Annuals in vegetable garden?

emyers(8 SC)September 28, 2008

Anyone know of any annuals that would fit in with rotations in a vegetable garden?

I'm trying to find flowers that would not contribute to the various diseases of various vegetables.

For example, where would zinnias and sunflowers fit into a garden rotation?

Then say, lillies, tulips, glads etc?

What would I want to plant these flowers with.

What would I want to plant these flowers after.

What would I want to plant these flowers before.

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My carrots suffered from 'root knot nematodes' this summer, 99% of them had 3 or more root tips growing. When I checked in for remedies, one was to plant a certain variety of marigolds very thickly in the area - this would starve out the nematodes since they would not like the taste of the marigold. Since I thought that would look pretty, I did it, and I won't be planting carrots in that same spot next year but who knows what'll go in.

Why do you want annuals (flowers I'm guessing) in your vegetable garden? I plant marigolds around and in mine to give the bees more reason to come over and pollinate, and I like looking at the flowers interspersed amongst the vegetables. I also like allysum, but find that the flea beetle attacks it and gnaws it to shame by the end of July - I don't know if that is good or not - bad if it attracts more flea beetles than I would have gotten if I didn't plant the allysum - good if it keeps them from destroying the tomatoes or whatever else they like to munch on.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 6:51PM
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You want to make sure the flowering plants don't tower over the veggies or the veggies tower over the flowers. Most veggies need a good amount of sun and planting a lot tall flowering plants could give them too much shade. And if you have tall veggie plants, like I have tomatoes and brussels sprouts, they could put the flowers in too much shade. So think of the total growth of the all the plants before you mix them. As for bulbs, myself I wouldn't plant them with the veggies. I change where I plants things every couple of years and the bulbs might get in the way. I plant marigolds and sometimes the medium height snapdragons around my garden. I have wave petunias growing where ever in the garden. They reseed every year, so they're always there. I do thin them out though. Don't want them taking over. But all the flowers really add a lot of color.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 1:31AM
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emyers(8 SC)

Thanks for the replies and interest.
The primary reason I'm interested is that I'm interested in various cut flower varieties and want to give myself a shot growing them. Thought that they could potentially fit neatly into a rotation with my vegetables.
Thought maybe they could make sense in the rotation also as far as disease suppression goes.
Wouldn't plan on leaving bulbs in the ground and would locate tall plants out of the way in order to eliminate shading, though it certainly is a concern.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 9:05PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

There are a great many herbs that have beautiful flowers, and flowers that have herbal properties. Calendula, marigold, bee balm, and there are some gorgeous purple basils out there. The flowers are pink or purple depending on the type and tomatoes benefit from the basil growing in close proximity. All of the above (except maybe marigold) make nice cut flowers.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 5:11PM
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emyers(8 SC)

Thanks. I'll look into your suggestions and see about getting some in the garden.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 11:01PM
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linnea56(z5 IL)

katusha, what kind of Wave petunias reseed in your garden? IÂd love to have that. So far I have always put them in hanging baskets, I have not tried any petunias in the garden for years (I think it was because the rabbits ate them). But if they reseed easily it would be worth trying again.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2008 at 3:16PM
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I've only planted the regular wave peutnias. I planted a few in a couple of my gardens to use as ground cover. They've been reseeding for about 6 yrs now. They were the dark purple and dark rose color with a dark throat. Now I have different shades of these colors. Some of the dark rose have a darker throat, some are just a solid color. This year in my veggie garden I got one that was white, but had some light pink areas in the petals. It was beautiful. I hope that one reseeds with the same color. My waves usually only get seed heads starting in Sept. I've tried waves in my hanging pots, but I like them much better as ground cover. When planted in the ground, I don't cut them back. In the pots I did...they got leggy. I've got a lot of rabbits and squirrels by me and I haven't had a problem with them eating my waves. Just want to add, the 1st summer they reseeded, I had just several plants. But after the 1st summer, I just got more and more because they were all reseeding. I end up pulling a lot of them out now. This past Spring they were slow to start growing. We had a long snowy winter and long cold Spring. But once they started growing, they filled in nicely. I had to pull lots out this summer too. I just love 'em though!


    Bookmark   October 11, 2008 at 4:03AM
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sorellina(z5/6 Toronto)

I grow nasturtiums in between my basil clumps. Pretty and edible too.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 5:56PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Flowers have been planted in vegetable gardens for centuries. The term for a type of kitchen garden that includes vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers is potager. There is a Potager Forum here on gardenweb.

I am currently planning a new potager myself. Here is a list of plants I intend to include this summer that will add ornament:
Black Pearl Peppers (purple foliage, black fruit ripening to brilliant red. This will be an edger.)
Red Rubin Basil among tomatoes, as an edger.
Marigolds: reputed to help with nematodes. I just like them.
Million Bells Melampodium and Profusion Zinnias would make nice edgers too.
Sunflowers and other tall ornamentals can be used as a sunscreen on the west end of the garden. In our summer heat, most veggies appreciate a bit of afternoon shade.
I plan to put cosmos and tall zinnias among squash and cucumber vines. The vines will scramble at their feet, the flowers will add height and color.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 10:44AM
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My Mom always planted Borage with her tomato garden. It is supposed to repel the moth that hatches into the tomato hornworm plus the flowers are edible. Once you plant it it generally reseeds a little the next year. I don't think it would make a good cut flower though.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:25AM
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My grandmother ALWAYS put marigolds in the garden. They are excellent at keeping away bad pests, and inviting pollinators the the garden, which helps with veggie production. They make terrible cut flowers however.

I don't think there would be anything wrong with planting some flowers in the garden just because you like them. The thing is, you want flowers that have similar lighting and watering requirements. Bulbs, like tulips are probably not a good choice, because after they bloom and go dorment, they should be kept in dryer soil to prevent them from rotting.

I would suggest thinking about the height of your garden plants, just how high ar those tomatoes and peppers growing, and then put a boarder of your flowers around, that do not overwhelm or shade out the veggies. Perhaps some Sunflowers in the Middle of the garden would work.

I second Zennias as a good cut flower and I think they would do well in a veggie patch.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:01AM
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