It’s the first Sunday of the month and that means it’s time for an update on my progress growing nasturtium ‘Spitfire,’ a “climbing” variety of the popular summer annual. Climbing isn’t quite the term I’d use though as I’m discovering that this particular variety requires help as it has no climbing, grasping or clinging capabilities of its own. It’s been a bothersome task keeping the little guy from falling and spilling out of its birthing pot, but I suppose if you’re one who wants a trailing specimen, this won’t be a problem. And since it’s still a bit risky weather-wise putting mine out in their permanent spots in the garden, keeping the thin dangly stems in some type of climbing order is a bit of a task right now.
As you can see from the photographs, the stems of ‘Spitfire’ curl and twirl, and unless you position them and then secure them to some type of structure, they fall over. When all danger of frost has passed (usually around Mom’s Day here) I’ll transplant mine to their permanent home at the base of a weed-tree tepee I’ll make. I still have some evaluating to do as I’m a little concerned about the job of keeping the stems tied as the flower grows. It’s something you should be aware of when you grow vining plants – method of travel – does the plant require ties or does it have its own method of clinging (i.e., prickles, sticky hairs or small follicles, or some such other method of self-propelling).
Regardless of the effort it takes to help ‘Spitfire’ find its way up the tepee, I’m almost positive it will have been well worth it once flowering starts. And just to see the trailing effect, I’m planning on allowing one or two to spill over in pots I’ll place on the back porch and around the yard, and some will be allowed to find their own way around the garden with nothing more than mulch to cushion their walk.
At this stage, I’m pleased with the ease of starting ‘Spitfire’ from seed and the progress they’ve made. I didn’t scar or soak seeds, I’ve not used any fertilizer (and don’t plan to), and all four of my seedlings are thriving and anxious to get outside.