What benefit is there to planting sunflowers along the vegetable garden?
Hardiness Zone: 8b
By Cindi from Ocala, FL
Our local Garden Guy, Dave Owens (he has a website) has built an organic garden on part of a parking lot at the Channel 3 studio here in Phoenix. He recommends planting flowers and veggies together for the benefits of both in terms of warding off bad insects and inviting good insects. Gardening can be a challenge here in the low desert but he has a beautiful, bountiful garden there. I always plant veggies and flowers together, my whole front yard is trees, shrubs, veggies and flowers, much nicer than mowing grass, lol
I would like to plant a veggie garden again this year and was wondering if I could plant flowers across the front and sunflowers as a backdrop? If so what flowers would work, keeping in mind this area is full sun all day?
By J9hardison from Rocky Point, NC
Plant marigolds and zinnias. My grandmother always planted a row beside her garden. They naturally repel bugs. (04/28/2009)
I would plant marigolds, they love the sun. (05/02/2009)
We have a row of day lilies in our garden. We get a lot of compliments on how pretty they are. (05/05/2009)
Much like toehead, I have day lilies along the fence which began as a way not to have to weed whack along the fence before there was a garden. Then I plant marigolds that I get on clearance. I don't know if they really repel bugs or not, but they look pretty! (05/06/2009)
Sunflowers are great, but they do use a lot of water. I allow calendulas (pot marigolds) and bachelor buttons to reseed themselves in my garden every year. If they are deadheaded, you will have flowers all summer long. (05/06/2009)
There is information at your local extension service office on which things grow good together in your area. I am zone 4. My grape and pear tomatoes are over 4 ft tall already and they get put into my lilies, along with the sweet peppers. Daisies pop up where they want, too. Sunflowers if not too tall won't drain the soil nutrients. That is the clue of what works well. Marigolds are a welcome to any garden and deter the rabbits, gofers, deer, not so much bugs.
My Roma tomato beds are planted down the center areas with herbs which compliment and debug the area for the tomatoes. Basil, dill, etc. are great. Like I said, each area has a better for list. Also the condition of the soil is perfect for some things, not others. I use a lot of sand; I dump the sand box in the fall in the gardens.
I frame my flower beds with the ornamental onion plants. They get to be 4 feet tall, making a pretty green background against the house. We don't use the onion, but they could be. I consider them decoration.
I have an herb bed section and keep the chives to one side. Sometimes they will cross flavors with other herbs. (07/15/2010)
By T&T Grandma