Saturday, April 7, 2012

Don't forget the flowers!

Now is the time to start tender plants like tomatoes and cucumbers inside while the weather is too cool for them to grow outside. What people often forget are the flowers. Yes, you should have flowers in your vegetable and fruit garden. Flowers attract bees for pollination and some flowers even repel pests off of some of your vegetable plants. Carefully thought out vegetable gardens reduce pests and increase yields. For instance, growing your tomatoes near the asparagus bed helps the tomatoes. But you don't want to place onions, garlic or potatoes near asparagus. Companion planting helps by attracting the good insects and repelling the bad insects that  are attracted to your garden vegetables. Sometimes the plants provide a climbing support as does corn plants with vines such as pumpkins and squash.

I really love flowers in the vegetable garden. It makes the veggies pretty. It creates a living space with beautiful color and texture. There's nothing more enjoyable than picking peas and brushing up against a favorite flower. It's all about balance and not having only shades of green. Bees and beneficial instincts love the flowers added for color and it attracts them to your veggie flowers. Marigolds deter beetles, so this year I'm planting them around my broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and turnips. Birds love flowers too and that means if they hang out in your garden...they will eat the bugs. 

Gardens are mini ecosystems, it simply fascinates me on how to create a garden that is balanced.

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