Sunday, October 3, 2010

Plant Nasturtium Facing North

I planted 4 different varieties of Nasturtium this year, including the Spitfire climber.  I direct sowed nearly all of them in containers, raised vegetable beds or in already established ground-level flower beds.  They've grown better along my north facing privacy fence than any other location.

This wasn't a good year for Nasturtiums.  In Chicago, we got a ton of rain early on, then long periods of extreme heat with no rain at all.  Because I neglect my containers so much, the Nasturtium in pots didn't stand a chance.

I planted the Spitfire in containers near the posts on my pergola and envisioned them wrapping around the cedar, their pretty green foliage being a real eye catcher against the backdrop of the wood.  But, they never got more than a few inches tall and didn't make it through the hottest part of the summer.  I think they've been dead since late June.

The ones I tucked in the corners of the raised beds were shaded enough by the bright lights swiss chard and other veggies that it kept them cool but the pie garden ended up being a bad place for them, too.  They all seemed to need some kind of protection.

By far the Nasturtiums that grew consistently all summer were the Spitfires I planted along the north facing fence.  I never got around to training them up a trellis so they rambled along the two foot wide bed, each plant spreading a good five to six feet.  They made a good ground cover for the bed which currently has scraggly looking pink shrub roses in it.

This picture doesn't do them justice.   The Spitfire variety didn't produce many flowers but the best part of Nasturtiums is the foliage, anyway.  I would definitely grow these again, in the exact same location.  If you had trouble with your Nasturtiums this year, I'd suggest you try growing them in the ground facing north.

I'm growing Nasturtium Spitfire for the GROW project.  Thanks to Renee's Garden for the seeds.