What are flowers doing in my vegetable garden? Lots of things! They attract beneficial insects that eat the bad bugs, they attract pollinators for pollinating my vegetables, they can repel insects and nematodes, they can be great companions to some plants by growing them near vegetables and best of all they add beauty to a garden and bring me joy! Tuck them in around vegetables. So the next time someone pooh-pooh growing flowers in a vegetable garden give them the low-down on why they should add them.
Below are some annual flowers that will add much more than just beauty in your garden. So don’t forget to plant flowers this year!
zinnias-attracts butterflies (particularly Monarch butterflies)
calendula-repels aphids and other ‘bad’ insects
marigolds-repels bad insects/nematodes
sunflowers-attracts bees/pollen and nectar
nasturtiums-repels aphids, squash bugs, and striped pumpkin beetles
alyssum-attracts pollinators/pollen and nectar
borage-attracts bees/pollen and nectar. Edible, cucumber flavored flowers. Attractive to over 100 beneficial insects.
golden marguerite-attracts five kinds of beneficials—ladybugs, lacewings, flower flies, tachinid flies and mini-wasps.
Queen Anne’s Lace-attracts beneficial wasps (no not the kind that sting us) that eat the bad bugs
fennel-nectar-attracts beneficial wasps that eat the bad bugs
cosmos-attracts pollinators/pollen and nectar
dill-attracts beneficial insects plus pollen and nectar
bachelor button-attracts pollinators/pollen and nectar