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Flowers as companions Empty Flowers as companions

Post  buttaflie143 on 4/8/2011, 10:01 am

Any thoughts on planting certain flowers in and around your garden to attract good bugs and deter bad ones?
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Post  dianamarie03 on 4/8/2011, 10:04 am

Do it! Not only do flowers like marigolds and alyssum repel pests, but they make your garden even more enjoyable to look at. Win-win in my book!
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Post  Old Hippie on 4/8/2011, 10:35 am

YES! YES! YES!

Besides making your garden look prettier, planting flowers attracts
bees, butterflies, etc. which help with pollination. Also, many of
these insects are declining for various reasons so need all the help
they can get. And you have the added benefit of observing more of
nature right up close.

I have one 4' square dedicated to flowers just because I love flowers. Lot of herbs have pretty flowers that the bees love......chives, borage, oregano.....so you have flowers, herbs and bees! A great combination.

Gwynn


Last edited by Old Hippie on 4/8/2011, 10:37 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : font size)
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Post  quiltbea on 4/8/2011, 10:38 am

I've put nasturtiums and marigolds in some of the outside corner blocks of my beds the last two years. You can eat the nasturtiums in salads.
Flowers as companions 06-23-15
Here's some nasturtiums in one corner. They have a vining habit so be sure to put them in an outside block if you grow them so they can hang over the side.
Flowers as companions 07-28-12
Marigolds in another corner. They blossom later in the season right up to Halloween.
This year I plan to put a few other types inside the garden in a block here and there as I've seen in Mel's videos. Maybe some pansies, which are also edible, and for color, some red salvia and Dusty Miller for some silver. I'll see what seeds I can find, or young seedlings at bargain prices.
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Post  GreenBlueberry on 4/10/2011, 3:20 pm

Check out this list:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants
I planted marigolds, borage and nasturtiums in my box. They will look pretty and are edible.
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Post  pelujilla on 4/10/2011, 5:09 pm

I saved this list! Thanks for sharing
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/10/2011, 5:27 pm

Be a bit wary of borage, if they love your soil, they can become a bit of a pest, with seedlings coming up EVERYWHERE, more than any place else. Having said that, judicious removal of seed cases can eliminate the problem. The flowers are a surprise in a salad, with their color and slight cucumber taste.
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Post  Old Hippie on 4/10/2011, 5:32 pm

That is true Nonna. I did leave a lot of them just because they attracted bees.

Gwynn
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Post  bettyd_z7_va on 4/10/2011, 5:43 pm

I LOVE flowers and found this GREAT book that is very informative on the subject.

She does not SFG, but uses raised beds with enriched soil and LOTS of flowers mixed in to attract good bugs and deter bad ones.

'Great Garden Companions' A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden by Sally Jean Cunningham Master Gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension A Rodale Organic Gardening Book

I've gotten lots of ideas I'm going to incorporate into my gardens this year from this book.

(I love to read more than I love to garden. Some days I have to tear myself away from a book or this laptop to go garden!)

Betty
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Post  bettyd_z7_va on 4/10/2011, 5:49 pm

Thanks for the tip, Nonna.

I have some borage I grew from seed I'm putting in the veggie garden as well as 'here- n- there' in the flower beds because I love the color of the flowers.

I will watch out for the re-seeding becoming a problem.

That's why I love this forum. I learn so much from others taking the time to share their experiences.

Betty
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/10/2011, 8:42 pm

Hey, Betty, the volunteer borage plants are easy to spot and flip out of the soil. It's truly a "seed-once-and-enjoy-forever" plant. Another plant that "keeps on giving" is forget me nots. I spent at least six years spotting and digging out those volunteers from an initial, ignorant, sowing!
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Post  Goosegirl on 4/10/2011, 9:41 pm

@Nonna.PapaVino wrote:Hey, Betty, the volunteer borage plants are easy to spot and flip out of the soil. It's truly a "seed-once-and-enjoy-forever" plant. Another plant that "keeps on giving" is forget me nots. I spent at least six years spotting and digging out those volunteers from an initial, ignorant, sowing!

+1 on the forget-me-nots! They NEVER LEAVE so you have a chance to forget them! lol!

TC/GG
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Post  Old Hippie on 4/10/2011, 9:45 pm

And they have nasty little burr seeds as well. The flowers are pretty but I don't want them in my yard at all.

Gwynn
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Post  bettyd_z7_va on 4/11/2011, 4:31 am

I'll make sure I don't even walk by a pack of Forget Me Not seed!

They sound bad!

burr seeds? - I have Grandbabies and they don't need burr anything.

Betty
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Post  FarmerValerie on 4/11/2011, 8:37 am

Cosmos and Marigolds will re-seed too, that's why it's key to deadhead your flowers.

A note about Marigolds, dwarf has nothing to do with the size of the plant, everything to do with the size of the flower. Keep it trimmed if you don't want it to get to big.


Last edited by FarmerValerie on 4/11/2011, 8:38 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Info about Marigolds)
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Post  Barkie on 4/11/2011, 2:34 pm

I like the Poached Egg Plant - look away now if Latin offends - Limnanthes douglasii, a neat 6 inches high hardy annual that's white with a yellow centre. Hoverflies like it and their larvae feast on aphids. You could get about 12 or 16 in a square.

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Post  shannon1 on 4/12/2011, 12:55 am

Got my first flowers just the other day. One is a mystery plant with tiny white single bloms that they gave me at ace since it was not doing so hot and needed repotting. After four days it is doing great I think it just needed more sun and air. The other is a weird tender, tropical annule called bat-faced cuphea it is a champ, beautiful tubular blooms that do look like cute little purple and red bat faces, when looked at from the front. Said to attract bees and humming birds. I took the white one because I know small white flowers attract bennifical insects. flower
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Post  nancy on 4/12/2011, 8:51 am

buttaflie - I don't know how much space you have, but I have a whole 4x4 bed devoted to butterflies and bees. It is in the middle of the garden. It has butterfly weed, tropical milkweed, fennel, purple coneflower, and swamp weed as its perrenials. Later this spring I will add dwarf cosmos, dahlias, and maybe some zinnias if I can find a short variety. Last year I had monarchs, painted ladies, red admirals, and swallowtails as well as bumblebees, honey bees, and carpenter bees. You certainly don't have to devote a whole bed. Plant what you want - they will find you.

(Is there a monarch smiley?)
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Post  camprn on 4/12/2011, 4:13 pm

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Post  Furbalsmom on 4/12/2011, 4:58 pm

That baby butterfly needs some flowers

So cute. Camprn, you find the best links and pictures. Thanks!
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Post  camprn on 4/12/2011, 5:06 pm

Thanks Furb, you don't do to bad yourself!! Wink
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