Grow edible flowers

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Garden Guide

Are nasturtiums a flower or a vegetable? They’re both! Their brightly colored flowers and shield-shaped leaves can all be eaten. So grow them in a hanging basket and surprise your friends by casually picking a leaf or two (rinse them under the faucet) and popping them in your mouth!

Materials needed:

- a bag with hanging straps

- scissors

- potting soil

- slow-release fertilizer

- watering can

- nasturtium seeds

- a plastic garbage bag

- potting soil

- airtight container

Prepare the bag by lining it with a garbage bag. Next, use scissors to snip holes in the base for water drainage. Snip through both the bag and the lining.

Mix some potting soil with a slow-release fertilizer. Use the mixture to fill the basket almost to the brim, ready to sow the seed. Water the soil and let it drain through.

Make numerous 1/2-inch-deep holes around the basket and in the center. Be sure they are 4 inches (10 cm) apart. Place a seed into each hole and cover with soil.

Wait for the plants to grow. About a week later, little green shield-shaped leaves will poke their way through the soil. Give them a drink of water.

Harvest the crop. When several leaves have appeared and the bright flowers bloom, they are ready to eat.

Add a few nasturtium leaves and flowers to a mixed leaf salad. If you leave some flowers on the stalks, they will form tiny wrinkled seeds. You can eat these, too! Make flowery ice cubes by putting flowers into an ice cube tray with water, then freeze.

Collect the seeds when the flowers have died. Store them until they are hard and dry (as shown here). Keep them in an airtight container in a cool dry place and remember to label them. You can then plant them for next year's crop.

Take proper care of your plants. Nasturtiums grow best in full sun and in poor, dry soil. Their height varies depending on the variety. The plants need little attention and prefer the soil to be kept fairly dry. However, in a hanging basket or bag, the soil can dry out quickly, so water regularly, especially in dry weather.

--, excerpted from "Ready, Set, Grow" by DK Books

GateHouse News Service

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