Zucchini and Zinnias

Zucchini Harvest 2012

Veggies and flowers go together like Mickey and Minnie, Fred and Wilma, Sonny and Cher—oops, I took the happy celebrity couple analogy a little too far. My point is that veggies and flowers do not need to be in separate gardens.  In fact, your veggies would love the company of flowers.

A couple of years ago, I had problems with our zucchini not setting on fruit. I’d get blooms, but no zucchini.  For some reason, bees had stopped visiting my vegetable garden and in order to get zucchini, I resorted to hand pollination.  Last year, I planted sunflowers and zinnias and not only did the bees tend to them, but they also covered my zucchini, pumpkin, and watermelon blooms. The zucchini blooms pollinated without my intervention.

Zinnia with bee

In addition to sunflowers and zinnias, marigolds, cosmos, and coreopsis are great for attracting bees. Actually, any colorful, pollen-filled flowers will work.  I like the tall sunflowers because they advertise for bees like huge Interstate fuel signs advertise for travelers.  Sunflower with bees

While you’re planning your vegetable garden, don’t forget to reserve a row for the flowers.  Trust me, your zucchini and zinnias will get along better than Sonny and Cher.

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