7 Great reasons to grow nasturtiums in your veg garden
Growing nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) in your vegetable garden can be a wonderful addition for several reasons. Here are seven great reasons to consider planting nasturtiums:
Natural Pest Control: Nasturtiums act as a natural pest repellent in the vegetable garden. The pungent scent they emit can deter certain insects like aphids, whiteflies, and cucumber beetles. Planting nasturtiums near susceptible crops can help protect them from common garden pests.
Attract Beneficial Insects: While nasturtiums repel some harmful insects, they also attract beneficial insects such as bees and other pollinators. These pollinators can help increase fruit production in your vegetable garden.
Edible Flowers and Leaves: Nasturtium flowers have a peppery flavor and are edible, adding a unique taste to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes. The leaves are also edible and have a similar peppery taste. They are a colorful and nutritious addition to your meals.
Trap Crops: Nasturtiums can act as trap crops, diverting certain pests away from your main crops. For example, aphids may prefer to feed on nasturtiums instead of your precious vegetables, giving you more time to address the aphid infestation.
Ground Cover and Weed Suppression: Nasturtiums can serve as ground cover, shading the soil and suppressing weed growth. Their dense foliage can help reduce competition from weeds, making garden maintenance more manageable.
Soil Improvement: Nasturtiums are known as “dynamic accumulators,” which means they have the ability to draw nutrients from deep in the soil and make them available to other plants when they decompose. When nasturtiums die back, they release nutrients into the soil, enriching it for future crops.
Aesthetically Pleasing: Nasturtiums come in a variety of vibrant colors, including shades of red, orange, yellow, and cream. They add a beautiful, cheerful touch to your vegetable garden, making it more visually appealing.
Keep in mind that while nasturtiums offer many benefits to your vegetable garden, they can also spread and take up space. Therefore, consider planting them strategically and controlling their growth to prevent them from overpowering your other crops. Overall, nasturtiums are a delightful and practical addition to any vegetable garden, offering both beauty and functionality.