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Spitfire Nasturtiums and Their Companions

July 14, 2010

Between visiting in-laws and a strained trapezoid, I’m a bit late with this month’s GROW project update. The photos were taken on July 3rd and they’re already outdated. In addition to growing noticeably larger in the last week, more nasturtiums are blooming. As of the scheduled update, only two of the smallest plants had bloomed.

I’ll start with the nasturtiums in the tomato garden.  Of all the locations I planted nasturtiums, this one gets the most sun, but it’s also the driest. The sweet peas, planted much earlier in spring, only grew about an inch and a half and then died. A morning glory is growing well with the nasturtiums and a castor bean should take off soon. After an early wrap around the support, the morning glory is climbing the branch on its own. Spitfire is labeled as a climbing nasturtium, but so far, I haven’t seen any evidence of that. It does grow nice vines, but they haven’t climbed anything, yet. When this picture was taken, none of the stems were long enough to train up the branch, but they’re about ready now.


Here’s a close-up of one of those vines.


The next spot is at the corner of the vegetable garden, nearest the kitchen door. Again, the morning glory companion was aimed toward the fence early on and has since climbed on its own. The nasturtiums haven’t.


Hiding under the nasturtiums, I found the first bloom on a companion morning glory. As a dwarf, mounding variety, this is not a good companion for the much larger spitfire nasturtiums.

dwarf morning glory

In the next spot, the nasturtium leaves are much greener and healthier looking than most. However, they are the ones hidden by their sweet pea companions.


The sweet peas grew best in this corner. Perhaps the spitfire will take over when the sweet peas die off?

sweet peas

In the hanging baskets, the nasturtiums have remained quite small, but are the first to bloom. I would have guessed that these weren’t spitfires, but one of last year’s leftovers, since the color was more orange than I expect from the spitfires. However, the larger nasturtiums, that I know are spitfires, have since bloomed and the color is pretty similar.




The lower leaves of these have died off, but one is putting out a new shoot from the base of the stem.


I’m not sure if the yellowing leaves are from not enough water or disease. I haven’t looked it up yet, but some look like they might have rust or something similar. I’m also finding that on the beans nearby.

nasturtium, sickly leaf

In one corner of the vegetable garden, the spitfires may eventually share a climbing post with a long vining squash.


In another corner of the vegetable garden is the only spitfire that has come close to climbing. It has the longest vine, which I wrap around the post each time I pass it.


It only recently stayed in place, I think because the tendrils from the peas latched on and held the it up. The peas have since been removed, but the spitfire is long enough to reach the twine for the beans and is holding up better. Though, I suspect I will still have to train it up the post.


A much smaller nasturtium is growing in the same location. I suspect this is one of last year’s leftovers, cherry rose jewel. That one only grows 8-10″. It stays quite small, but has lovely red blooms.


The last spot for spitfires is the shadiest. It’s in the paisley garden in the front yard. These are also growing up a branch with sweet peas. The sweet peas and nasturtiums here are both smaller than the others, probably due to getting less sun. I’ve tied them to the branch with twine once, but they may be ready to be tied again. These sweet peas have just started blooming. The others are mostly finished with a few blooming a second time. I haven’t seen any nasturtium blooms, yet.

nasturtium, sweet peas

Until next month…

“I’m growing Nasturtium “Spitfire” for the GROW project. Thanks, to Renee’s Garden for the seeds.”

nasturtium, sickly leaf
One Comment leave one →
  1. July 16, 2010 5:16 pm

    Looks like you have had great luck with your Nasturtiums. I tried growing them in my garden but they have always ended up with brown spots on the leaves. I tried more, then less water but nothing worked. Fungus?

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