Gardening with Stu – Nasturtium 

Growing Nasturtium


This month I’m writing about a wonderful multipurpose herb that pretty much has something for everybody. Originating in Peru and finding favour in many a suburban flower garden, you may remember biting off and sucking the little drop of nectar from the flower spur that grew in your grandmothers’ garden when you were a kid. Tropaeolum majus or the Garden Nasturtium is a rampant weed in parts of my garden. It comes up when the weather is cooler and usually claims more space than what I would really like to give it, running freely throughout if left unchecked. It is easy to contain and serves as a pretty good temporary ground cover. It is a beneficial companion plant in the orchard or garden and has attractive flowers that are delicate and pleasantly scented. Many parts of the plant are edible.  The flowers are sometimes sold in special flower salad mixes to add some colour and flavour. The leaves are nutritious though peppery if eaten raw, tips can be eaten raw or cooked, mature leaves thrown in a stir fry.  The seeds can be pickled and eaten as a caper substitute (I did try this once but as I don’t eat capers perhaps I didn’t give them a proper chance, if anyone’s got a secret recipe I’d love to hear it). If you don’t harvest the flowers or seeds, next season you will have a multitude of nasturtium plants competing for the winter sun. It’s well worth to give this plant a little neglected part of your garden to make its home. Happy Gardening!

Namaste Stu