November 02, 2019 5 min read

The end of Spring is a great time for sowing a huge range of seeds. Scroll down to see a guide of Seeds to Sow Now, but first we'd love to tell you about something a bit different you can do in your garden at this time of year.

The Many Uses of Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are a surprisingly beneficial plant to have in your garden. Not only do their bright flowers lighten a space, but they also attract pollinators and beneficial insects, provide ground cover and prevent invasive weeds from taking over. They prefer poor soil so are easy to grow and are very easy to pull out if you decide you want the space for something else. They are a great companion to most plants in your garden.

Were you aware that nasturtiums are also edible? You can eat every part of the plant; from it's leaves which can be chopped into salads, to the gorgeous edible flowers. What we'd love to show you in this article is how you can turn nasturtium seeds into capers!

Picking nasturtium seed pods for capers Picking nasturtium seed pods for capers

Nasturtium seed pods develop at the end of the plant's season: right about now at the end of Spring. The flowers start to die off and leave in their place three little green pods that, when pickled, look and taste surprisingly like capers! You can easily pick lots of these little pods and turn them into an inexpensive and delicious food. 

Get out there and make the most of your handy nasturtiums! Be sure to leave some of the pods to dry out and self-seed for next season.

 

Nasturtium Caper Recipe

This recipe has come from our friends at Pip Permaculture Magazine. You can see their full blog here.

To make one small jar of nasturtium capers you will need:

  • 1/2 cup green nasturtium seeds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar

Method:

  1. Rinse the nasturtium seeds and place them in a jar.
  2. Make a brine solution with 1 cup of water and 1 tsp salt and pour this over the seeds. Place the lid on the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
  3. Drain and rinse the seeds and repeat step 2, letting them sit for another 24 hours in brine.
  4. Drain and rise the seeds well and place them in a sterilized jar.
  5. Mix together the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan and bring them to the boil. Pour this liquid over the nasturtium seeds, ensuring they are all covered, and allow to cool. You may wish to add spices and herbs to the vinegar solution such as peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme or whatever takes your fancy.
  6. Once cooled to room temperature, place the lid on the jar and your capers are ready! Refrigerate after opening and they will store in the fridge for at least 6 months.

Use these nasturtium capers just as you would traditional capers, adding a tangy burst of flavour to any dish. Enjoy!

Nasturtium seed capers Pip Permaculture Magazine

 

 

Seeds to Sow Now

Plant

How to Sow

Germination Time

Time Until Harvest

Other Tips

Amaranth

Sow directly into garden bed Sept-Mar

8-10 days

26 weeks

Grow in fertile, well drained soil

Basil

Sow into a seedling flat as soon as night time temperature is above 10degC in September

5-15 days

10-12 weeks

Pinch off new shoots and flowers to encourage bushy growth. Plant near tomatoes to improve growth and flavour

Dwarf Beans

Sow directly into the garden or into biodegradable pots  Aug-Feb. Needs warm soil

7-13 days

8-12 weeks

Plant near celery or cucumber

Beetroot

Sow directly into the garden or in seedling flats at any time

7-14 days

10-12 weeks

Add leaves for a sweet and earthy  note in salads

Borage

Sow directly into garden Sept-Nov and only lightly sprinkle with soil. Biennial plant

5-10 days

Harvest leaves and flowers as needed

Attracts beneficial insects & bees. Plant with tomatoes, squash, and strawberries

Burdock

Sow directly into garden Sept-Apr

4-7 days

17-18 weeks

Cook young leaves like spinach and harvest root when young

Capsicum

Best sown in a seedling flat in warm weather Sept-Nov

7-14 days

10-16 weeks

Keep well watered when fruiting

Carrot

Sow directly into the garden Aug-May and only lightly sprinkle with soil as they need light to germinate

14-21 days

12-16 weeks

Water seedlings well

Celery

Best sown in a seedling flat and then transplant into garden

10-21 days

12-18 weeks

Plant near dill but away from beans and tomatoes

Chillies

Sow in a seedling flat or tray and plant out in 6 weeks

7-14 days

2-5 months

Semi-perennial plants

Corn

Sow only 20-30cm apart to enhance pollination

6-10 days

11-14 weeks

Grow with beans and pumpkin - the Three Sisters. Don't over water seeds after first water

Cucumber

Sow directly into garden or in biodegradable pots when weather gets warm, Sept-Mar. Cover with soil

5-10 days

8-12 weeks

Increase watering when fruiting. Beware of mould if overwatered or high levels of humidity

Dill

Sow directly into the garden Sept-Nov

7-15 days

8-12 weeks

Plant near celery but away from beans and tomatoes.  Fabulous IPM plant

Eggplant

Best sown in a seedling flat Sept-Nov. Lightly sprinkle with soil

7-14 days

16-18 weeks

Loves the heat

Endive

Sow directly into the garden Aug-Nov

10-14 days

8-12 weeks

Salad vegetable with peppery taste

Jerusalem Artichoke

Sow directly into garden bed

5-10 days

15-20 weeks

Produces many tubers, easy to grow and can handle many soil types

Lettuce

Sow into seedling flats all year round

4-14 days

6-12 weeks

Pick Cos lettuce leaves as growing.  Transplant into part shade in summer.

Lemon Balm

Sow directly into the garden Oct-Nov

12-21 days

8-10 weeks

Great as a culinary herb and for Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Melons

Sow directly into garden bed Sept-Feb

7-14 days

14-16 weeks

Needs warm weather.

Okra

Sow directly into garden bed Oct to Nov and transplant into garden bed Dec to Jan

8-13 days

11-14 weeks

Grow with capsicum, chilli and eggplant.  Pick pods while young.  Edible flowers.

Pumpkin & Squash

Sow directly into garden Aug-Oct

6-10 days

14-16 weeks

Need lots of space. Good companion with corn

Tomatoes

Sow in a seedling flat or directly into a garden bed Nov -Dec

7-14 days

12-20 weeks

Plant near Basil and Marigolds for integrated pest management. Allow good airflow to reduce disease potential

Zucchini

Sow direct into garden beds Sept to Dec.

5-10 days

8-14 weeks

Avoid watering leaves as this can increase mould and reduce fruiting

 

 If you haven't seen it already, take a look at our November Newsletter 2019: Plant Feature on corn to find out how to grow your own Three Sisters Garden - one of the oldest examples of companion planting. Now is the perfect time to start your three sisters growing!


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