Not many people consider designing a mixed garden to comprise both flowers and vegetables, as monocultures are a traditional way to think an outdoor space. Sometimes you can see small patches of colored plants away from the beautiful rows of tomatoes or cabbage, but experts say you should reconsider tradition and interpolate flowers and legumes in the same space.
1. Biodiversity helps the ecosystem
Monocultures dry the soil and face the risk of stopping being healthy at some point. You will need to call the best pest control company to minimize the damage produced by specific pests that like to feed on certain crops, while planting some types of decorative flowers among your legumes may help prevent this from happening. For instance, marigolds keep tomatoes and asparagus free from pests, but it also attracts aphids, so keep the marigolds away from your peas rows. The main idea is to preserve the balance of flowers and vegetables in order to maintain a healthy ecosystem and use less and less pesticides. Finding the best and the most balanced combination of decorative plants and vegetables builds the knowledge, experience and awareness towards a more and more organically approach.
2. Flowers call for beneficial insects
Planting flowers in between legumes is a smart thing to do not only to preserve the soil and organically protect it against degradation and the increase of fertilizer usage, but also because the companion flowers bring some good insects to protect your crops. For instance, ladybugs are attracted to marigolds, cosmos flowers, daffodils, while spiders like bushes and trees. Some insects don’t know the difference between beneficial insects and pests, so they will feed without discrimination, but the truth is you will be glad to host some dragonflies in your garden. Also, bees, while a little dangerous if not kept under control, are the best pollen carriers in the world and gardeners love them around their tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis and strawberries cultures.
3. Flowers and legumes get along very well
One of the main ideas that stood at the basis of mixed flower-vegetables gardens was that some legumes, while we grow them for their roots, have beautiful foliage and colored leaves, so they look very good in the garden. Combining green leaves with yellow or red flowers completes not only the general garden look, but also fills in empty soil spaces that otherwise would become useless. The mix of colors and textures has more than a decorative purpose, however. Some plants and flowers can offer some of your sensitive vegetables the exact amount of shadow they need.