School House About Robbins Farm Arlington Agriculture Veggie Lifecycles Growing Patterns Vegetable Familes Garden Bugs Basic Garden Tools Photo Synthesis Robbins Farm Garden Blog


Calendula are smaller, more normal-sized members of the Daisy family.

They are easy to grow and bloom quickly with bright yellow, orange, and sometimes reddish petals. They also have a spicy, beer-like aroma.

Their bright flowers attract bees for pollination, which we like. And their spicy smell repells certain harmful bugs, which we also like.

Finally, some people like to eat their petals, which peppery but not poisonous (different from sunflowers). They eat calendula petals mostly in salads and as a seasoning for broths. For this latter use, calendula have gotten the nickname "pot marigold" because they are put in pots and look a bit like marigolds.


Nasturtium means "nose twister." The name comes from the fact that nasturtiums' petals and their leaves — which are both edible — both have a slightly peppery taste and can make your nose pucker up.

Perhaps the nasturtiums' main appeal, however, is that they make life very distracting for certain unpopular garden bugs and, in doing so, help protect other vegetables.

For example, aphids go crazy over nasturtiums. You can put nasturtiums in a far corner of your garden and most of the aphids will stampede over in their direction and leave the rest of your vegetables alone. Gardeners call that an "aphid trap." You can read more about it here in the Garden Bugs notebook.

Besides aphids, nasturtiums also make life difficult for squash bugs and cucumber beetles, helping protect squashes, cucumbers, broccoli, and cauliflower, all of which are planted in this garden.

For the plant protection alone, it's a good idea to grow some nasturtiums in your veggie garden. The fact that you can also eat them — both their flowers and their leaves, mostly in salads — is just an added bonus.