If you don’t want to, or don’t have the finances to continuously buy organic pesticides or herbicides, or even make your own, there is a great way to prevent pests, attract pollinators and beautify your garden, naturally!
I am, of course, talking about companion planting. As the definition says; “the close planting of different plants that enhance each other’s growth or protect each other from pests.” and in this article, we will be going through a very few tips, tricks, and what to plant where.
Planting flowers among vegetables doesn’t just make the colors stand out, they would also attract pollinating insects, so planting them next to, or near, those crops which rely on pollination to produce fruit or vegetables could increase the amount of those good bugs visiting your flowers. In other cases they might act as repellents to harmful insects, by attracting predators for those insects, ladybugs or hoverflies being a couple of examples.
A third benefit is down in the very roots themselves. Some plants are even soil improvers, fixing nutrients in the soil or even as green manures if dug into the soil in time.
All in all, companion planting is a great, environmentally friendly, and easy way to control pests, boost production on plants, and make the place look great while doing it! Below is part of a very small list of companion plants, how they could help, and what to plant them near.
1. The hardy pot marigold, calendula looks at home in the vegetable garden or alongside vegetables in raised beds or containers. The petals can be used as a lively addition to salads.
Bees and other pollinators will visit for the nectar and pollen. Grow single flowered varieties and allow it to seed itself. It is a hardy annual so will pop up year after year on most soils.
2. Nasturtium always looks at home amongst vegetables, especially later in the year. Both flowers and leaves are edible, as are the seeds which are sometimes used pickled as an alternative to capers. Visited by bees it is also a magnet for caterpillars, so a good indicator plant.
3. Poached egg flower, Limnanthes douglasii is the ultimate flower to grow anywhere around crops that need pollinating.
It forms a low cushion of feathery foliage smothered in shining flowers. Bees swarm to it, as do hoverflies which will prey on those pests.
4. Practically all simple daisies are highly attractive to bees, butterflies, hoverflies and predatory wasps.
Camomile fits in anywhere in the open ground, raised beds or containers. You can use the flowers to make a fragrant, sleep-inducing infusion.
5. I’ve mentioned the prairie flower giant hyssop, agastache many times for its spikes of blue flowers in late summer. It is not often recommended as a flower for the vegetable garden, but it is a magnet for bees and looks lovely with orange and yellow marigolds.
6. French and African marigolds are used to deter aphids, they contain some natural pyrethrins. They are also pungently aromatic and are supposed to repel nematodes in the soil.
They attract hoverflies which prey on the aphids and the single and semi-double varieties seem to be popular with bees.
These are just a few of the many things you can plant, but for more handy tips, tricks and advice, click the link here! www.my-garden-school.com/10-flowers-to-grow-with-vegetables/