There are several reasons why you should consider planting flowers with your vegetables. Let’s have a look at some of my favourite reasons below.
1. Pest Control
How Flowers Help Control Pests
One of the great benefits of growing flowers with your vegetables is that they can help control pests. Flowers attract beneficial insects and repel harmful ones, creating a natural balance in your garden.
Beneficial insects like ladybirds, lacewings, and hoverflies feed on harmful pests like aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. By planting flowers that attract these insects, you can reduce the number of harmful pests in your garden without using harmful chemicals.
Some flowers also deter pest through smell. For example, marigolds release a scent that repels nematodes, while chrysanthemums release a natural insecticide called pyrethrum that repels various pests.
By planting flowers alongside your vegetables, you can create a natural pest control system that is safe, effective, and environmentally friendly.
2. Soil Health
How Flowers Benefit Soil Health
Flowers are not only beautiful to look at, but they also provide numerous benefits to the soil in your vegetable garden. Here are some ways in which flowers can benefit your soil:
Improve soil structure: Certain flowers, such as marigolds, have deep roots that can help to break up compacted soil, allowing air and water to penetrate more easily. This can improve soil structure and overall plant health.
Suppress weeds: Flowers can help suppress weeds’ growth by releasing chemicals into the soil that inhibit weed growth. This can reduce the need for manual weeding and help to keep your garden looking tidy. Yellow rattle is a well-known wild meadow flower due to its ability to kill off the grass around it.
Reduce erosion: Flowers can help to reduce soil erosion by holding the soil in place with their roots and preventing it from washing away during heavy rains or strong winds.
3. They Look Good!
Make Your Vegetable Garden Beautiful
One of the most obvious benefits of growing flowers with your vegetables is the aesthetic value they add to your garden. Flowers come in a wide range of colours, shapes, and sizes, and can create a beautiful and visually appealing landscape. They can be used to create borders, fill in gaps, or add height and depth to your garden.
You will spend a lot of time in a vegetable garden, tending to your crops, so why not make it a beautiful place to be?
Another way flowers can enhance the beauty of your garden is by attracting wildlife. Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are all attracted to flowers; their presence can add a lively and dynamic aspect to your garden. Watching these creatures flit from flower to flower can be a delightful and entertaining experience, adding a new dimension of beauty to your garden.
How Flowers Can Help with Vegetable Pollination
One of the most important reasons to grow flowers with your vegetables is pollination. Pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds are attracted to flowers and will visit them frequently. When they do, they inadvertently transfer pollen from flower to flower, which helps to fertilize the plants and produce more fruit.
Without pollinators, many vegetable crops would not produce fruit or would produce very little. This is why it’s important to have flowers in your garden to attract these important insects and animals.
Some vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, are self-pollinating and do not require pollinators to produce fruit. However, even these plants can benefit from having flowers nearby, as they can attract other beneficial insects that can help control pests and improve soil health.
When choosing flowers to plant in your vegetable garden, choosing varieties attractive to pollinators is important. Some good choices include:
These flowers have bright colours and sweet fragrances that are attractive to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. By planting them alongside your vegetables, you can help to ensure a bountiful harvest and a healthy garden.
5. Cut Flowers
Make your flowers beautiful and productive.
If it pains you to give up an area of your garden to something unproductive, then why not grow flowers for cutting?
I have recently started a cut flower garden and absolutely love it, it’s fun to grow something a little different, and the vases of flowers transform our home and don’t cost a penny!
I now grow Dahlias, Calendula, Sweet Peas, Strawflowers and more!