Why you should always plant flowers in your vegetable patch

If you’re still growing flowers and vegetables on opposite sides of your garden, it’s time to rethink your garden plan! “Companion” planting flowers and vegetables in the same beds is a strategy professional growers use to boost yields and keep crops healthy, and it’s easy and beneficial for beginners to do, too.

What are the benefits?

Flowers attract beneficial insects and predators. Of course, you want pollinators like bees and butterflies, but you also want predatory wasps, ladybugs, lacewings, and more to help keep all your pesky pests away. Flowers can absolutely do this for you!

Not only do they look pretty and attract the right insects, but they also improve the quality of the surrounding space and soil. Clovers and phacelia flowers for example, can act as a green manure and add nitrogen to your soil. Borage has large roots that can break up and aerate the soil. Nasturtium spreads to cover the ground and act as a weed deterrent and shade cover.

Pay attention to bloom time

In order for companion planting with flowers to work, you have to select flowers that will bloom at the same time as your veggie crops. If the type you planted doesn’t blossom until two weeks after your peas finish flowering, your peas are out of luck.

Seed packets will tell you how soon flowers will bloom after planting so that you can sync up your planting schedule. However, it’s a good idea to plant a variety of flowers to ensure that you’ve got continuous blooms throughout the entire growing season.

Think about height

You don’t want your flowers competing with your veggies for sunlight, so choose mostly low-growing flowers. However, some crops (like lettuces) might benefit from a little shade during the summer months, so occasionally it makes sense to go with a taller variety.

Start simple

Beginners should start by working with annual flowers because they grow easily and produce lots of blooms. You also don’t have to worry about them coming up in the same spot every year if you want to change your garden design. (Get started with these annual flowers you can easily grow from seed.)

However, native perennials are one of the best ways to attract native bees, so don’t discount them from your garden entirely. The RHS offers a great guide to pollinator-friendly plants, click here to take a look.

Our personal favourites

Our favourite flowers to grow in the vegetable garden are sunflowers, salvia, zinnias, borage, and wildflowers. All of these are easy to start from seed and grow in your garden, and the bees and butterflies go crazy for them! Just be sure to check the size, as some of these can get quite tall, and salvia and borage can spread out pretty thick.

If you need a helping hand planning and planting your flower or vegetable garden, then get in touch with the team here at Rosewood! We can help with everything from regular garden maintenance to a complete garden renovation.