A vegetable garden can be beautiful all on its own, but adding flowers to your vegetable garden will take it to the next level. Not only will adding flowers to your vegetable garden make it look beautiful, it will also help attract pollinators and can help keep bad bugs away from your veggies.
Like I discuss in experimenting in the garden, I am all for trying new things in my garden! I will plant vegetables in my flower garden (I have zucchini in my perennial beds this year) and plant flowers in with my vegetables. Every seed I plant is an opportunity to learn new things about gardening.
I encourage you to try something new! Stick some of these tried and true flowers in your vegetable garden and see if it improves your pollination rate.
Nasturtiums are a perfect flower to add to the border of your vegetable garden. They are vigorous and easy to grow, and produce many brightly colored flowers. All parts of nasturtium are edible! Add the flowers or leaves to your salads, or just to decorate a plate with.
These plants will attract pollinators to your vegetable garden and they bloom all summer. Nasturtiums are a beautiful flower available in shades of yellow, orange, red and cream. You can also find plants available now with variegated leaves, which make it even more visually appealing.
I found a wonderful recipe for nasturtium pesto! Give it a try and let me know what you think down below.
Cosmos are a tall, bushy annual flower that produce many flower heads. These daisy like flowers will bloom all summer long, and even though you shouldn’t eat them, they will add brightness to your vegetable garden.
These flowers are very easy to grow from seed, and will thrive even in poor soil and hot conditions once they are established. Cosmos make beautiful cut flowers as well! When you are out harvesting from your vegetable garden, cut some stalks and stick them in a vase to enjoy inside.
You can keep cosmos flowering all season long by deadheading (removing the dead flower heads) to keep them tidy. The single flower varieties are a favorite for pollinators, so put them next to your zucchini and squash to help them produce vegetables for you.
French marigolds are probably the most well known flower to plant in the vegetable garden. Marigolds are one of my favorite and easiest flowers to grow. You can start them from seed either directly in the garden or inside in the spring. Marigolds only request is that you plant them in full sun; as long as you provide lots of light, they will reward you with non stop blooms.
Marigold flowers can be eaten and enjoyed in salads. The internet is abundant with recipes for how to use marigold flowers! One I can’t wait to try is this recipe for tortellini in a marigold broth.
These bright orange flowers are excellent companion plants in the garden. They are said to help control harmful nematode populations in your soil, which can impact your crops. If you have chickens, you can also feed the flower petals to the chickens to help make their yolks bright orange!
Sunflowers are an iconic backdrop for any vegetable garden. You can throw them in the ground anywhere, or have a neat row at the back of your garden. One of my favorite things to do is to let my sunflowers get a head start, and then plant some quick growing sugar peas and let them grow up the thick sunflower stalk!
There are many different varieties of sunflowers. You can plant the “Russian Giant” variety that can reach up to 12 feet in height! For a shorter variety try “Teddy Bear” which will only grow 2 to 4 feet in height. I like to plant this variety directly into my perennial flower beds. You can let your sunflower seed heads dry, and harvest the seeds yourself to eat or save for next year or you can leave them for the birds to pick through over the winter. These beautiful flowers will attract many pollinators to your vegetable bed.
Zinnia are gorgeous small flowers that will grace your vegetable garden with a variety of colors. You can find plants with petals that look like they have been painted with stripes of color, or solid color varieties in every shade imaginable.
These flowers are very easy to start from seed. You can plant them in the ground after the last frost, or start them inside 3-5 weeks before your last frost and then transplant them out. Most zinnia are more compact, staying under 2 feet in height. They will look beautiful placed throughout your vegetable garden or placed in a row as a border. For more detail on growing zinnias, check out this page.
Adding flowers to your vegetable garden will attract more pollinators and add color and flair. Let me know down below which flowers you add to your vegetable garden to make it stand out!