The Q&A Archives: Companion Flowers

Question: I am starting my first garden this year and would like to plant some flowers in with the vegetables. I would like to know what the best companion flowers would be for my particular garden. I am putting in peas, winter squash, tomatoes, onions, carrots, radishes, bell peppers and green and yellow bush beans. I also understand that there are certain flowers that aid in pest control. I would appreciate any guidance in this area.

Answer: I always mix in flowers with my vegetables. Besides making the garden more attractive, they go a long way in attracting beneficial insects and bees. Just about any flower will do, as long as it doesn't grow so tall as to shade other plants. I like zinnias, calendula, and nasturtium in my beds, and I always plant a small patch of sunflowers. Plants like dill, caraway, and anise have flowers that attract many beneficial insects. Marigolds are reputed to repel certain insects, and make a nice border plant.

Whatever you plant, be sure that you are very cautious with pesticide use on your crops. You don't want to attract all those beneficial insects and bees, only to kill them off with a pesticide spray.

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