Put Flowers to work in the Vegetable Garden

Vegetable Gardens . Edible Gardens . Sustainable Living

True natural, organic gardening brings together all the elements Mother Nature has to offer that facilitate healthy life and lush growth. The ideal microcosm within your garden and yard should include vegetables, fruits, bushes and trees, soil, water, microrganisms, critters that aren't gonna compete with you for your gardens produce such as Frogs and Toads, beneficial insects and most certainly bees and wasps.

Wasps are scary, tick them off and they have a nasty way of letting you know. They also have a yang in addition to their ying in that they prey on worms and caterpillars in addition to their well documented pollinator quality. Bees... well we all know that Bees are the bees knees in any garden, but don't tick them off either See: Plant to Attract Bees. Frogs and Toads are amphibious hopping, croaking bug eating critters that are of great value to any yard or garden, even if you are not growing any crops they are useful in keeping the insect population under control.

And last but certainly not least, Flowers, Flowers and more flowers are an essential element of organic gardening. The right Flowers strategically placed have multiple advantages, the most obvious being that they attract pollinators. The right flowers attract more pollinators as well as other beneficial bugs that will feed on insects that aren't all that beneficial. In addition to having benefits to other plants in your garden, many flowers are also edible in their own right. See: Edible Flowers

For optimal advantage flowers should be kept growing throughout the spring and summer right into fall, not only to keep pollinators coming but also to lend some aesthetic appeal to your little corner of the Universe. 15 to 20 percent [or more] of your garden zone, or whole yard if possible should be dedicated to flowers and flowering plants [Even many fruits and veggies produce lavish floral bouquets].

Borage attracts pollinating bees and wasps, deters tomato hornworm and cabbage worms, strengthens plant resistance to many common pests and disease and adds trace minerals to the soil.

Chamomile "...savory, chamomile... will attract more beneficial insects than any bright, pretty flower will." - Alabama Cooperative Extension.

Marigolds are ideal companions through out the garden, as they're reputed to attract hoverflies , which prey on aphids. They also attract pollinators as well as reduce the number of nematodes in the soil. They need to be grown at least one season before it is able to protect plants from nematodes. See: Do Marigolds Really Protect Edible Gardens ?

Nasturtium deters many pests including Aphids, Beetles, white flies, cucumber beetles, squash bugs.