This plant’s family friendly features include:-
- Large seeds which are easy to sow.
- 8 Weeks from seed to flower. Short waiting time - Very child friendly!
- It will self-seed.
- You can sow direct into the ground or sow in pots.
- Both the flower and leaf are edible.
- It requires very little maintenance.
I have a childhood memory of a story where a roof was thought to be on fire. When the fire brigade arrived it was found to be a roof of trailing nasturtiums. You can certainly get some fiery colours, orange, blood orange, red and yellow. Though I have yet to find a roof that matched the image placed in my mind by that story.
|Nasturtiums at Chelsea Flower Show|
Trailing varieties are available and they are also lots of more compact ones on the market suitable for pots and edges of the border.
Sometimes butterflies lay their eggs under nasturtium leaves. When the eggs hatch hundreds of tiny caterpillars can munch their way through them. A great chance to read together the Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. You may need to check the leaves regularly and remove the caterpillars. Black fly also like nasturtiums. Your child can help get rid of these by watering them and the plants all over with a weak solution of eco washing up liquid.
Both leaves and petals are edible. Some children may find that their peppery taste does not suit them. Although they are annuals it is easy to ensure more will come up next year. If you let their seeds fall to the ground some will probably self -seed the next year. The seeds are also very easy to collect and save to plant next year. So one packet of seeds will last a long time - my sort of plant!