one of those crops that you will only be able to use in its season.
I have heard of people crystallising the flowers, but I don't think it's to preserve them for a great period of time, more for decoration on cakes.
Using Nasturtium Chop the leaves into cream cheese to make a tasty sandwich. Use the leaves in a mixed salad, much as you would watercress, they have a similar peppery flavour. Sprinkle a few flowers into a mixed salad or float them on summery drinks.
You can preserve the seeds as you would capers and the like.
Looking after your nasturtium plants is easy. If you have the climbing variety, then you need to give them something to scramble over - they look great growing over rocks, in hanging baskets, window boxes or up trellises.
I used to have nasturtium growing beside my garden pond and they scrambled over the rocks there. They add a splash of color all summer long and self seeded year after year. They make excellent ground cover in the summer with the added bonus of pretty flowers.
Nasturtium attract bees and you will see them going in and out of the flower heads on sunny days.
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