Grantee Blog

Mixing Flowers and Vegetables Results in More Garden Produce

Redwood Elementary students are combining flowers with the herbs and vegetables they grow in the school’s after-school program. In recent years, more and more studies are revealing that adding flowers will increase garden yields. In addition, the flowers increase the amount of nectar available, so they attract the beneficial insects that protect edible plants. Fall flowers that are most attractive to bees are snapdragons, calendula, and pansies.

One popular fall flower is the chrysanthemum, but because of its flower shape, it is not ideal for nectar-seeking bees. It provides another advantage, though: pyrethrum. Bees are under attack by mites, and pyrethrum is toxic to the mites that are thought to be killing some bee populations. A paper published in Bioscience Hypotheses states that planting mums may give the bees increased immunity against mites.


About the Grantee

Metropolitan YMCA of the Oranges-West Orange

The West Essex YMCA in Livingston offers before and after care at area schools. During the summer, children can enjoy the experience of a lifetime at day camps. The South Livingston Avenue facility features an indoor pool with aquatic programs and swim lessons, cardio and strength conditioning equipment, fitness classes for all levels, sports and enrichment classes, and a supervised child watch.