8 Tips For Gardening Without Using Flowers

8 Tips For Gardening Without Using Flowers

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Many gardeners combine flowers and vegetables in the garden to enhance the garden’s beauty and attract bees and other pollinators. While it is true that planting flowers in the vegetable garden will likely increase your harvest due to improved pollination, you do not need flowers in the vegetable garden.

Those who garden to grow their own food sometimes view growing flowers as a waste of space and opt to garden without them. This allows them to use the available space for the fruits and veggies they prefer without worrying about overcrowding or running out of room for growing vegetables.

You don’t need to worry that your garden will look desolate or unattractive without flowers. Vegetable plants provide plenty of visual interest with their unique foliage and ripening fruit on their own. In fact, many prefer the appearance of cascading vegetable vines and plants laden with fresh vegetables to the look of flowers.

Why were there no flowers in the garden?

If you are growing a garden without flowers, you are likely concerned about having enough space for all the vegetables you want to grow. Eliminating flowers in the garden is undoubtedly an effective way to save space, but other techniques are too. Consider these techniques for making the most of your garden space.

# 1 Plant Vegetables Your Family Enjoys

The first rule for growing a successful garden, particularly if you are short on space, is to choose vegetables that your family enjoys the most. This ensures the veggies won’t go to waste and provides your family with a source of wholesome and nutritious vegetables for eating fresh or preserving for winter.

Growing tomatoes is a good choice if your family loves tomatoes and eats them in salads and on burgers. However, if your family isn’t likely to eat more than an occasional tomato during the summer, consider growing other more desirable veggies. Likewise, salad greens, spinach, and chard are excellent choices for those who eat fresh salads and greens regularly but may be a waste of space for those who only want an occasional fresh salad.

Vegetables that your family eats occasionally can be purchased at farmer’s markets so you can save more room for your family’s favorites in the home garden. Consider your family’s preferences carefully before deciding which veggies you should grow.

# 2 Grow Veggies with High Yields

Growing vegetables that produce abundant fresh fruits will give you more bang for the buck. Although the plants won’t take up any more room than low-yielding veggies, you will harvest more fresh veggies from high-yielding vegetables. Consider growing these veggies that produce abundantly.


Tomatoes produce up to 45 pounds in a 10-foot row with the plants spaced 18 to 36 inches apart, says The University of Maryland Extension. However, the type of tomato you grow affects the yield. One or two cherry tomato plants will produce enough tiny tomatoes for salads or grilling for a family of four.

While determinate tomatoes (tomatoes that grow to a predetermined height — usually 18 to 24 inches) are smaller and take up less room in the garden, they produce all the tomatoes at one time. Generally, they have a lower yield than indeterminate tomatoes.

Indeterminate tomatoes can reach a height of 6 feet or more and continue to produce new tomatoes until the frost kills the plants in the fall. Indeterminate tomatoes grow more tomatoes than determinate tomatoes do. If you want to pick fresh tomatoes from mid-summer until frost, indeterminate tomatoes are the right choice for you.


Cucumber plants produce fresh cucumbers every day for up to 12 weeks. One plant will produce 1 to 3 pounds of cucumbers each week, as long as you pick them regularly. One cucumber plant produces 20 to 25 pounds of cucumbers throughout the summer.

Beware. Cucumbers must be picked regularly to encourage them to keep producing new fruit. If you don’t keep the young cucumbers picked every day or two the plants will stop producing new cucumbers.


Both bush beans and pole beans produce an abundance of fresh green beans. Each bush bean plant produces approximately ½ pound of fresh beans, while one pole bean plant will produce 1 pound of beans. Both can be harvested by picking the pods when they are young to encourage the plant to continue production. Beans will continue to produce new beans for several weeks as long as you do not neglect them and stop harvesting the new beans.


Potatoes take room to grow, but they are high producers. Potatoes will yield 3 to 6 pounds of potatoes from each plant. A 10-foot row may produce 30 to 60 pounds of potatoes. If you have room for potatoes in your garden, they will reward you with a hefty harvest in the fall.

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Zucchini and summer squash are prolific producers and will continue to grow new fruit all summer if you harvest them when they are young. One or two plants will likely produce more zucchini and summer squash than your family can eat. Like cucumbers and beans, you need to keep the young fruits picked or the plants will stop producing new fruits.

# 3 Grow the Right Amount

Understanding how many of each vegetable you will need to feed your family is important and avoids wasting precious garden space growing more veggies than you will eat. Follow this guide for determining how many of each vegetable you should grow.

CropNumber per person
Bush beans10 – 15 plants
Cucumbers1 Vine/ 2 bush
Eggplants2 – 3 plants
Melons1- 2 plants
Peas15 – 20 plants
Peppers3 – 5 plants
Summer Squash1 – 2 plants
Zucchini1 – 2 plants
Tomatoes2 – 4 plants
Potatoes10 plants

# 4 Plant Dwarf Varieties

There are a wide variety of dwarf or bush varieties of nearly every vegetable. This includes dwarf or bush cucumber plants and other vining vegetables like winter squash and pumpkins. If you want to add vining crops to your vegetable garden and don’t have room, choosing a dwarf or bush variety is a workable solution.

#5 Practice Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening is an intensive gardening technique used to save space in the garden and grow as many vegetables as possible in the area. While it is traditionally done in raised beds, there is no reason you can’t practice square foot gardening right in the garden bed.

Either build a 4 foot by 4-foot raised bed and place it in the garden or mound the soil into 6- to 8-inch-high hills in a 4 by 4-foot rectangle. Allow for a walkway all around the perimeter of the bed.

Mark the bed into one-foot sections. You will have 16 one-foot sections in each 4 foot by 4-foot bed. You can do this with garden twine or make a grid with wood. You can also buy the grids to use on a raised bed, but that really isn’t necessary.

Plant each section with the appropriate number of vegetables, following the row spacing recommendations as a guide. For example, you can plant bush bean plants 4 inches apart in all directions so that you have 9 plants in one square foot of gardening space.

Because you will be tending to your vegetables from the walkways around the bed, you can disregard recommendations for spacing between the rows. Vegetables in a square foot garden are grown closely together in a grid.

Use the following guide to determine how many vegetable plants you can successfully grow in one square foot.

1 PlantCorn, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant2 plantsCucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelon, winter squash4 plantsLettuce, onions, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes8 to 9 plantsBeans, beets, peas, spinach, garlic, turnip16 plantsCarrots, radishes, parsnips

#6 Use Trellises

Trellises are excellent space savers in the garden as they allow the plants to grow upwards instead of sprawling in the ground. But that isn’t the only reason to use trellises. Vegetables grown on trellises produce more uniform fruits, have an increased yield, and are easier to care for and harvest, too. They are also more resistant to disease because of the increased air circulation around the plants.

Consider using a trellis for vining or climbing vegetable plants to save space in your garden. Some vegetables suitable for growing on a trellis include:

  • Cucumbers
  • Squash
  • Melons
  • Pole Beans
  • Pumpkins
  • Peas

# 7 Use Succession Planting

Succession planting allows you to use the same space to grow multiple crops. By replanting the area as soon as one crop is done producing, you can often grow two to three times as many vegetables in the garden. For example, if you grow peas early in the spring, you can pull up the vines when you harvest the peas and plant beans or cucumbers in their place.

Likewise, you can easily grow radishes, lettuce, and other salad greens early in the spring and then replant the area with warm-season vegetables like beans, squash, or cucumbers when you have harvested them.

Succession planting extends harvesting time and makes excellent use of spaces left after you harvest early season crops.

# 8 Grow a Fall Garden

Many gardeners overlook growing a fall garden once the summer garden has been harvested. Depending on your growing region, you may have plenty of time to grow a variety of vegetables in the fall. Northern gardeners with short growing seasons may be limited to growing cool-season vegetables, like peas, beets, and salad greens in the fall garden.

Always check the days to maturity of the veggies you want to grow in the fall to be sure they will ripen before the frost strikes in the fall.

Related Questions

Why do people plant flowers in a vegetable garden?

There are several reasons to plant flowers in the vegetable garden. They attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, enhance the beauty of the garden, and some, like marigolds and nasturtiums, help deter insect pests, too.

Many gardeners enjoy mixing flowers in with their vegetables or tucking them into small spaces between beds or along a trellis. Flowers can be beneficial to the garden bed but are not necessary for a successful garden.

Do you need flowers in the garden to attract pollinators?

Vegetable plants produce their own blooms and are able to attract pollinators on their own. However, growing a few flowers in the garden will attract more pollinators to the garden. If you are opposed to giving up space to flowers in the garden, consider tucking herbs like basil and thyme into empty spots in the garden.

These herbs produce blooms that attract bees and other pollinators and provide you with flavorful additions to your favorite dishes. Herbs are also thought to enhance the flavor of some vegetables. For example, growing basil with tomatoes is reported to improve the flavor of your tomatoes, while marjoram enhances the flavor and vigor of nearly any vegetable.

While many gardeners prefer to add brightly colored flowers to the vegetable garden, or plant borders of flowers around the garden, there is no reason you need to grow flowers in your vegetable garden if you don’t want to. Whether you simply don’t want the hassle of caring for flowers or you aren’t willing to sacrifice space you can put to good use for growing vegetables doesn’t matter. Gardening should be enjoyable, and if that means gardening without flowers, your vegetable garden will grow just fine.


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