Flowers are extremely beneficial for vegetable gardens, although most gardeners do not actually plant flowers with their vegetables, they would rather grow more vegetables than a mix of flowers and vegetables. Even though the flowers in a vegetable garden will take up some space, they are still well worth planting, as some of them are excellent at attracting pollinators, while others are good at keeping pests away.
Growing flowers in the vegetable garden is a good idea, as these flowers will attract pollinators, keep pests away and the nitrogen-fixing ones will feed the next crop. In addition to this, a lot of flowers can be used as a trap crop for different pests. The best flowers for a vegetable garden are Marigolds, Borage, Calendula, Nasturtiums, and Cosmos.
The first flowers that you should plant in your vegetable garden should be Marigolds, my personal recommendation is to use grow the ones that are open-pollinated and petite mixture Click here to check it out on Amazon.com
Some vegetables have companion flowers, these companion flowers in some cases will keep pests away while in other cases they will help with pollination. Although planting random flowers in your vegetable garden might look nice, but you really need to think strategically about what kind of flowers you should use. Some flowers tend to attract a lot of pests like slugs and snails, so you should either avoid planting these flowers or use them as a trap crop.
Trap crops are usually flowers that are grown for the sole purpose of feeding the pests, and in most cases, these pests will not bother the vegetables. Although this is a two-edged sword, the more plants you plant that attract pests the more pests there will be in your area so choose the flowers carefully. If you want to know how to attract pollinators to your garden then check out my recent article How To Attract Pollinators To Vegetable Garden ( In 7 Easy Steps ).
Flowers In Vegetable Garden
Not only do flowers add vibrant colors and visual appeal to the garden, but they also serve a vital purpose in attracting pollinators, which are essential for the successful pollination of many vegetable crops. I carefully select a variety of flowering plants, such as marigolds, zinnias, and calendula, and interplant them among my vegetables. These flowers not only attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators but also help to deter pests through their scent and natural properties. Additionally, some flowers, like nasturtiums and borage, are edible and can be used as beautiful and flavorful additions to salads or garnishes.
Marigolds are excellent for every vegetable garden, and oftentimes they are used as a trap crop for pests like slugs and snails. In addition to this Marigolds, also tend to attract pollinators, so if you have crops that need to be pollinated then this plant will help them out. Marigolds also produce chemicals that will keep away some of the more harmful nematodes, which some vegetables attract. If you want to make a wildflower garden then check out my recent article Wildflower Garden ( In 10 Easy Steps ).
Borage is one of the most common flowers found in vegetable gardens, they are extremely easy to care for and usually, they are extremely good at reseeding. The Borage flowers are edible and the plant tends to produce a lot of them. The main benefit of having Borage in your vegetable garden is that they are excellent at attracting pollinators and they also can be used as a trap crop for different types of pests.
Calendulas are one of the most beautiful flowers for your vegetable garden, and as they are annual flowers they will bloom for a very long time. Calendulas attract pollinators as they produce a lot of pollen, in addition to this they also produce a thick sap that traps small bugs and critters. If you have vegetables that tend to have a lot of damage from aphids then you should definitely use Calendulas as their sap will trap a lot of aphids.
Nasturtiums are usually used for two main purposes in the vegetable garden, as a trap crop and as a ground cover crop. A lot of pests will feed on the Nasturtiums and for the most part, they will leave your vegetables alone. These are also excellent ground cover crops as they tend to grow relatively fast and will keep the soil moist and protect the soil from erosion. In addition to this Nasturtiums are also edible, and do an excellent job of attracting pollinators.
Cosmos flowers are one of the easiest to grow with vegetables, they will do well even in relatively poor soil and they bloom for a very long time. Cosmos flowers are also excellent at attracting not only pollinators but beneficial insects as well. The orange variety of Cosmos is excellent at attracting lacewings which will eat different pests, especially aphids. The USDA Growing Zones for Cosmos are 9 to 11 and they tend to like well-draining soil.
Planting California Poppies
California Poppies are often seen in vegetable gardens, especially in poorly draining soil. If you have clay soil then I highly recommend you to plant California Poppies as their deep roots will break up the clay soil. California Poppies are also excellent at attracting pollinators and beneficial insects as well. California Poppies grow relatively fast and will flower for a long time. If you are using raised garden beds then check out my recent article Cover Crops For Raised Beds ( Top 11 Cover Crops ).
Sunflowers have several functions in a vegetable garden, the seeds of the Sunflowers are edible, and their tall and sturdy stem can be used for other vining plants. You can grow a lot of different vegetables around sunflowers, although you should keep in mind that they can have an allelopathic effect on some vegetables. The allelopathic effect means that the sunflower plants will inhibit the growth of some vegetables if they are in close proximity to them.
Lavender is excellent for every vegetable garden, once they flower they tend to attract a lot of pollinators and beneficial insects. A lot of pests tend to dislike the smell of Lavender, like ticks for example, but deer also tend to avoid this plant. If you grow a lot of cabbages then you definitely need to plant Lavender as it will keep away the green cabbage moths. The USDA Growing Zones for Lavander are from 5 to 9 and they do tend to like full sun and a well-draining soil.
Clover is usually used in vegetable gardens as a living mulch or a ground cover. Clover is a nitrogen-fixing plant, and once you cut them back the excess nitrogen will be available for the next crop. Clover tends to spread relatively fast, so if you want a general-purpose plant for your vegetable garden then I do highly recommend it.
Planting German Chamomile
German Chamomile is usually used in vegetable gardens to attract pollinators and to break up the soil. German Chamomile tends to have rather thick and sturdy roots which will break down the soil, so if you have clay soil then this is an excellent plant for it. Once the German Chamomile is starting to die off you can simply cut it back and use it as compost or as an organic mulch for your vegetables.
Planting Sweet Peas
Sweet peas are usually used as a trap crop, mostly against birds and insects. Sweet peas produce small peas which are not edible for humans, but small rodents, insects, and birds will eat them. The flowers of the sweet peas attract different pollinators, and they also are extremely pretty. If you have a problem with birds eating your vegetables or even fruits then you should definitely use sweet peas as a trap crop.
Zinnias are annual flowers that produce a lot of nectar and beautiful flowers. Some people grow them in their vegetable gardens for cutting, but these flowers are also extremely good at attracting pollinators. Just keep in mind that Zinnias do have their fair share of pests like Japanese beetles, so should be extra careful when planting them in your garden. On the other hand, if you have Japanese beetles in your garden, then you can use Zinnias as a trap crop.
The Cilantro plant is a member of the carrot family, it is safe to eat, although not a lot of people like its taste. The Cilantro plant also has a very specific smell, which keeps away some of the pests. In addition to this, the Cilantro plant grows deep roots, which are excellent at breaking up the soil. Just keep in mind that the Cilantro can grow relatively tall, like 2-4 feet, so combine it with vegetables that like the shade or tend to grow tall.
The Phacelia is excellent at attracting pollinators due to its blue or purple flowers. It is also used as a weed suppressor as it tends to outgrow most weeds, its dense foliage will protect the soil from erosion and from the sun burning the topsoil. In addition to this, the Phacelia tends to have strong roots which help break down clay soil and once they are cut down they will feed the next crop.
Planting Sweet Alyssum
The Sweet Alyssum is a relatively short plant that can be used as a ground covering plant. It has small but beautiful flowers which attract different types of beneficial insects including pollinators. The Sweet Alyssum tends to have relatively shallow roots and it needs a well-draining soil. If your vegetable garden is jam-packed then Sweet Alyssum can fill in the gaps, but it really doesn’t do well in shade.
Lupins are extremely beneficial plants for a vegetable garden as they are nitrogen fixers. Nitrogen fixer plants like Lupins absorb the nitrogen from the air and with the help of beneficial bacteria, they are able to use the nitrogen. Once these plans are cut down all the stored nitrogen in their roots will be available for the next crop. In addition to this Lupins also attract a lot of pollinators and beneficial insects.
Comfrey can be used in different ways in a vegetable garden, its most basic function will be to attract pollinators. I personally use Comfrey for composting, as this plant tends to absorb a lot of nutrients, and once it breaks down in the compost then it can be used to feed your vegetables. In addition to this, it can also be used as a simple organic mulch, just a couple of them will produce enough foliage to cover your vegetable garden.
- Flowers in a vegetable garden attract pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. These pollinators help transfer pollen between flowers, leading to better fruit set and higher crop yields in vegetable plants.
- Some flowers, such as marigolds, calendula, and nasturtiums, have natural pest-repellent properties. Planting these flowers in and around the vegetable garden can help deter pests and protect the vegetables from insect damage.
- Adding flowers to a vegetable garden enhances its visual appeal and creates a more diverse ecosystem. Flowers provide color, texture, and beauty to the garden, making it an inviting and enjoyable space. They also attract beneficial insects that can help control pests and improve overall garden health.