Vesuvius Nasturtium is a beautiful variety of heritage flower with delicate, salmon colored blooms and unique blue-green leaves. Once popular in the Victorian era for their striking color and unique flavor, these beautiful flowers are coming back into fashion. They have a variety of uses, from ordinary decorative garden flowers from artisanal culinary delights, these pinkish blooms and their wonderful seedpods will be sure to open up a new world of floral fun.
Never Met A Better Friend
If you're looking for a natural way to ward off pests from productive crops or show flowers, you might have found a pretty solution. In addition to being a beautiful flower and edible delight, many resourceful gardeners use Vesuvius Nasturtiums as a companion plant. Aphids and other garden pests are attracted to this plant, so many people use them as a sort of sacrificial lamb to stave off insects from their more productive crops.
Wait, I Can Eat These?
Yes indeed! In fact, as mentioned earlier, Nasturtiums were originally grown in South American for medicinal and culinary use. While their medicinal use may be questionable, they are an excellent source of vitamin C. They were used in Victorian times as an exotic delicacy that is quickly making a comeback in modern times. Both the leaves and flowers were consumed, but the trumpet-like petals were used mostly as a decorative flourish on otherwise bland dishes, not as a food all of their own. It was a common accompaniment to many popular and fancy salad dishes, using the leaves as a base with the flowers for garnish alongside cucumber slices and other fresh fruits and vegetables. For the record, many Nasturtium connoisseurs say the flavor of the leaves is reminiscent of watercress, but beware - their unique taste and texture is not for everyone.
Nasturtium Capers Recipe
Capers are a delicacy in American cuisine but are used commonly in European dishes. They serve to pack a vinegary, decorative punch in an otherwise bland or too saucy meal. From an unexpected twist to eggs Benedict to a more traditional addition to a pasta salad, capers can add an extra touch to a variety of dishes. However, since they are nearly impossible to pick by machine and have to be harvested at the peak of freshness, capers have an artisanal appeal that makes them expensive to pick up in stores. While genuine capers are made from the plant Capparis spinosa, but with fresh Vesuvius Nasturtium blooms, you can make your own delicious capers at home.
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup green nasturtium seedpods
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Optional: 2 fresh bay laurel leaves, or 1 dried
- Optional: 2 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
- Add the salt and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Put the nasturtium seeds in a glass jar and carefully pour the brine into the jar over the seed pods.
- Cover the jar and allow the seeds to brine for several days. Now we wait!
- Drain the nasturtium seedpods in a fine sieve or cheesecloth and return them to their original jar.
- Boil the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, and thyme to in a small saucepan to began the pickling process.
- Pour the boiling vinegar mixture over the seedpods and allow them to cool.
- Cover the jar and leave in the refrigerator for three days before using.
Your new Nasturtium capers are now finished! They should be ready to use for up to six months if kept properly refrigerated and covered in vinegar.
Sowing The Seed
Nasturtium seeds have a tough outer shell, which can be scarified to improve germination. Nick the seeds with a knife, or sandpaper and soak them in warm water overnight. Once this has been done, you can sow the seeds either indoors, or directly outdoors. If started indoors, sow the seeds in peat pots, 6 to 8 weeks prior to the last forst. Peat pots will help prevent root shock when transplanted. Sow the seeds at a depth of 1/2” under topsoil. Transplant entire pots, or direct sow outdoors when the weather has warmed and all danger of frost has passed.
Nasturtium will thrive in areas of full sunlight, with temperatures of at least 65F or higher. They require poor soils, which will promote more blooms. The sowing medium should be well drained as well. To increase your drainage, we recommend that you add a light compost to any areas containing hard, compact soil. Water the seeds daily until germination has successfully occurred.
Germination & Growth
Nasturtium seeds typically take anywhere between 7 and 10 days to germinate. The plants will grow to a mature height of roughly 8 to 14 inches tall and can spread 12 inches wide. The plants can be spaced about 12 inches apart from one another. The 2 to 3 inch, salmon colored blooms will attract an array of beneficial insects to the garden, such as bumblebees, honeybees, butterflies & hummingbirds as well.
We promise to never knowingly carry or sell GMO based seed products. All seeds sold through Seed Needs are Non-GMO products and the vast majority seeds are produced from open pollinated plants. (A very low number of our seed products are F1 hybrids) Our seed stock is stored in a temperature controlled facility and our products are constantly moved out due to popularity. Each and every packet is intended for the current and the following growing season and will not be marked with an expiration date.
If you are to store your seeds for successful growth in the following year, we recommend placing the packets in an airtight ziplock bag. Place your seeds in a cool, dark and dry area of the home, such as a basement where they are kept at room temperature or below.
It is our goal to make you a happy customer! If you experience any problems with your seeds such as germination issues, we will replace or refund any seed product within 180 days of your purchase date. Please contact us directly for a resolution to any problems that you are having with our products.
Question: When should I sow these seeds?
Answer: This is something you must research for your specific region. We offer a ton of helpful articles in our Blog that explain in depth how to successfully grow the seeds within our shop. All of our product pages have useful information on sowing as well.
Question: What is the size of this packet?
Answer: Our traditional packages are 3.25" wide, by 4.50" tall. Some of our larger packages of Corn, Beans and Peas will be 4" wide by 4.675" tall, and our Wildflower packages containing bulk seeds are usually 4.50" wide by 6.45" inches tall.
Question: Are your seeds heirloom?
Answer: In short yes, a vast majority of the plant varieties we carry are heirloom. Heirlooms are varieties that have been passed down for generations.
Question: Are your seeds GMO?
Answer: No, we promise to never knowingly carry or supply any GMO based seed products and steer clear of seed producers from major GMO companies, such as Monsanto.
Question: Are your seeds Organic?
Answer: No, at this time we do not sell organic seeds.
Question: How long will shipping take?
Answer: This can sometimes depend on the size of your order, however 95% of our orders will ship within 24 to 48 hours. All orders ship First Class by default and can take 2 - 5 business days to arrive. Orders placed on a Friday may not ship until the following Monday.
Question: What if my seeds don't grow?
Answer: If you experience any problems with our seed products, contact us within 180 days of your purchase date for a resolution.
Question: Do the packages have sowing instructions on them?
Answer: Yes, all of our seed packets have detailed sowing information on the reverse side as well as a QR code that leads to the original product page here on our website.
Question: Why is there no expiration date on your seed packages?
Answer: Our seeds are contained within a temperature controlled facility in airtight containers. When we ship our seed products to customers, we fill a small portion of packets that sell on a weekly basis. We do not print an expiration date on the packets since the large majority of seeds technically do not expire for long periods of time, IF they are stored in the proper conditions. If you plan to store or save your seeds for the following year, we suggest placing them in a ziplock bag, later storing them in a dark, cool and dry area of the home.
Question: Can I receive a catalog in the mail?
Answer: At this time, we are focused on remaining solely online. We do not send paper catalogs in an effort to save more trees, as well as keep our prices low.
Question: I did not receive an invoice for my order.
Answer: We do not send paper invoices with our orders since the invoice can be viewed online with your Seed Needs account. You will also receive an invoice / order confirmation through email.
Question: What is the difference between a hybrid variety and a GMO based seed product.
Answer: Hybrids are a NATURAL process of cross pollinating two species, thus producing a first generation hybrid (F1.) For example: Mixing a red, double blooming, single stem sunflower, with a yellow, multi branching sunflower might result in a orange-red, double blooming, multibranching plant.
GMO based seed products are a completely different and unatural process of gene splicing in a laboratory. The process entails the introduction of a separate biological kingdom, such as a bacteria, or a pesticide. This bacteria or pesticide is then eaten directly by the consumer when the crops reach maturity. (BAD NEWS)
Question: Can you ship these seeds overseas?
Answer: At this time we only ship within the United States and Canada.