Do you grow your vegetables separately from ornamentals in your garden? Well I have news for you! It’s about time you’ve grown flowers in the same patch as your vegetables.
Flowers You Should Be Growing In Your Vegetable Garden
Growing different crops together, also called companion planting, has been around for ages. Farmers and gardeners alike have been using this form of poly culture for a variety of reasons including pest control, pollination, providing habitat for beneficial insects, maximizing use of space, and to otherwise increase crop productivity.
Flowers are an excellent addition to any vegetable patch and they play multiple beneficial roles for every garden. Today, we’ll be taking about some of the best flowers you should be growing alongside your edible crops in the garden. Let’s get started.
Why Grow Flowers in Vegetable Gardens
There are three main reasons for companion planting flowers with vegetables : 1) to attract pollinators, 2) to prevent pests from attacking crops, and 3) to make the garden more aesthetically pleasing. Keep these Flowers You Should Be Growing In Your Vegetable Garden in mind when planting your beds.
While some crops like tomatoes are self-pollinating plants, there are crops like garlic, onion, potatoes, and cabbages that need a little help from critters like bees, butterflies, and humming birds. Flowers tend to attract these pollinators which can be beneficial for pollinator-reliant crops in your garden by increasing your garden’s yield.
Apart from pollinators, flowers can also attract insects like lady bugs, spiders, ground beetles, and predatory wasps that can chase away bugs like aphids. Furthermore, if you place flowers around your vegetables, they can also serve as a barrier so that your edible crops can remain pest-free.
Finally, flowers impart beauty to your vegetable garden. Their dainty blooms can add brilliance and even an attractive scent to your vegetable patch.
The Best Flowers to Plant in Your Vegetable Beds
When discussing Flowers You Should Be Growing In Your Vegetable Garden, Marigolds or Calendula are a common option for vegetable gardeners who want to put some flowers in their vegetable beds. These bright-as-sunshine blooms not only add color and beauty to your vegetable garden but they also attract pollinators like bees.
If you plant a lot of tomatoes, marigolds are also great for you since they repel nematodes, slugs, horn worms, and other garden pests that tend to help themselves to your juicy reds. Since marigolds have a strong scent, they also mask that of your vegetables which can confuse and prevent garden pests from attacking them.
These sun-loving giants offer a powerhouse of protection for your vegetable garden. They improve the pollination of fruits and vegetables by providing a healthy source of nectar and pollen for the bees.
They are also a great partner for climbing crops like cucumbers, beans, peas, and squash. You can train these vines to climb up the sturdy stalks of sunflowers. Apart from serving as a living trellis, sunflowers can also provide much needed shade for spinach and lettuce that tend to bolt when exposed to too much sun.
What’s more, sunflowers can also help remove toxins from your garden soil which makes it a better growing medium for your vegetables. Sunflowers are used for phytoremediation a process by which they absorb toxic metals, pesticides, solvents, and gasoline from the ground through phytoextraction. Do note that once the process is done, the sunflowers are now toxic so you need to remove and replace them.
Sweet Pea flowers impart a wonderful array of colors to an otherwise drab vegetable garden. Since they are fragrant, they also mask the scent of vegetables so that pests can’t find them.
They also fix nitrogen in the soil which makes them an ideal companion plant for leafy greens like spinach, lettuce, and brassicas.
While cilantro is typically grown as an herb, you can also use it as a companion plant for other crops if you let them blossom. For some gardeners, bolting may be considered a problem but you can definitely grow cilantro for its flowers and not its leaves. As a flowering herbaceous plant, it can attract pollinators and other helpful insects. Its roots can also help loosen soil since they reach deep saving you some precious tilling time.
Light, delicate, and pleasantly fragrant, lavender flowers make for a perfect hedge for a vegetable patch.
They also repel animals like deer and rabbits. They also reduce the population of insects like ticks and moths. Meanwhile, their scent attracts butterflies and bees.
Lavender is also an excellent companion plant for brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and celery.
Companion planting is an excellent strategy for growing a thriving vegetable garden. Not only do flowers help bring in helpful pollinators but they also keep pests at bay while keeping your vegetable patch looking dainty and colorful.
Do you know of other Flowers You Should Be Growing In Your Vegetable Garden? Let me know in the comment sections below!
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