Have you ever heard of companion planting?
Companion planting is all about growing plants together while getting benefits from each other through growth, keeping pests away, and improving the health of the soil.
One example of companion planting is growing flowers in a vegetable garden. Adding flowers to your vegetable garden can give your plants some benefits, such as attracting beneficial insects like predators and pollinators, providing nectar sources, fixing nitrogen in the soil, and improving the aesthetic of your garden.
But the question is, what are the best flowers for vegetable garden? If you’re interested in companion planting, stick with this post until the end, and we’ll give you some ideas about the best flowers for vegetable garden.
What are the factors to consider in choosing flowers for a vegetable garden?
Bloom time and color
These are the two things you can consider first in companion planting.
Bloom time is the actual season when the flower grows. You want to choose a flower that blooms at different times to ensure that your garden gets a consistent pollen source and nectar for pollinators.
But why should you consider the color? Simple because flowers with vibrant and contrasting colors are very attractive to pollinators.
Not all flowers can scare pests away. In fact, some flowers even attract insects to a garden, and you do not want that. So always choose flowers that have pest-repelling properties, like marigolds.
Likewise, you want to plant flowers that can attract beneficial insects like lacewings or ladybugs, which can help your vegetable garden.
There are particular flowers that can improve your soil and benefit your crops. For example, nitrogen-fixing flowers can be very beneficial for vegetables that need nitrogen.
Another thing to consider is a flower’s microbial activity. Some flowers can improve the soil by promoting the growth of beneficial microbes like mycorrhizae.
Height and spread
Height and spread are important because you want flowers that won’t compete for nutrients, light, and water from your vegetable crops.
For example, you can choose flowers of different heights to create a more diverse structure. Likewise, it’ll be easier to maintain. Regarding the flower’s spread, it can affect the growth and development of your crops.
You must not plant flowers with aggressive roots or rapid growth habits. These flowers can compete with the growing conditions of your crop.
Sun exposure requirements
Always consider the light requirements of flowers. Reduced exposure to sunlight can affect flower reproduction.
Remember that you want productive flowers for your vegetable garden to benefit. And if you planted the wrong flowers in your garden, they’ll be worthless.
What are the best flowers for vegetable garden?
After considering all the above factors, we’ve listed the best flowers for vegetable garden! Look at the following!
You might have heard of marigolds several times. This flower belongs to the sunflower family. It’s actually considered and grown as an ornamental plant because of its bright yellow-orange color. This is also why they’re great at attracting pollinators in a vegetable garden.
We recommend planting marigolds as your companion plant because they can deter pests like aphids and nematodes due to the alpha-terthienyl chemical they release. They also help in improving the soil’s structure and fertility.
This flower is native to South and Central America and belongs to the Tropaeolaceae family. It has unique funnel-shaped flowers with warm creamy yellow and bright red colors. There are Nasturtium varieties that trail, mound, and climb.
It’s also one of the famous companion plants you can grow in your vegetable garden because of its color, bloom time, and increased flower production. Surprisingly, Nasturtiums are also edible, especially their leaves and flowers, giving you a peppery and spicy flavor.
You can grow this flowering plant both in full sun and partial shade. They’re drought-tolerant and can thrive in a variety of soils.
Calendulas, also called pot marigolds, belong to the sunflower Asteraceae family. They are native to southwestern Asia and Europe. They have showy, bright yellow to deep orange flowers, typically blooming in late spring or early summer.
This flowering plant has different uses in the garden, including companion plants in vegetable and herb gardens, cut flowers, and dried flowers for use in potpourri or other decorative arrangements.
If you ever wanted to grow Calendulas in your vegetable garden, you should do it by now! They’re easy to grow and can thrive in various growing conditions.
This plant specie is also called a starflower and is native to the Mediterranean region. It has hairy leaves and unique star-shaped blue flowers. Borage’s leaves are edible and typically used in salads and soups. Plus, its seeds are used to produce borage oil.
But aside from its incredible look and use, borage makes a great companion plant for various crops. It can improve the growth of its nearby plant and keep away pests. You can plant it ideally near the squash, tomatoes, and strawberries.
Sunflower is a famous plant that many people adore. Like any other flower, it’s considered an ornamental plant because of its showy yellow or orange large flower heads. It is also an excellent source of oil and food, especially its seeds.
Due to their large flower heads and tall structure, sunflowers are great companion plants to the point that they can provide shade to other delicate crops. They also attract lots of pollinators because of their bright flowers and can act as a trap crop that can attract pests away from other plants.
How do you integrate flowers into a vegetable garden?
There are different ways how you can integrate these flowers into your vegetable garden. Here are some techniques and ideas to try.
- Interplanting. It includes planting flowers among your vegetables so that the flowers and vegetables share the same space. This can help to attract pollinators to the garden and improve overall biodiversity.
- Borders. You can plant these flowers along the edges of your garden to add color and attract beneficial insects while still leaving the main garden area for vegetables.
- Succession planting. This is the technique of planting flowers that bloom at different times throughout the growing seasons, which can provide a continuous source of food and habitat for pollinators.
Try companion planting today!
If you’ve never tried companion planting before, this is the sign to pursue it today! Now that you have an idea of the best flowers for vegetable garden, it’ll be easier for you.
All you have to do is to decide which flower to plant and determine how you’ll integrate it into your garden. We suggest doing interplanting or borders. But let us remind you that the best flowers for vegetable garden is the one that is well-suited to your growing conditions and that won’t compete with your crops for light and nutrients.
Incorporating flowers into your garden is beneficial and fun. Make sure to give it a try!