The front beds are for flowers and the back garden patch is for vegetables, right?
If you want to get the best out of your veggies, it might be time to start mixing it up.
When you mix vegetables with flowers in your garden, it’s referred to as companion planting. While it’s nothing new, it might be a new concept for you, and the benefits could make it worth your time!
About Companion Planting
Companion planting has been used for thousands of years by different civilizations around the world. There are many different plants that work well together and complement each other as they grow.
Depending on what you want to get out of it, you can choose combinations that are more likely to give you the benefits you want with the fewest unintentional effects.
How Flowers Help Your Garden
What do flowers and other plants do to help your vegetables? Here’s the scoop on the benefits of companion planting.
Having more flowers in the garden will attract a variety of different pollinators. More pollinators around makes it more likely your garden plants will be well pollinated, ensuring they grow properly and fruit when they’re supposed to.
The more pollinators you have around your garden, the better your harvest will be.
Repelling Unwanted Pests
Bugs are great for the garden, but we usually say there are “good bugs” and “bad bugs”. This is a little too subjective for me. I prefer to say “beneficial bugs” or “harmful bugs”, because all bugs play some useful part in the ecosystem, even though they’re not all helpful for your particular garden.
By planting the right combination of flowers with your fruits and vegetables, you can provide some natural protection against certain types of harmful bugs.
For example, marigolds are used to repel a lot of harmful bugs. They’re usually planted near tomatoes, because tomatoes are an easy target.
If you’re having trouble with a specific type of pest, check if there’s something you can plant to help repel them or draw them away from your main garden.
Beautifying the Garden
Beautiful spaces with flowers can improve your mood, motivate you, and make you feel more inspired to get out in the and care for your plants.
Although beautification doesn’t help your vegetables grow directly, it might encourage you to spend more time in the garden, which would be beneficial in the long-term!
The Downside of Planting Flowers with Vegetables
Companion planting can be a great way to improve your garden, but there are some issues that can come from it as well.
Taking Up Space
If you have a small garden, it might be difficult to companion plant without taking up too much space. Overcrowding will make your plants grow poorly, and may cause your vegetables to struggle or fruit less than normal.
One solution to this is to plant your flowers in pots or grow bags and set them around the garden. This way, you won’t take up the garden soil space directly, but you can still get the benefits of companion planting.
Attracting the Wrong Bugs
Plant carefully, or you could accidentally put something in your garden that attracts harmful bugs rather than repelling them.
Make sure you know what pests you’re dealing with or what you’re trying to attract, so you can make the best choice about what you’re planting.
Gardens are tiny little ecosystems in our yards. By adding diversity into the mix, you can keep your plants healthier and help improve the harvest every season.