When you’re planning out your gardens for the year, you might think that you need to have clearly defined spaces for each type of plant. Vegetables go here, flowers go here, and shrubs go here….right?
A smart planting technique involves planting flowers inside your vegetable garden. Not only will it look spectacular, but growing flowers among your vegetables has a number of benefits, too.
Here are a few flowers you can plant directly in the vegetable garden – as well as reasons why you should consider doing so.
Why Use Flowers in the Vegetable Garden?
Many experts encourage gardeners to plant a border of flowers around the perimeter of the garden. I do this, but I also encourage you to plant the following flowers among the crops. This can attract beneficial insects directly to where they’re needed.
That’s because in the permaculture garden, this practice integrates different aspects of the garden to make the overall ecosystem more biodiverse, efficient, and low maintenance.
This integration increases the chance that beneficial insects will locate pests on your crops and keep things in balance.
Further, it’s not only the above-ground pests that flowers can help with. Flowers also help to maintain a healthy garden ecology by holding the soil in place (less erosion) and by feeding the beneficial soil organisms when their roots die back.
Nasturtiums are a great way to keep your garden from becoming overrun with pests.
These plants have been known for their ability not only in repelling certain insects, but also as natural fertility boosters due to the nastic oil they produce, which helps discourage weed growth around food crops like tomatoes and cucumbers!
Many gardeners are interested in growing roses among chives. For example, they may enjoy the strong scent from these plants which can discourage aphids and beetles alike!
There’s a variety of different types you could choose for your landscape – I love Lavender Veranda Roses as well as Dublin Bay Rose.
You can use chamomile in your garden to attract beneficial insects. It will help cabbage and other brassicas grow better by attracting certain types of bugs!
Leave some chopped up leaves out for the winter, too-it’ll enrich soil quality while decomposing over time
Calendula or ‘The pot marigold’ is known for its beautiful calendar-like flowers. These delicate plants are perfect to grow in a vegetable garden, and you can save the seeds too!
5. California Poppy
The California poppy is a bright and beautiful flower that blooms quickly, making it an ideal candidate for planting in clay soil.
Not only does this plant loosen up compacted earth but also attracts beneficial insects thanks to its lacy leaves as well!
Borage is a plant that many people use to help their plants fight off pests and diseases. The flowers on this herb are beautiful, but what makes it really special in my opinion is how well-known its roots have been for centuries as an effective remedy against various ailments from insomnia to constipation!
Not only do flowers mentioned in the previous passage help repel insects, but there are many that will keep them away.
Mexican marigolds have been known to be destructive against a wide variety of different bugs while French Marigold can kill nematodes and serve as trap crops for snails or spider mites depending on where you plant it!
8. Sweet Pea
The delicate sweet pea is another flower that can be planted directly in the vegetable garden. Although they aren’t edible, as the seeds are poisonous, pollinators love visiting these flowers!
These plants seem perfect for beginners because their care requirements are minimal – just water regularly to keep them alive (and filled with color).