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Marigolds Should be Part of Your Garden


Date Posted: November 15, 2015

Seeds of the Month Club by Mike the Gardener Marigolds Should be Part of Your Garden
photo credit: iStockPhoto

Not too long ago, we included the marigold variety, sparky (part of tagetes patula), in one of our Seeds of the Month Club shipments to various zones throughout the United States. We received a lot of feedback, mostly good, and others questioning why they were receiving a flower in the shipment.

If you have been gardening for quite sometime you have more than likely heard of companion planting and how growing various plants near each other is beneficial to those plants. Planting flowers among your vegetables, fruits and herbs may be beneficial as well, and marigolds are usually that flower staple in a lot of gardens.

I have read in many publications that marigolds do a wonderful job of keeping away various harmful insects such as aphids, which as you may know, aphids can destroy an entire crop in no time. This particular variety of marigold that we sent out does a great job in attracting beneficial insects such as hoverflies which feed on aphids.

While I can not say that I scientifically studied the positive effects of growing marigolds in my garden, if for nothing else, the vibrant yellows, reds and oranges of the marigolds added a wonderful “illumination” to my gardening area.

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The recommended planting location for marigolds to best suit its benefits is on the perimeter of your garden beds. For example, I have a lot of 4’ x 4’ and 4’ x 8’ garden beds. I will plant the marigolds on the outside perimeter of those beds, and grow my veggies, fruits and herbs on the inner portion.

Marigolds are one of the world’s most popular annual flowers to grow by the home gardener due more than likely to how easy they are, the many varieties available, how quick they grow from seed, how they are perfect for container gardening and the fact they bloom all season long in most zones.

I like to start my marigold seeds indoors about 4 weeks before the predicted last frost day will be in my area, which according the USDA Plant Hardiness map, says zone 7a, is April 30th. Once they are about 4 to 5 inches tall and fear of frost has passed, I will move them to the outdoors to transplant to their final location.

I have found in the past that marigolds do very well without the traditional “hardening off” methods which slowly acclimates plants to the outdoors.

I will space my marigold plants out about 6 to 8 inches and as they grow, get larger and produce the flowers, I tend to make sure I remove the blossoms that are in “decay” mode, as I call it. This encourages more growth of the plant.

Just make sure your marigolds are receiving 6 hours of sunlight daily and that the soil is moist. There are a lot of flower foods out there specifically designed for flowers, and I am sure you can find some good organic ones as well. I simply like to use homemade compost and/or manure tea.

Oh yes, and before I finish, contrary to what my grandfather told me as an old wives tale, the marigolds do not keep the rabbits out of my garden.

Happy Gardening!


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Mike the gardener

About the Author

Mike Podlesny is the author of the book Vegetable Gardening for the Average Person as well as the creator of the Seeds of the Month Club where members receive non gmo, heirloom variety seeds every month. You can listen to Mike each week on the Vegetable Gardening Podcast where he interviews gardening industry experts. Don`t forget to link up with Mike on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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