We started our garden at the Pleasantville Farm! Thus far, we’ve selected lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, basil, oregano & strawberries. They didn’t have the Albion strawberries I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, but a strawberry plant of any kind is ok in our book.
“Beneficial” flowers are recommended in a vegetable garden. What the heck is a beneficial flower, you ask?
Beneficial flowers attract beneficial insects. Such insects are ladybugs, lacewings, mini wasps (not the paper wasps everyone is afraid of), etc. These bugs either pollinate or take care of other garden pests.
Diane’s Seeds has some great descriptions of what flowers attract what kind of beneficial insect. Where as, Garden Insects tells you what insect you need for a type of pest. I was going to suggest you use the two together to come up with a cross reference, but how about I put together a cross reference for my next post? I like you guys, so I’ll do that for you.
Not all flowers are allowed according to the agreement we signed when renting our plot. Anything invasive was out and typical bedding plants (petunias, geraniums, begonias) don’t necessarily attract the right insects.
To be quick about it, I choose a flower I knew I liked. I was buying a package of seeds and I didn’t need that many for the bed (only 10% beneficial flower plantings are allowed). So I wanted to pick something I would be willing to plant in the landscaping and/or containers at home too.
Without further ado, I present, Zinnias
|Common Name|| |
|Formal Name||Zinnia elegans|
|Description||This easy-to-grow annual is an all-time garden favorite. Zinnias generally bloom profusely throughout the entire summer until fall.|
I’ll replace with a picture of the real thing once they start popping up.
|Light Requirements|| |
|Soil Requirements||Thrives in a wide variety of soils|
|Water Requirements||Moderate watering until maturity (allow surface to dry between waterings)|
|Height||3’ – 5’|
|Spread||9” – 12”|
|Growing Zone||3 – 10|
|Manicuring or Pruning||Excellent cut flowers – cut just before peak of bloom. Cut individual stems after flower fades.|
|Fertilization||Minimal fertilization required|
|Bloom Time||Late summer to early fall|
|Bloom Color||Orange, Yellow, Pink, White, Red|
|Special Features|| |