Friday, June 29, 2012

Beneficial Flowers

We have a shortage of bees.  In our subdivision, we are just a few hundred feet away from the freeway, our area is ever-broadening, and those useless mosquito spraying trucks make their rounds in our streets every couple of weeks.  With the constant change in our environment, the bee population is decreasing, and guess what?

We still have a ton of mosquitoes.

This year I planted several wildflowers that draw bees and butterflies.  Hoping they would feel welcome to come into my garden and pollinate my fruits and vegetables.  They love my citrus blooms, and while there seemed to be a plentiful amount of honeybees circulating through my lemon and lime blossoms, they decreased greatly after the blooming season was over.  Of course, it was then that I began to hear the mosquito sprayer trucks drive through our neighborhood.  I know the poison sprayed into the air doesn't kill all of the beneficial insects in our area, but it surely doesn't help.

One of the packages of seeds I purchased this year, was a Beneficial Insect Mix.  I planted some in my old, rusty wagon.  With the rust holes in the bottom, it was perfect for drainage and a cute display of flowers.  The picture below was taken before all of the blooms came about.

There are also a few flowers that repel bugs from your garden.  Marigolds, nasturtiums, and lavender are very beneficial in this area.  I have marigolds planted at the end of each row of my tomatoes.  The only place I've found tomato horn worms was on the plants that weren't near any marigolds.  

I won't say that these flowers will solve all of your problems.  I did notice a couple of bees buzzing around my squash and pumpkin flowers after the wildflowers I planted began to bloom.  And I have still had my fair share of pests among my tomatoes, but I can tell there has been a bit of help in the area of repelling certain bugs since the marigolds came into bloom.

If there were only a way to repel the mosquito sprayer trucks....


Quinn said...

I was just reading about beneficial flowers in the orchard book I'm reading. I felt like I was given permission to plant as many flowers as my heart desires when I had been feeling guilty for not putting my efforts into anything that wasn't edible. Since I love flowers it was a very exciting revelation! Yours look so lovely :) Blessings!

Homestead Journey said...

Thank you! In the past, my husband would always joke with me..... if we couldn't eat it, I couldn't grow it, and flowers were useless. Well, after studying up on the benefits of flowers, he's changed his mind. I was even allowed to grow hibiscus this year since the flowers can be made into a tea! LOL!

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