grow, marvel, eat, laugh, persevere

Sunday, May 2, 2010

3 Things About Sowing Nasturtium Seeds

If you're planning to grow Nasturtium this year, there's a few things you ought to know about starting the seeds.

  1. Nasturtium don't really like being transplanted, so either direct sow them, or try starting them in peat or coir pellets.  
  2. Nasturtium seeds need darkness to germinate.  This makes starting them in pellets a little trickier because making sure they are completely covered and in darkness isn't as easy with pellets as it is with regular ole dirt.  
  3. Nasturtium seeds germinate a lot better if they are soaked in water over night.  
I started part of my Climbing Nasturtium seeds in peat pellets inside a plastic jug this year.  But, because I did not soak them overnight and because I didn't make sure the seeds were down deep enough in the pellets with the peat material covering them so that they were in darkness, only about 50% of them germinated.  I'm planning to direct sow the remaining (soaked for 24 hours) Nasturtium seeds.  

Nasturtiums are lovely, easy to grow from seed, plants.  They are beautiful in hanging baskets or spilling over the sides of a raised vegetable garden.  It's not too late to pick up a pack of seeds and try them for yourself, this gardening season.

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


  1. I'm seeing about 50% germination from mine, but I'm hoping they others are just a little slower. Thanks for reminding me to soak them. If I have to plant replacements I'll be sure to soak the seeds. Nice to see you posting again!

  2. I picked up a pack of seeds today for my daughter to grow. They are a great seed for kids!

  3. Heather--I got 100% germination in 7 days by chipping the seed coat with a nail clippers. When I soaked them in warm water, I got 100% germination in about 10 days. Cold water took 2 weeks and was no different than no scarification at all.

  4. After my first experience sowing nasturtiums this year, I'd add a fourth thing: winter sow them as you did, or wait to direct sow them, since mine started indoors under lights are VERY leggy, even though veggie seedlings sown under the same lights are beautiful and stocky.

  5. I've always wondered, though... if a seed needs darkness to germinate, how can it germinate just fine outside, where (at least here in my neighbourhood) periods of sustained darkness (night) alternate with periods of bright light (day)?

    I'm serious... I have never understood this! :-)))

  6. i stashed my unsoaked nasturtiums in my cold-but-above-freezing dark basement for about 10 days, then hauled them outside. i would have to check my notes for the date, but probably march or so. i had excellent germination. zone 6a.

  7. my husband "scarifies" them with his pocket knife, then soaks them and sows directly outdoors, they love poor/rocky soil, and are also great in hanging baskets. he also snacks on them as he's working outside. :) Great to meet you Sat!