I love gardening and all its joys. I love to harvest vegetables and herbs from it. But what irritates me most are the weeds that keep on growing around my plants. I also get irritated with the pests that feast on the leaves. Then I learned that one of the most effective natural solutions is planting flowers. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Well, in this blog post, I am going to show you how to choose beneficial flowers for vegetable garden that can ward off pests and weeds.
Companion planting is the method of growing different species together for one or more benefits. Planting companions can help control pests. They also have nutritional benefits that result in healthier plants or higher yields. Theycan even attract pollinators which are necessary for growth. You can plant beneficial flowers for your vegetable garden. This is also known as “trap crops” or “intercropping”, and they keep pests away from main crops . You can easily plant companions in your home garden.
Give these a try in your garden:
Borage is an herb that not only looks beautiful in the garden. Its seed oil can also treat inflammation and arthritis. The beautiful purple and pink flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. These flowers also give off a nice, fresh scent. Borage is an annual plant that grows about 2 feet tall and is adorned with flowers and leaves that are edible. They are agreat additions to a salad or an iced refreshing drink. Plant borage together with tomatoes to deter hornworms. Other good companions are strawberries and squash.
Marigolds have a wonderful aroma that deters pests like nematodes in the soil and attracts others, such as Japanese beetles, away from your main crops. It’s even been known to deter rabbits and deer. Best of all, marigolds are edible and make a great addition in salads and dressings.
Nasturtiums come in a wide range of colors and patterns and bear big bold leaves. Nasturtiums deter aphids and whiteflies from nearby crops and are excellent companions for cucumbers, squash, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, potatoes, brassicas and more. Not only are nasturtiums useful, they’re edible with a peppery flavor that makes a nice garnish or addition to salads.
Calendula, also known as “Pot Marigold” is an annual with edible flower petals. This is a great choice because it attracts pollinators and “good” bugs like green lacewings and ladybugs, and uses its sticky sap to trap unwanted pests like whiteflies, thrips and aphids.
Lavender is one of my favorite fragrances and adds a beautiful touch of color to my garden. With many varieties, it not only has culinary uses, it’s also a great repellent for deer and cabbage moths but a great friend to pollinators. I find bees swarming around my lavender regularly. To get a second bloom in the season, cut the plants back after their first flowering is complete.
Not only are sunflowers colorful and beautiful, but they are wonderful at attracting pollinators. I started growing these in my vegetable garden last year and immediately saw bees take to them. This year, I’ve tripled the number of sunflowers I’m growing.
In conclusion, will you start planting beneficial flowers for vegetable garden?
Illustration image from @rapazzini
I'm Catherine, The Wine Box Gardener. I'm all about growing LOTS of organic vegetables and herb in the smallest of spaces -- and do most of it by recycling wooden wine boxes as planters. Come see what's growing in my urban garden, and get tips and recipes on my website http://www.wineboxgardener.com/.Follow @wineboxgardener on social to keep up with all the latest using the links above or: Instagram https://www.instagram.com/wineboxgardener/ Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wineboxgardener Twitter https://twitter.com/wineboxgardener
Get your own copy of the ESSENTIAL GARDENING TOOLKIT emailed directly to you.
The Essential Gardening Toolkit is a must-have for every gardener! You’ll get: