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Is it possible to have a veg garden and a butterfly garden coexist in the same backyard?

I am having the grass installed today in my back yard. I have left a large L shape around the outskirts, 7ft deep so that I can plant a vegitable garden at the back. In the side section, I was hoping for a flower garden, something that I could plant with my toddler, a butterfly garden perhaps. But the Veggies are my first priority so I was wondering what would go well in the flower garden area. I am a complete beginer and I live in sunny San Diego. Thanks in advance.

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4 Responses to “Is it possible to have a veg garden and a butterfly garden coexist in the same backyard?”

  1. oil field trash

    Both like the same conditons of sun, soil and light. So it should not be a problem

    You might your local Master Gardeners for help.

    http://www.mastergardenerssandiego.org/

  2. Lustro

    Absolutely!

    In fact, I plant my vegetable garden with an eye to attracting bees, so I get better pollination. However, bees can only pollinate some type of plants. Some flowers may have the petals too close together so that the bee can’t reach down inside and get nectar, so bees won’t visit that plant. That plant may self-pollinate, or it may require a pollinator other than a bee — something like a butterfly! I think a butterfly garden and a vegetable garden could have a lovely symbiotic relationship.

    The downside to this is that butterflies, in the larval stage, are caterpillars. Some vegetables are very attractive to caterpillars and the caterpillars will eat them and do a surprising amount of damage. However, it’s my experience that most “bad” caterpillars are moth larva, not butterfly larva.

    You can control larva by spraying susceptible plants (cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes) with BT. BT is bacillus thurengiensis and it destroys the digestive system of a caterpillar but is totally harmless to bees, people, and butterflies.

  3. David

    what you need to do is look for insects that are in your area. Most common mistake people do for a butterfly garden is they just want to attract the butterflies but give the larva nothing to feed on to help create a butterfly garden. We have a butterfly that likes butterfly bush but the larva eat fennel. Most people have the butterfly bush in their garden but don’ think of putting fennel in for the larva to feed off.

  4. Semi-Constant Gardener

    You lucky lucky person! Gardening in San Diego is great! Butterfly gardens and vegetable gardens were made for each other — they both require lots of sunlight and the butterfly garden will attract pollenators such as bees that will help your garden. This is a good thing. Upon re-reading, I note that you have a toddler — and since most butterfly plants attract bees, it might be an issue if your toddler were to have a run through your butterfly garden when it was in full bloom. In my experience, bees do not pay much attention to people when they are happily gorging on pollen. I have deadheaded plants in my butterfly garden without them bothering me at all. (deadheading is when you go into the garden and cut off old blooms — this prevents seeds from being formed which is the end game for many plants, and they then quickly go dormant. So removing old or fading blooms tricks the plants into producing more flowers.) I lived in San Diego over 20 years ago, and I swear if you put a popsickle stick in the dirt it would bloom! Best of luck to you!

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