|I can’t say what it is about weeds that l have always loved? Perhaps it is quite simply because they are misunderstood like some animal species. Whatever your opinion or view is on weeds, they are everywhere, and they are here to stay.|
Twenty-five years ago, l used to forage for weeds to feed the enormous number of rabbits l had in my commercial breeding operation. Knowing about them made everything easier because it meant that l wouldn’t accidentally kill an animal by feeding the wrong weed.
Most weeds are harmless, not all. Of course, some are and can be deadly. The fact is that people don’t like weeds because they don’t belong where they usually appear or are out of place. Many a time, gardeners especially don’t want them because weeds tend to grow quicker and easier than many ornamental flowers.
Weeds have a way of surviving. They are ONLY considered weeds on the domestic level because, let’s be honest, when we are out walking in the countryside, how many people are bothered by the presence of weeds then?
There are advantages and disadvantages to having weeds in your gardens and yards. They do have a lot of benefits that many people tend to ignore, and this series will highlight that.
|The Beauty of Weeds|
Fertilising and enriching the soils
Providing and active Mulch/Soil protection
Attracting pollinators and good insects
Food source for animals and humans
Serves as decoy crops
Great for wildlifing the garden
“Nasturtiums, who colored you, you wonderful, glowing things? You must have been fashioned out of summer sunsets”
Lucy Maud Montgomery
|Many people see this plant like a flower, and to others, Nasturtium is an invasive weed. If you were to travel back in time, apothecaries were utilising the flowers and leaves as salves due to the herb like properties of the plant. It all comes down to where you are in the world and what you use this plant for.|
Nasturtiums grow well in well-drained soils and are sun worshippers. There are many colours to choose from, and there are also bush or climbing varieties available to the enthusiast. Sometimes referred to as the ideal plants for children, l would say ‘for all ages’.
I have used the leaves and the flowers in salads in the past. The leaves can be a little spicy or peppery, pending the palette. The leaves can make a nice change to rocket leaves. The leaves are filled with Vit C and other minerals, whilst the flowers are rich in B1, B2 and B3.
Mostly, however, l tend to have them present in the garden for their wonderfully vibrant colour splashes, and l use them also as plant diversions or trap plantings.
The flowers are gorgeous and have a beautiful scent, and the butterflies and pollinators adore them. Nasturtium is both great for pest attraction and control too. Bees love the nectar from the flowers. They can also attract hoverflies who love feasting on aphids!
Nasturtiums are great companion plants and can benefit broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins and squashes directly,
They are easy to grow, long-lasting, and can provide lots and lots of seeds within their seed heads. Plus, let us not forget the absolute colourful beauty they bring to the garden. They also are perfectly capable of providing both ground cover and serving as a living mulch.
Chickens can also benefit from Nasturtium’s medicinal properties. It is also suggested that they can make for a natural wormer too.
Because they are easy to grow, they can be sewn into various containers such as pots, raised beds, and hanging baskets.
|I hope you enjoyed N is for Nasturtium and I’ll see you again soon.|
The Autistic Composter