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Nasturtium as a Companion Plant: The Ultimate Guide

nasturtium as a companion plant

In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in companion planting, a practice that involves growing different plants together for mutual benefits. One of the most popular companion plants is nasturtium, a vibrant and easy-to-grow plant that offers many benefits to its neighbors. In this guide, we will explore the various benefits of nasturtium as a companion plant and how to grow it effectively.

The Benefits of Nasturtium as a Companion Plant

Natural Pest Control

One of the main benefits of nasturtium as a companion plant is its ability to deter pests naturally. Nasturtiums produce a chemical compound called benzyl glucosinolate, which repels aphids, whiteflies, and other insects. Additionally, nasturtiums attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and hoverflies, which feed on harmful insects like aphids and mites.

Soil Enrichment

Another benefit of nasturtium as a companion plant is its ability to enrich the soil. Nasturtium has a shallow root system that does not compete with neighboring plants for nutrients. Instead, it draws nutrients from deep within the soil and makes them available to other plants through its leaves and stems. Nasturtium also releases organic matter into the soil as it decomposes, improving soil fertility over time.

Attractive Companion Plant

In addition to its practical benefits, nasturtium is also an attractive companion plant that adds color and texture to your garden. Nasturtiums come in a range of vibrant colors, including orange, yellow, and red, and their round leaves provide a nice contrast to other plants' foliage.

Growing Nasturtium as a Companion Plant

Planting Requirements

Nasturtium is a low-maintenance plant that grows well in most soil types. It prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Nasturtium seeds can be sown directly into the ground in early spring after the last frost or ed indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost.

Companion Planting Tips

When planting nasturtium as a companion plant, it is best to place it near plants that are susceptible to aphids and whiteflies. Some good companion plants for nasturtium include tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans. Additionally, nasturtiums can be used as a border plant to deter pests from entering the garden.

Care and Maintenance

Once established, nasturtium requires little care. Water the plant sparingly, as overwatering can cause root rot. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to encourage new growth and prevent self-seeding.

FAQs

Q1: Can nasturtiums grow in containers?

Yes, nasturtiums can be grown in containers. Make sure the container is at least 12 inches deep and has drainage holes at the bottom.

Q2: Can I eat nasturtium flowers?

Yes, nasturtium flowers are edible and have a peppery taste. They can be added to salads or used as a garnish.

Q3: How do I harvest nasturtium seeds?

Wait until the flowers have wilted and the seed pods have turned brown before harvesting. Collect the pods and let them dry completely before removing the seeds.

Q4: Are nasturtiums invasive?

No, nasturtiums are not invasive. They can self-seed, but the seedlings are easy to remove.

Q5: What pests do nasturtiums attract?

Nasturtiums attract aphids, whiteflies, and cabbage worms, but they also attract beneficial insects like ladybugs and hoverflies that feed on these pests.

In nasturtium is a valuable companion plant that offers many benefits to its neighbors. Its ability to repel pests naturally, enrich the soil, and add color and texture to your garden make it an excellent choice for any gardener. By following the tips in this guide, you can grow nasturtium effectively and enjoy all of its benefits.

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