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Home Vegetable Garden Adding Annuals

Updated on April 17, 2011

Annuals in the home vegetable garden

Short growing seasons call for a variety of techniques to get the most from the home vegetable garden.  Tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers need to be started indoors about six weeks before planting out, if starting from seed, or work with seedlings. Row covers and other season extenders are useful, especially in the early and late weeks of the season. Cold hardy crops such as broccoli are a good choice.

I am starting two new gardens this here, one a balcony garden and the other I have just received a contract to renew a garden that has been left idle for several years now. The beds are overgrown and there is a water feature a small pond.

The garden beds will be prepared and used primarily to grow vegetables for my own consumption and an extra row or two for the local food bank. However, I do not thrive my vegetables alone so will add a few perennials and some annuals.

Johnny-jump-ups will be used in the borders; this plant will self-seed and comes in a wide variety of colours.

Annuals can bring the pollinators to your garden to provide the services your vegetables need before anything else is in bloom. They will continue to provide this service all through the growing season.

Annuals offer a real rainbow of colours to choose from and colour is what pollinators are seeking. Bees, for example, like blue, purple, while and yellow. So select the annuals you like, I will also be adding marigolds, and plant them along side the home vegetable garden.

Besides colour, another good reason for including marigolds is, in general, insects do not seem to appreciate marigolds, possibly because the marigold has a very distinctive odour which only highly refined sense can appreciate. This fragrance is another good reason to include the marigold in your garden; it makes a great companion plant. 

You can also plant your annuals among the vegetables thus avoiding setting out a buffet for insects. Rather than having all your vegetables in neat rows by themselves, interplant with a few annuals.

Generally speaking annuals are inexpensive to buy and so you can go back to the nursery at the beginning of each gardening season and buy something new. A garden is an ever changing place and I enjoy working with that change.

Some annual will self seed and serve you for many years. For a few dollars you can improve the yield you obtain from the home vegetable garden by adding a few annuals into the design.

Coming up for year two, Johnny-Jump-Up, Bob Ewing photo
Coming up for year two, Johnny-Jump-Up, Bob Ewing photo


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Grandmothers knew and so do butterflies, happy gardening.

  • DustinsMom profile image

    DustinsMom 8 years ago from USA

    Great information. Funny about the marigolds. My grandmother always told me to keep them in my garden. I never knew why, now I do. The butterflies like them too.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    You aare welcome and thanks for commenting.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

    Thank you for an informative hub.