heidischroeder
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flowers in the vegetable garden

We planted marigolds this year and they seemed to help with keeping the bugs off our vegetables plus they were huge and beautiful. Any other flowers that make good bug detractors in the vegetable garden? :roll:

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rainbowgardener
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Nasturtiums are a beautiful flower that also helps repel insects. It's good to plant around your squash and cucumber, helps keep squash bugs away, but also in other beds helps repel flies, aphids, etc.

Any of the aromatics, lavender, rosemary, mint, yarrow, tansy, etc tend to keep insects away.

It's not what we traditionally think of as flowers, but onions, chives, garlic are very good to scatter through your garden to keep pests away. The chives do make a nice ornamental flower, also.

If you plant geranium somewhere AWAY from your veggies, it will draw Japanese beetles to it, away from the veggies. It's supposed to be attractive to the JB's but also toxic to them.
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Planting herbs like cilantro, dill, and basil along the edge/among the vegetables and allowing some of them to bolt and flower ATTRACTS beneficial predatory insects that target aphids, whiteflies, as well as caterpillars, etc. If you leave some carrots and parsley in the ground this fall to overwinter, they'll bolt into big plants (2~3' tall) and flower to attract same kind of insects. Check out the beneficial insects sticky in the Organic Insect and Disease Control forum.

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Flowers in the Vegetable Garden

I have found that Marigolds planted among cabbages and beans will keep away caterpillars and black fly, but i find you have to plant quite a few of them to get sufficient marigold odour.
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Great tips.

The funny thing with the marigolds is that some (most) folks say to plant them in the garden to deter insects, but every now and then, someone say to plant them away from the garden because they attract insects :?.

All I know is I had a row of them this year and none of them last year and both times I never saw a detrimental insect.....guess I've got a poor test garden :p. If only there was a plant that kept the adult moth of the squash vine borer away :rool: :lol:.
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gixxerific
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Not so sure if they keep away the bugs I had a ton this year. But I think a lot of people did and that may be due to weather or something else.

But I used many of the plants already mentioned and if nothing else they attracted some good bugs and maybe some bad bugs too but they made my garden a lot more diverse and that in itself I believe helps out in the long run.

Diversify, beautify and have fun.

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lorax
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Chrysanthemums are also excellent in the garden - they attract beneficial pollinators, and seem to help keep wireworm under control. I grow them together with potatoes, carrots, and beets.

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applestar
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I'm a bit on the fence about marigolds (also 'mums and pyrethrums) being "good" for the garden. There IS scientific evidence (I can dig up the links if necessary) that they exude something from their roots that repels nematodes.

The thing is there are BENEFICIAL nematodes as well as the pest kind. If the beneficials are repeled as much as the pests, are you sabotaging your garden by planting them?

I can see them attracting nectaring insects though.

I had calendula all around and among the tomatoes and espalier fruit trees in the garden this year.

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The book I'm reading recommends white alyssum. Alyssum can be a ground cover to control weeds, also attracts pest controlling hover files and tiny predacious wasps. I hope this helps.

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Quite apart from the bug distracting qualities of some plants, there is nothing more attractive than the mix of vegetables and flowers in the garden in my view.I just love the colours and the versatility.

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I think Gix is on to something here. Diversify.

It probably isn't the best idea to plant exclusively one type of flower for some purpose. You should plant several varieties. Sure some may attract, or at least sustain, unwanted insects, but other will not only repel them, but they will also attract beneficial insects which will devour them.

We talk now and then about the benefits of intercropping, I think now is the time for us to talk about interflowering.

Good thoughts, Gix.
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Troppofoodgardener
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French vs African Marigolds?

I had a marigold plant in the centre of each of my garden beds, as I read they're great companion plants, deter nematodes/caterpillars etc.

However my tomatoes all died from bacterial wilt, and caterpillars all but destroyed my brassicas.

So then I thought maybe I had the wrong type of marigold. Any thoughts on whether it is the French or African marigold which is the great companion plant? Or do they both have the same insect repelling qualities?
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The old-timey way was to plant a border of marigolds all around the outer perimeters of the garden beds. Even so, they won't protect against bacterial or viral diseases, only certain insects. And they won't keep every pest away. Snails and slugs seem to love marigolds just as much as they do any other plant. :roll:
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rainbowgardener
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Agree with Kisal, marigolds (nor any other flower I know of) can't do anything against bacterial or viral diseases. And the marigold is specific against nematodes (AS - this link https://www.basic-info-4-organic-fertilizers.com/companionplants.html says the marigolds specifically repel HARMFUL nematodes . I haven't looked for any scientific evidence whether that is true) and some kinds of beetles.

Anise hyssop is said to be good to plant around brassicas to repel cabbage moths and cabbage loopers. Also other aromatic herbs including oregano, sage, thyme, artemisia, rosemary.

In general, aromatics are good to spread around your garden, lots of insects don't like them (but when they flower, beneficial insects like the flowers!).
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Justin Daniel Wileman
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Marigold Strategy

Has anyone tried any particular strategies with marigolds as companions in vegetable gardens for pest control?

Should I keep them on the edges, scatter them through out, use as every 3-4 row etc? How much proximity do I need?


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jal_ut
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Plant flowers in the veggie garden? Sure, why not? They add to the beauty and enjoyment of your garden. Whether they do indeed offer any benefits in insect control is debatable. I like to plant marigolds. The hoppers always eat them.
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rainbowgardener
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It does make the garden beautiful! And if the hoppers prefer the marigolds to your crops, then they are doing you a service. What the marigolds repel is harmful nematodes in the soil. They exude substance from their roots (a-terthienyls, if you want to be precise) that repel the nematodes. They also inhibit some plant-pathogenic fungi and keep some larvae in the soil from developing. As you have discovered, the idea that the flowers themselves keep insects away is mostly a myth, though I think ants don't like their scent very much. But to get much benefit of all of the above, you have to have large dense plantings of marigolds. Popping one or two in here and there is just for pretty. If you do plant marigolds, when they are done, cut them off and leave the roots in the soil. The roots give off more of their inhibitory compounds as they decay.

Here's where the above comes from:

https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/fallgarden/nematode.html
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Dixana
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Let's not forget there's tons of flowers with edible petals and/or leaves and stems. Salads sure are pretty with flower petals thrown on!
Besides, it's nice to see an array of colors in the garden before everything starts to flower and produce.

And did I see nasturtiams repel black flies???? I'll pant those things all over the outside of my house!! There's a mega fly problem in the summer where we're moving. I'll take all the help I can get!
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soil
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chamomile is not only a potential crop, and beautiful. it a beneficial companion plant to pretty much everything.
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Duh_Vinci
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A friend of mine sent me a link sometime back, she suggested to look at the list of the beneficial flowers and plants listed there.

I think it summarizes many of those mentioned in this thread and quite few more: [url=https://www.dotcomwomen.com/home/gardening/basics/grow-flowers-with-vegetables.shtml]grow-flowers-with-vegetables[/url]

And I have to agree with "diversity" of those beneficial plants, looking at the garden seasons when I had the least amount of issues with the insect, is when I had a lot of different herbs and flowers in the main garden. This year, it will be variety again!

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tedly
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This year I'm planning on ringing one of the plots with marigolds, and scattering some more throughout the garden along with random basil, dill, and various others throughout both plots. I'll let you know how effective they are in a couple of months. :wink:

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Like others have said, there is some debate on just how effective flowers are as a practical addition to the garden, HOWEVER......they look great so why not?

I planted a row of sunflowers last year and they had birds all over them...which leads to birds in the garden, which, as many will tell you, help to keep the bugs down.

Diversity really is beneficial in many ways to the garden, whether it is from plants or vegetables!
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