Allotment Flowers-with pictures

I was once accused of wasting space at my allotment by growing too many flowers. Yes I agree, if I didn’t grow so many flowers I would have more space for vegetable plants. However, I strongly believe I would also have fewer vegetables to harvest, as there would be less insects around to pollinate my crops.

You only need to stand and watch a wild flower patch to see the buzz of activity there. In fact I’ve been watching my wildflower patch and it’s absolutely amazing to watch.

As an organic gardener, I encourage beneficial insects into my plot , as they keep the ‘bad bugs’ at bay.  You only have to watch blackflies, as an example, as within a few days you will see the ladybirds having a feast on them.   I don’t use pesticides as these will not only kill the ‘bad’  insects, but it will also kill the ‘good’ ones too.

I try to let nature do the work for me.

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Five of the ‘good’ bugs:

Bees – Flowers encourage bees, which in turn pollinate your crops.  They are active from late winter until autumn, so I try really hard to have plants in flower during all these months.

Lacewings – These are voracious predators as the larvae and adults feed on caterpillars, thrips, mealy bugs and aphids.  They are especially attracted by Cosmos flowers, coreopsis and sweet alyssum.

Ground beetles – Ground beetles are nocturnal and they are great for keeping night time pests at bay.  They like to eat cut worms, slugs, snails, caterpillars, aphids etc.  They like to overwinter in perennial plants.

Soldier Beetles – Unfortunately these beetles do eat the good bugs as well as the bad, but they do help to control aphids and caterpillars.  They particularly like catnip and goldenrod.

Ladybirds (sometimes called Lady beetles or lady bugs) – Ladybirds love to eat aphids, scales, spider mites, mealy bugs, etc. which is why most people recognize these as a beneficial insect.  It’s their larvae that eat the most of the ‘bad’ insects and can get an infestation under control in no time.  Ladybirds are attracted to the parley family i.e. parsley, dill, fennel, carrots etc.

The best way to attract beneficial bugs to your garden is to follow basic organic gardening practices i.e. by not spraying chemicals, using mulches and diversifying your planting.  Don’t expect results to happen overnight, as it can take some time.  My wildflowers are a good example of how the beneficial insects are attracted, you only need to look to see the insect activity that now goes on there.

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Below is a gallery of the flowers I’ve planted on my plot this year.

Please feel free to comment at the bottom of the page, as I’d love to hear your views and ideas.

Click on the top left picture and it will start a slide show for you

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8 Comments

8 thoughts on “Allotment Flowers-with pictures

  1. The flowers are so pretty! I never think it is a waste to plant flowers. Our big garden is between farm fields, so no one sees it but us, but we still plant a variety of different sunflowers to make it pretty. Sort of.. At this time of year, our garden is quite wild.

  2. I say , I wasted my allotment by not planting these beautiful flowers for 3 years .. I am not very good in gardening ..Just learning now and I grow nothing .. But this year I will grow lots and lots of flowers in my allotment ..

    • It is so lovely having flowers at your allotment to look at and the insects buzz around enjoying them and then pollinate your crops in return. It is so easy to buy a packet of wildflower seeds and rake them into your soil….give them a quick water and they nearly always grow.

      Happy gardening
      XXX

  3. I too have been told not to grow too many flowers and more veg on my allotment but I agree with you that they go hand in hand I found your photos inspiring and I will try not to let the bullies beat me many thanks

    • Definately! Flowers are so good for the bees and pollinating insects. I do feel that some allotment committes are stuck in the dark ages even though many top gardeners and even the RHS all agree that flowers / and some parts in the garden or allotment of nettles or wildflowers (however small) are so beneficial to our environment.

      Keep fighting by showing them articles you read and hopefully you will win….and let me know how you get on

      XXX

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