Beneficial flowers

All flowers are beautiful! With the thousands of varieties that can be purchased it is hard to pick just a few; however, there are certain types of flowers that can be very beneficial to a vegetable garden.  There are many different types you can incorporate into your garden that are not only pretty, but repel insects, encourage pollination and are edible! When planting these flowers in a raised or elevated garden one thing you need to consider is space. Some of these flowers can multiply and expand, eventually over taking your garden; in raised and elevated beds try to plant dwarf varieties or bush varieties that won’t exceed a certain amount of room.

Here are few of the most talked about vegetable garden flowers and why they are good companions in-ground or elevated gardens.

Nasturtiums 

Nasturtiums are an easy annual to grow with edible flowers and leaves. Nasturtiums have a peppery bloom that can be put in salads and added to other dishes. They are good companion plants to cucumbers, squash and broccoli. When planted next to these vegetables they will trap aphids and repel squash bugs. Nasturtiums add a colorful beauty to the garden, have a nice fragrance and come in bush and vine varieties. In raised beds, they work well on the edge of the garden growing out and over the garden bed.

Marigolds

Marigolds are another simple flower to grow and maintain. They are one of the most popular flowers to grow among your vegetables because they repel bad bugs and attract potential pollinators. Known for their strong fragrance, marigolds deters nematodes and the aroma confuses pests if planted in or around your vegetables. Because they are a bush annual they work well in raised beds without taking up much space. Marigolds are especially beneficial planted next to tomatoes because the tomato hornworm is not a fan of this bright orange/yellow fragrant flower.

Petunias

Petunias are nature’s pesticide. Considered one of the prettiest organic pest controls for your garden, petunias will repel beetles, leafhoppers and tomato worms. Plant them among peppers, tomatoes and beans; they also work well next to any of the brassica family such as broccoli and cabbage. Petunias come in so many varieties and colors that can add beauty to any garden. The flowers are also easy to maintain and contain which makes them great for raised beds.

Borage

Borage is a bee magnet; it attracts pollinators and deters the dreaded hornworm and cabbage worms. This flower adds beauty and nutrients to your vegetable garden. The borage leaves are rich in minerals and vitamins and are a great mulch for your vegetables. Borage flowers are edible and are used in salads and stir-fry. Borage flowers are easy to maintain and can be planted near tomatoes, cabbage and strawberries; they are actually known for improving the flavor of strawberries.

Sweet Pea

Sweet pea is an old fashioned flower that is best planted near peas and beans. They bring in potential pollinators that could help increase your bean and pea yields. Plus sweet peas have a wonderful fragrance and grow in many soft colors. They like cooler nights which makes them a good companion plant to peas. They are a great cut flower which makes it even better. You can have flowers for the table and delicious vegetables for dinner!

Beautiful, beneficial flowers cannot be resisted. They are a much added benefit and attraction to any vegetable garden.  Add them to raised, elevated and ground garden beds. So when you plant your garden don’t forget the flowers!

 

“When the flower blossoms, the bee will come.

Srikumar Rao

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