If you lot’re still growing flowers and vegetables on opposite sides of your 1000, it’south time rethink your garden program. Companion planting flowers and vegetables in the aforementioned beds is a strategy professional growers use to heave yields and keep crops healthy, and it’s easy and beneficial for beginners to do, too.
Maggie Saska, plant production specialist at the Rodale Found organic farm, says the most important reason to grow flowers in your vegetable bed is to attract native bees and other benign insects. Without bees stopping by your garden to snack on nectar and bandy pollen effectually, you’re going to have a pretty disappointing ingather.
Plus, planting bee-friendly flowers near your vegetables as well supports struggling pollinator populations and biodiversity. You tin can also found flowers specifically to concenter butterflies, hummingbirds, and other desirable species.
Ready to get started? Before you order your seeds, hither are v tips that Saska says are important to go along in mind when selecting flower varieties for your vegetable patch.
Pay Attending to Bloom Fourth dimension
In society for companion planting with flowers to work, you have to select flowers that will bloom at the same fourth dimension as your veggie crops. If the type you planted doesn’t bloom until two weeks subsequently your peas finish flowering, your peas are out of luck.
Seed packets will tell you how presently flowers volition bloom after planting so that you tin sync up your planting schedule. All the same, information technology’south a skilful idea to establish a variety of flowers to ensure that you’ve got continuous blooms throughout the unabridged growing flavor.
Consider Blossom Shape
The flowers that concenter hummingbirds are not the same as those that attract bees or beneficial wasps. The flower’s shape makes it easier or harder for dissimilar species to access the nectar and pollen. To attract bees and other pollinators, Saska recommends choosing flowers with a composite shape, like zinnias, cosmos, daisies, sunflowers, and purple coneflower.
Space Them Out
Sprinkle flowers throughout the garden rather than planting them in i clump. How you practice it is really upwards to you. You can institute a row of veggies followed by a row of flowers, or you tin can interspace them within the same row. Consider getting strategic and using flowers to break up a row to point where your sweet peppers end and your hot peppers begin. Or, plant flowers to form a edge around the exterior of the bed.
Think About Height
You don’t desire your flowers competing with your veggies for sunlight, then cull mostly low-growing flowers. All the same, some crops (like lettuces) might benefit from a fiddling shade during the summer months, so occasionally it makes sense to go with a taller variety.
Saska recommends that beginners kickoff past working with almanac flowers because they’re grow easily and produce lots of blooms. You lot likewise don’t have to worry most them coming upwards in the same spot every yr if you want to change your garden design. (Go started with these almanac flowers you can easily grow from seed.)
Withal, native perennials are ane of the all-time ways to attract native bees, so don’t omit them from your k entirely. The Xerces Lodge offers a great region-by-region guide to pollinator-friendly plants (mainly perennials) and includes information on flower time, height, and watering needs.
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