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Marigolds in Vegetable Garden
Planting is not easy and can take long hours of hard work to grow healthy plants. But most of all, you need a proper plan before planting a single seed. You have to plan your garden location, types of plants, plant quantity, mulches, fertilizers, watering methods, and a lot more. Apart from these, as most people know about them, you also need to think about which pairs of plants will work for your garden.
You have to choose companion plants that allow your garden to grow healthier without any risk of being affected by pests, predators, and other problems. Marigold is one of the plants which help other herbs, plants, and crops to grow healthier. They play a significant role in plant neighborhood growth when planted with other plants.
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What is Marigold?
Marigold is an annual plant, and it is excellent to flourish in any garden. These plants t are of the genus Tagetes of the family Asteraceae, consist of 50 species of annual herbs native to Southwestern, North America, South America, and tropical America. Moreover, marigolds also refer to the genus Calendula, which is a pot marigold and unrelated plants of a different genus.
There are several species, includes French marigolds (t.patula) and African marigolds (T. erecta), which you can grow as garden ornaments, and most of them have a strong and pungent scent in their leave. The family of the genus tagetes has clusters or solitary flowers in lovely orange, yellow, or red color. Moreover, it has a structure that includes leaves on both sides of the stem, and bracts (leaflike structures) cover the base of each flower in a cup-shaped manner. The marigolds are an essential plant in cosmetic treatments because of its odor and benefits.
What is Companion Planting?
A healthy garden needs more than good nutrients, soil, and sun to prosper a longer time. To ensure the success of gardening, people use companion plants. Some specific plants, when you grow together, improve each other yields and health. For example, some plants can attract useful insects like bees, which help in the growth of other plants. Moreover, some of the plants keep pests away from other plants and herbs. However, all the plants don’t play the role of companion. Some of them absorb nutrients from their neighbors, which prevents both of them for better growth.
Benefits of Companion Planting
There are many reasons to plant certain veggies, herbs, or crops together. For instance:
Tall and wide plants provide shades to the smaller ones.
Large plants like sunflowers and corn can help in the growth of lower growing crops such as peas and cucumber.
Improve Plant Health
Some of the plants absorb elements from the soil that serves as beneficial for the other plants, and this is because the procedure can increase the biochemistry of soil to favor the neighbor plant.
Few crops can increase or maintain the nitrogen in the soil, such as peas and bean. Moreover, plants with long roots, like burdock, absorb and bring up nutrients from deep ground to upper soil and enrich the surface of the soil to give benefits to plants with shallow roots.
If you plant sprawling crops such as potatoes with tall plants, this minimizes the spaces between them, where weeds have a chance to grow.
Marigold as Companion Plant
Gardeners and farmers are using marigolds as a companion plant for ages. Seasoned gardeners grow diverse plants together for the healthy growth of the garden and to increase its beauty. Many people believe that certain plant combinations are proving to be beneficial for each other when they grow side by side. These combinations have real and unique benefits.
Companions help each other to prosper more. They together make an environment to use their planting space efficiently. For example, tall plants provide shade to sensitive small flowers and plants. Vines can spread throughout the ground, while stalks grow upwards. This way, they allow each other to grow in a single place.
Some pairs can prevent pests and predators. Plants can block harmful organisms and keep the bad bugs away from small delicate species.
You can plant Marigold with other plants to enhance their growth. For example, broccoli, cabbage, basil, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, gourds, tomatoes, squash, and potatoes. Marigolds are also a great companion to melon plants because of its ability to deter beetles. Also, cabbages and beans are not a good companion for marigold plants.
When To Plant Marigolds?
Marigolds are best for almost all types of gardens to increase the life of your vegetable plants or any other plant. However, you should grow them in a particular time and place for their better growth and to increase their productivity as a guard for your garden.
- You can plant signet and French marigolds anytime in the days of midsummer, while it is best to grow American marigolds in the spring season because they have a slower rate of developing. Also, sow American seeds when there is no risk of frost.
- You can sow seeds directly into the garden soil, once it is warm for cultivation. If you want, you can grow them inside a closed environment, but they germinate easily outside under the, which is why you didn’t need to make extra efforts. Marigolds seeds shoot up within days in warm weather, and plants grow in about eight weeks.
Choosing and Preparing a Planting Area
Marigolds are best because they can propagate from seeds. This plant grows into flower in just forty-five days after seedling. For the best results, sow seeds 2 cm apart. Then, cover them with ¼ inch of soil, water them sufficiently.
Marigolds are non-fussy and robust plants that make your garden outshine more than before. You can grow them easily and anywhere by taking into the following consideration.
- They need full sunshine and can even endure hot summers.
- If you plant them in the shade and moist or cool area, they will be susceptible to powdery mildew and will not prosper competently.
- In addition to marigolds can grow in almost any soil, but their seeds are more responsive to moderate fertile and well-drained soil.
- To prepare the soil, dig down a minimum of six inches, and remove stones.
How to Plant Marigolds?
- For the first step, if you can, add some granular fertilizer in the hole. A 5-10-5 grade will be enough for the marigolds. (this step is optional)
- Moist your chosen soil, then sow seeds at least 2 cm apart and 1 inch deep.
- Signet and French species must have positions 8 to 10 inches away from each other. Moreover, American seed plants should be apart at least 10 to 12 inches.
- If you are transplanting then water each of them thoroughly in the garden
- But if you are planting in containers, then use potting soil. Add and mix weak granular fertilizer during planting, or you can water the soil with dilute liquid fertilizer.
- Make sure to space them properly. Marigolds in containers can turn into a cluster.
Care of Marigolds
All plants need special care to become healthier and beautiful. Marigold needs low maintenance, but still, they want some efforts from you.
- Once your marigold is full-grown, pinch off the top of the flower. This act will stimulate them and make them look brushier. Your plant will look more beautiful and attractive, instead of looking leggy.
- Unlike other plants, marigolds don’t need deadheading. However, removing dying blossoms enhance the beauty of your garden, and your plants will bloom profusely.
- Between the processes of watering, allow the marigold soil to dry. After that, water more and repeat the same procedure. You have to water more during the hot days of summer.
- Make sure to water them in a specific amount. The water collecting on the soil surface should not reach the leaves because this leads to a higher risk of powdery mildew. Try to keep water at the base of the plant.
- Don’t fertilize your marigolds during growth period because a high concentration of nitrogen can lead to lush foliage at the expense of the marigold flower.
- In wet weather, the African marigold’s double flowerheads can suffer from rot.
- You can add mulch between plants to keep the soil moist and hinder weeds. It is essential in the early days of plants.
Deadheads encourage all plants to bloom, can extend the flowering season. Deadheads marigolds can help your garden to shine more than before. It is a very easy process.
- When a flower starts to wither, cut the part of the stem that is nearest from the first set of leaves.
- The plant will grow new flowers afterward.
- If you are arranging your blossoms in the vase, then cut the leaves which are touching the water. This way, you can prevent the overly strong odor.
- Floral arrangements for long periods can dry marigolds. For long-lasting blossoms, cut the foliage away from flowers and hang them upside down.
- You can eat Calendula marigolds. They are edible flowers and can add great flavor to your summer dish. Also, marigolds are not edible and can irritate your skin.
Benefits of Planting Marigolds
Marigolds don’t only add beauty to your garden but also spread a pleasant smell. Some believe it protects your garden from evil eye. The flower offers you numerous benefits.
Keep Insects Away
Marigolds are useful for forming a border around the veggies and precious flower gardens. Those with the strongest scents can deter leafhoppers, beetles, nematodes, and Mexican bean beetles. Calendula (pot marigolds) can prevent tomato worm, asparagus beetle. Moreover, Marigolds can repel rabbits.
A Natural Pesticide
The roots of French marigold yields a chemical that is serving as a strong pesticide form years. Likewise, Mexican marigolds also produce this chemical but in a stronger concentration. This one can hold back the growth of some of the tinder herbs.
Helps to Attract Bees
As a vegetable gardener, you may know the importance of bees in the gardens. The pollination process occurs through bees. Marigolds not only help your garden to survive but also attract bees in the garden. If you have a plan to plant marigolds in your garden to attract bees, then you have to keep in mind some caveats.
- Bees are more likely to attract by the single flower varieties of marigolds.
- Also, it is essential to use marigold seeds or flowers in an organic condition. The one you purchase from stores can contain insecticides that are bed for both bees and your garden. All the organically grown transplants and seeds are best for you.
Helps your Vegetable Garden to Prosper
Marigolds are best to grow alongside vegetables. The French marigold is the best plant to protect tomatoes from pests. Planting them can keep away slugs, nematodes, garden pests, and tomato hornworms from your tomatoes.
Companion for Vegetables
Marigolds play the role of a companion plant for many vegetables. They are companions for Chinese cabbage, bush beans, broccoli, eggplant, squash, and kale. Mexican marigolds are also helpful in many ways.
It deters slugs, leafhoppers, beetles, hornworms, and bean beetles.
The pungent and strong scent of beetles is the reason which keeps the harmful substances away. Their scent covers the scent of vegetables, which keeps predators and pests away from the garden. But they can attract spiders and slugs.
If you don’t have plans to plant them to keep away pests, you can add them to your garden to make it more beautiful. They add some pretty colors in your garden. By planting them with veggies, your garden looks more beautiful. Flowers add beauty to your garden, which other plants can’t.
Another benefit of marigold planting in the vegetable garden is that they need low maintenance. The flowers of marigolds are easy to care and continue to grow for many seasons. They usually don’t stand out in frost and droughts days.
The calendula has many health benefits. The medicinal herb belongs to the marigold family. Its benefit increased when you made it into calendula slaves and calendula oil. For example: helping skin conditions, wounds, rashes, eczema, bedsores, and varicose veins. It can help to treat sores, itchiness, skin softening, and inflammation.
Types of Marigold
There are many types of marigolds that have different sizes and colors. Most of them have double flowers. Their range starts from Dolls and dwarf guys 12-14 inches tall, Lady, Galore, and Perfection 16-20 inches tall, Nugget and Trinity Mix 10-12 inches tall, Sweet cream has creamy white flowers 16 inches high, and climax can grow 2 to 3 feet tall. All of them are great to grow in a vegetable garden.
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The family of marigold includes:
This flower has dark and bright green leaves. Foliage spread over 6 inches wide and high. They look beautiful when used as a border in the vegetable garden. Also, it gives a stunning, edging foliage effect. You can see small white flowers which look amazing in your garden.
Copper Canyon Daisy
They are shrubbery perennial, and the best zones are 8-10, 12-24. They are 3 to 6 feet tall and wide. The flowers have plenty of leaves that are 2-4 inches long. Their smell is a mixture of marigolds, lemon, and mint. Their age limit is short and needs water regularly.
Mexican Marigold (Tarragon)
Mexican marigold is also perennial plants and can grow in 8-19 and 12-24 zones. They are often growing annually and also have the ability to grow in all zones. Their height is 3 feet, and they are wide plants. Leaves have a pleasant scent of licorice and tarragon. This plant has yellow flowers but can grow ½ inch wide. They need moderate to regular water.
You can grow French marigold in all zones. These beautiful flowers can grow 2 inches to almost 2 feet tall. The blossoms can be single or double. They are great for edging. Some of them are Bonanza (10 inches), Janie (8 inches), and Hero (10-12 inches). Most of the French marigold flowers are 2 inches wide.
This species also can grow in all zones. Signet marigolds are not common because they have only a 1-inch wide flower and even a single blossom. They mostly grow about 10 to 12 inches tall.
Gardening is fun but needs a wise decision and many efforts to get successful in planting. Take all the measures that can help you to make your garden look beautiful and to increase its yield. Don’t try to follow the footsteps of old methods only. There are multiples of procedures and techniques that can help you to gain better results in a shorter time.
Try to experience different things in your garden to add beauty and to keep away harmful substances. Focus only on the organic or natural ways to flourish your veggie garden. Marigold plants are best if you want to save your planting area from pests, predators, weeds, and from any other harmful element. Additionally, they make the environment for neighboring plant growth.
In case, if you are not planning to plant them as a guard, then you can use them as a beautiful flower with a pleasant smell.