Companion planting is all about planting flowers, shrubs, fruits or vegetables that help one another. Marigolds are a powerhouse in the vegetable garden, and serve to help protect you vegetable plants and improve soil. Find out the benefits of planting marigolds in your vegetable garden.
Marigolds Make Great Companion Plants
Marigolds are beautiful, bright orange annual flowers that grow quickly and easily. These cheerful blooms should be considered an add on to your vegetable garden. They are easy to grow in containers and directly sown into the garden.
Marigolds Attract Pollinators
Gardens can’t produce without pollination. Bright flowers are natural attractors for pollinators. Orange and yellow are incredibly inviting colors that will attract bees, butterflies and other helpful bugs. Plant marigolds in containers right next to your vegetables. That way, it doesn’t matter if the soil content needs to be the same, the pollinators will visit your marigolds, and most likely visit your veggies as well!
Marigolds Repel Pests
Both African Marigolds (T. Erecta) and French Marigolds (T. Patula) produce alpha-terthienyl. This substance repels nematodes – which are tiny worms that attack the roots of plants. The French Marigold provides the best protection against nematodes. Tomatoes tend to be prone to nematodes.
These flowers also produce a strong scent which helps repel cabbageworms. This helps protect cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Be sure to plant a lot though, as it takes many companion plants to protect the stubborn cabbage worms.
How to Plant Marigolds In Your Garden?
There are two ways to add Marigolds to your garden. The first is to plant them right next to your vegetables in the soil. This is great if the soil type needed for your vegetables matches the soil type needed for these flowers.
Marigolds thrive in fertile, well-drained, non-acidic soil. This works well with tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers. In which case, you can plant the flowers right next to, or in the same bed as the vegetables.
If you’re using the flowers to attract pollinators and the soil of some of your plants is acidic, marigolds thrive in containers as well. Just add a pot of these lovely flowers alongside your garden bed.
The best way to take advantage of repelling nematodes is to grow them in the planter the year before planting the veggies. This ensures the substance is already in the soil when vegetables like tomatoes are planted. There is no harm in growing the plants simultaneously. However, you may not reap all the benefits.
Plant with Other Flowers and Herbs
Many other flowers act as companion plants in the garden. Some of these flowers include: nasturtiums, borage, sunflowers, cosmos and calendula. Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, sage and mint can help repel pests from the garden as well.
Planting flowers and herbs can double your efforts to repel pests from the garden and attract pollinators.
What Else Can Marigolds be Used For?
Aside from providing happy blooms in the garden, marigolds are beautiful when dried and preserved. Their carnation like blooms are a wonderful addition to any pressed flower art piece.
Or, add these gorgeous flowers to a summer bouquet. Plant them in a container and place them around your home. They are easy to grow and cheap to buy. Marigolds are also easy to start from seed and will sow themselves year after year!
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