Marigolds are perennial annual flowers that offer many advantages to vegetable gardeners. By strategically planting them, marigolds can increase yields and improve soil health – both of which will benefit you tremendously in your harvesting endeavors.
Marigolds bloom for an extended period, providing pollen and nectar for bees and other pollinators while at the same time repelling nematodes that damage other vegetables. Therefore, marigolds make great companion plants when planting vegetables susceptible to these pests.
Along the Borders
Marigolds add vibrant color and self-seed annually. While they can tolerate various climate conditions and sun conditions, their growth thrives best in warmer regions that receive full sun. Marigolds make excellent companion plants for vegetables as their strong scent deters pests that could otherwise harm them; their strong scent repelling mosquitoes and flies is particularly effective. Once spent flowers or stems have died off they can be added to a compost pile to enrich soil for next year’s plantings.
Location for Marigolds in Your Garden will depend on why and how they are being planted; whether that means naturalise dotted among vegetable beds, or more orderly placement between rows of veggies in polyculture schemes.
Marigolds make excellent companion plants for tomatoes, squashes and cabbage crops to protect them from insects like the notorious hornworm and cabbage maggot while drawing in pollinators to your garden. In addition, marigolds attract beneficial wasps, lacewings and ladybugs which prey upon harmful garden bugs such as aphids that threaten them.
Cucumbers, beans and peppers grow well when planted alongside marigolds; they’re also an effective solution for other vegetables from eggplant to spinach. In particular, carrots benefit greatly as their leaves protect them from root rot; plus, marigolds protect from beetles such as carrot root beetles and kohlrabi beetles that might otherwise ruin harvests.
Marigold seeds germinate quickly, with sprouts appearing within days and blooming within eight weeks, making it an easy crop to start from seed. Simply sow outside after all frost danger has passed and soil has warmed, spacing seeds 1 inch apart until sprouting has occurred; French and Signet Marigold varieties should be planted 8-10 inches apart while African ones need at least 12 inch spacing between seeds and blooming begins.
After sowing seeds in the ground, make sure to thoroughly water the soil immediately after sowing, without overwatering it. Soil should remain moist but not soggy; excess moisture can lead to damping-off fungus development. Furthermore, do not overfertilize marigolds; doing so may result in lush foliage but few or no blooms being produced.
Between Vegetable Rows
Marigolds make an excellent interplant between vegetable rows because their fragrance serves as an effective natural pest deterrent. Their scent repels nematodes and insects that damage crops while their pollinator-attracting qualities help increase crop yields overall.
Plant marigolds alongside your vegetable rows to both add color and protect the vegetable plants. Marigolds repel several common pest species such as tomato hornworms, squash vine borers, leaf miners, carrot flies and aphids; additionally they make great companion plants for corn, beans, peppers eggplants melons cantaloupe okra corn
To maximize their potential, marigolds should be planted in sunny spots with well-draining, rich organic matter soil that drains well. When amending sandy or clay soil types with compost or balanced slow release fertilizer before planting, be mindful that too much moisture could lead to root rot causing stress on marigold roots.
Once your marigolds have established themselves, cover them with a layer of mulch to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and maintain an optimal soil temperature. Depending on their variety, any type of organic mulch – from straw to wood chips to shredded leaves – could work.
Always inspect your marigolds regularly for signs of fungal infection or disease, such as wilting or brown spots. Check the leaves, stems and roots for softness or discoloration; and inspect all tools used before use again to sanitize. Furthermore, avoid overwatering which can lead to root rot.
Marigolds are low maintenance flowers, needing little more than full sun and adequate drainage to flourish. As they mature, deadheading will encourage new growth while decreasing aphid numbers; simply grab and pull–they snap off easily! At the end of each season you can also chop and drop plants to add organic matter back into your growing beds; this could potentially reduce populations of negative nematodes.
In Containers and Raised Beds
Marigolds can be grown easily from seed, starting 4-6 weeks before your last frost date in your area. Marigolds may also be purchased from garden centres or nurseries as bedding plants, or from seedlings planted into sunny spots outside.
Marigold flowers are naturally attracted to pollinators, making planting them alongside vegetables an effective way of drawing more pollinators into your garden and increasing chances of successful vegetable production. Yellow and orange hues in particular will draw beneficial insects such as ladybugs or parasitic wasps that help combat pest problems in gardens; therefore using marigolds as companion plants will actually decrease chemical spraying needs within your vegetable plot.
An excellent, free-draining soil is key for successful marigold growth and blooming. To optimize results, the pH should range between acidic to neutral (6.0 to 7.0) with organic matter being added for increased nutrition as well as increased soil structure.
Water marigolds regularly, particularly when young and being established, to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Marigolds can survive drought conditions once established but their foliage may become susceptible to damping off disease or powdery mildew if left exposed for too long to sunlight. Feed marigolds with liquid fertiliser at least once every month so they continue thriving and blooming throughout their season of blooming.
Some varieties of marigolds produce an alpha-terthienyl compound that repels root-knot nematodes – microscopic worms which damage many vegetable crops such as tomatoes and beans – by producing alpha-terthienyl. To maximise its effectiveness as natural nematode control, plant marigolds in crop rotation with other susceptible crops like peas or lima beans that attract them; additionally leaving some roots of marigolds planted at the end of growing season may continue suppressing population suppression; although this method alone may not provide complete eradication – additional control methods may need to be implemented for ultimate success of root-knot nematode elimination.
As Companion Plants
Marigolds are not just beautiful flowers in flower beds; they’re also valuable companion plants that help prevent vegetable garden pests. Marigolds are one of the few annual flowers that thrive even in poor soil and provide long bloom seasons, making them easy to include as part of an effective diversified vegetable garden. Marigolds attract beneficial insects while deterring destructive pests like nematodes and tomato hornworms from taking over your vegetables, herbs or strawberries – making Marigolds the ideal companion plant choice.
Marigolds make ideal companion plants in vegetable gardens when planted in full sun. Marigolds are drought-tolerant and thrive in most climates; however, for optimal performance they prefer well-draining garden soil with moderate fertility levels and regular application of compost or other organic matter before planting to enhance moisture retention and increase nutrient content in the soil. Also test pH levels before planting to make sure it falls between 6.0 to 7.0 as necessary.
Marigold flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects, making them the perfect partner in any vegetable garden. When they bloom for extended periods, pollinators have an abundant food source throughout summer and fall – especially tomatoes and peppers which require frequent pollination.
Marigolds can also attract predatory wasps, parasitic wasps, and lacewings that are beneficial to garden insects like aphids and whiteflies by drawing predatory wasps to them – these insects then feed off of harmful garden insects like aphids and whiteflies! Marigolds may even repel nematodes; you could plant rows of them alongside your tomato plants to provide extra defense from pests!
Marigolds can be grown in much the same way as any annual flowers, such as intercropping between rows of vegetable plants or planting them as borders between rows. Seedlings can easily be started from seed, with most varieties self-sowing to quickly fill in any empty spots in your garden. When their bloom fades at the end of their growing season, gently rub between your fingers their petals until the seeds fall off releasing more seeds for next year’s garden!