Sunday, April 19, 2020

Victory Garden on a Balcony: Starting Nasturtiums

We happen to have a balcony or two. One of them has a south-west exposure and one a less well illuminated exposure. We've been gardening on them since they are "easy access" in essentially all weather conditions.

While this means some plants never reach full size due to being eaten by some family member when they are tiny (all Peas, for example, appear to be isomorphic with Snowpeas to certain family members and get eaten as soon as the pods are bigger than the flower they came from...).

Back to Nasturtiums!

For Easter one of the items our son found in his basket was a packet of Nasturtium seeds. These are awesome - they are widely tolerant of growing conditions, fast growing, pretty, and tasty.

Additionally, the seedlings look wild (at least if you start them in moist vermiculite in a plastic humidity chamber):

Right after germination the seeds can still be seen.

My son tells me "You need to mist them a lot and give them a good home."

To plant them, we got some sandpaper and sanded a smooth spot on each seed (just until the white shows a little). Then we soaked the seeds for an hour in cool water. Then we dumped the water into the sink and spread them out on moist vermiculite (you can use almost any sort of starting material) in a plastic tub that takeout came in (after a brief wash...). We put an inch of so of moist (not sopping) vermiculite and closed the lid.

The container was placed on the kitchen counter away from sunlight for about a week. The seeds we sanded to expose a bit of the white part inside the seed are the ones that germinated. The ones we did not sand but soaked and planted at the same time we are still waiting on.

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