Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Companion Planting: Edible Flowers

Flowers are often overlooked because they seem too frivolous for a community garden plot. I’m of the mind that flowers enrich the soul with their beauty and too much isn’t enough. But if they get in the way of my tomatoes, that’s another story. If you love flowers yet need a good reason to grow them, consider edible flowers.

Calendula, nasturtium, chamomile, violets and roses are some common edible flowers. Calendula is particularly good for the skin and chamomile is known for its powers as a sleep aid. Many herbs have lovely flowers to add to your garden space. Sometimes planting bright flowers around fruits, like strawberries, will confuse predators and save your produce.

Many flowers are compatible with companion planting as well as being edible. Definitely check one of the online charts before planting any flowers next to your vegetables. You never know what may inhibit the growth of a specific plant.

When your plants have gone to seed, consider cutting off the bolting flowers for your bouquet. While you can eat many of the flowers from bolting plants such as kale, you would also do well to just cut off a few stems and stick them in a vase for a bit of garden grown beauty.

Resources: Homecooking.about.com, NCSU, Zenfulneps.com

Photo Credit: Matsuyuki

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