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Growing Your Own Fruit and Vegetables

We grow our own fruit and vegetables for our meals for as much of the year as we can. Without a greenhouse we have to buy shop food in the winter months but in the spring, summer and autumn we often have enough to share with family and friends.

Read about growing your fruit and vegetables here on my growing your own food pages.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Why Plant Flowers in the Vegetable Garden?

Flowers in the Vegetable Garden can be a good idea.

It may seem odd to spend time planting flowers in the vegetable garden but there are reasons why it is a good idea apart from making the vegetable plot look more attractive. Here are some of the reasons that it is worth planting flowers in your vegetable garden/on your allotment.

List of benefits of flowers in the vegetable plot...
  • Pollination
Flowers will attract pollinating insects to the area. Lavender hedges look attractive and are popular with bees and other pollinating insects. 

  • Companion Planting.
If you select the right flowers to plant with your vegetables you will find some vegetables benefit from growing near certain plants. Also sometimes the flowers will be the source of attention from insects such as black fly and green fly until their predators such as ladybirds can mop up the invasion. I have seen marigolds and nastrurtiums black with black fly and the vegetables nearby hardly touched.

  •  Green manure Crops.
Although in general you are advised not to let green manure plants such as Phacelia flower ( some green manures set seed too freely for some gardener's liking) if you can leave a small area to flower it is very good for the bees and pollinators that visit. Phacelia will seed about if left but is not as difficult to pull out of the ground or dig in as some weeds.  Green manure crops are very beneficial to the soil, but it is usually easier to dig them in before they get too woody or well established root wise.

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a healthy potato plant in flower

a healthy potato plant in flower
photo of potatoes in flower

home grown carrots.. grown from seed

home grown carrots.. grown from seed
photo of my first bunch of carrots 2009

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful

Even a small batch of mixed fruit can be useful
Home Grown Fruit can be made into delicious compote