Nasturtiums bring back memories of my childhood! They were always growing in Grandparents’ garden, they are one of my favorite flowers in the garden.
Every vegetable garden should have Nasturtiums growing in it. Not only are they beautiful and offer a wealth of colour to the garden, they can also help us against ‘cabbage white’ cavities and caterpillars.
I always plant them around all kinds of cabbage plants such as cauliflower, pak choi, broccoli, red and white cabbage. They successfully deceive the butterflies to lay their eggs on the leaves of the Nasturtium instead of the cabbage leaves. This will help against caterpillar damage eating the cabbage leaves, which in my experience is the most common problem with growing them.
They are also edible! You can eat their flowers in a salad adding a fresh, sharp and peppery taste.
Remember, once they are with you, they are with you forever – they are masters of self-sowing.
Collecting the seeds
As well as eating their leaves and flowers in salads or planting them alongside plants in the cabbage family, did you know that their seeds can be eaten in recipes and used as a good substitute for Capers? Some say they taste even better!
All you need to do is collect the seeds, wash them well and then place them in a jar with pickled vinegar (vinegar, salt, sugar and spices such as dill) and then keep them for you to eat as you please!
They are lovely in salads to add a peppery flavour and crisp texture and are great for pasta recipes.
Remember to keep some seeds to dry ready for sowing next year.