threeboys1986
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best flowers for veg garden?

Help.....I need to plant some flowers in my vegetable garden that will attract more bees quickly. Can anyone tell me some good varieties that will do the trick? I am in the San Jose, CA area.
Thanks, Cathryn

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Here's a useful site for [url=https://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html]Companion Planting[/url]

Borage is supposed to be great for attracting bees and also repels tomato horn worm, cabbage worm, and protects squash family.
BORAGE: Companion plant for tomatoes, squash, strawberries and most plants. Deters tomato hornworms and cabbage worms. One of the best bee and wasp attracting plants. Adds trace minerals to the soil and a good addition the compost pile. The leaves contain vitamin C and are rich in calcium, potassium and mineral salts. Borage may benefit any plant it is growing next to via increasing resistance to pests and disease. It also makes a nice mulch for most plants. Borage and strawberries help each other and strawberry farmers always set a few plants in their beds to enhance the fruits flavor and yield. Plant near tomatoes to improve growth and disease resistance. After you have planned this annual once it will self seed. Borage flowers are edible.
Caviat: rampantly reseeds, but foliage is useful as mulch and in compost. Some people are sensitive to prickly hair on plant.
I just sowed some seeds to try so no actual experience yet. Maybe someone else can vouch for the efficacy of the plant :lol:

For something quicker, how about --
ZINNIA: Pretty zinnias attract hummingbirds which eat whiteflies. Alternately the pastel varieties of zinnias can be used as a trap crop for Japanese beetles. All zinnias attract bees and other insect pollinators.

opabinia51
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Take a look at this thread here at the HG:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=335&start=0
Feed the soil, not the plants.

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Roger
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Location: North Georgia

I've noticed a lot of honeybees, bumblebees, and several other species of native bee/fly seems to appreciate Hollyhocks when they are blooming.

Bee-balm produces a good pollen for bees too. Like most mints, if this is planted you will want to constrain it in a bed or planters to keep it from spreading too much.

I've noticed any sage seems to be a strong attractant when it blooms.

It's not a flower, but I have noticed a pretty healthy interest [from my bees, anyway] to squash blooms.

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Jess
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Most herbs when they flower attract a lot of pollinators but as applestar said borage is a really good choice. As it is an annual there is no problem of a plant in situ where you want to grow your veges. It is easy to pull if it seeds and the flowers are cucumber flavoured and very tasty. Another good one is Calendula officinalis. It attracts a host of pollinators and also beneficials. It has been used to plant in potagers since the 17th century as it has many medicinal uses and is also edible.
Don't forget to plant sweetpeas to grow through any climbing beans you have.
Knowing without doing is like plowing without sowing."

threeboys1986
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Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:44 am

Thanks!

Thanks so much for all the helpful responses. I will definitely implement as many as I can.
Cathryn

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