Planting Nasturtium For Organic Pest Control

Nasturtium is incredibly easy to grow. In fact, it grows best when left alone. In a mild climate, they will self seed and spread nicely. Not only will the bright, climbing blooms look nice, but they make an excellent trap crop when planted near your garden.

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I have come across a lot of discussion boards that claim planting nasturtium will repel insects from your garden. This is not true. Aphids love nasturtium. The trick is to plant it near (not with) your garden to deter the insects away from your crops.

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You will need to check for and dispose of aphid covered leaves about twice a week to protect your garden. Cabbage white butterflies also love nasturtium. Believe it or not, they love it more than cabbage! The large leaves attract butterflies that will lay their eggs on the underside of the nasturtium leaves. Your cabbage will be free of caterpillar bites! When planted near squash or eggplant it will deter flea and cucumber beetles. Slugs cannot resist their juicy leaves!

After all these pests have had their feast, if there is any nasturtium left, it is edible. The leaves can be put in salad. The flower petals have a peppery taste, similar to watercress. They are quite good stuffed with cream cheese and chives. When pickled, the seeds taste similar to capers.

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