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10 Marigold Garden Benefits and How to Grow

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10 Marigold Garden Benefits and How to Grow

It is easy to understand why some marigolds are popular pot plants. They add bright orange and yellow splashes to patios, porches, and verandas.

Besides that, there are many advantages to planting them in and around the garden. Marigolds attract bees and many other beneficial insects, among other things.

Here are 10 benefits of planting marigolds in the vegetable garden.

1. Edible Flowers

A joyful addition to the kitchen, marigold flowers are not just colorful but some varieties are edible too.

Use the petals and tender green leaves of edible marigolds raw or cooked in salads or stir-fries. Moreover, you can freeze and use them to decorate summer sweets and ices.

2. Adds Color and Beauty

The flowers will brighten up the dullest patch in any garden. They thrive anywhere there is some sunshine and will respond by quickly producing various gorgeous warm colors.

Marigolds also attract some butterflies to further add to the beauty of the flowers.

3. Repels Bad Nematodes

There are good and bad nematodes that dwell in the soil. Useful nematodes destroy certain pests in the soil. But, the bad ones are themselves pests, damaging plant roots.

Otherwise known as non-beneficial or root-knot nematodes, these tiny creatures can cause a lot of damage. Plant leaves and stems may become twisted and distorted. Additionally, yellowing, wilting, and stunting may also occur.

French marigold (Tagetes patula) can help to control bad nematodes. Studies suggest that the plant produces allelopathic compounds that are toxic to these harmful pests [1].

A few months after sowing, the French marigold produces a substance in its roots that kills nematodes.

4. Attracts Bees and Pollinators

Bees are essential in the ecosystem. They pollinate vital crops and plants that feed wildlife, thus sustaining biodiversity.

Bees are particularly attracted to marigolds, so planting them is very beneficial to the garden. Likewise, these powerfully scented colorful plants attract other pollinators like butterflies.

If the flowers are not already growing in your yard, it is best to purchase marigold plants or seeds from organic nurseries. This will avoid harmful chemical insecticides affecting the pollinators.

5. Attracts Other Beneficial Insects

Beneficial insects feed on a host of pests likely to damage vegetables and other garden plants. The return to organic methods has revived this natural way of pest control.

As a result, certain predatory insects are commercially available. You can buy them for your garden. Marigolds can also bring in some helpful insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps.

6. Great Trap Crop

Sometimes described as sacrificial, some plants can act as a lure for pests.

Plant marigolds among other ornamentals and vegetables to attract pests such as slugs. You can then pick off the critters or eliminate them by other methods.

7. Medicinal Calendula

Pot marigold is a medicinal herb, known for its multitude of health benefits and healing properties.

Easily grown in the garden, the flower heads can be used in infusions and compresses. Calendula officinalis works well for many ailments including gingivitis, skin issues, and swellings. Additionally, it promotes wound healing [2].

You can also make the powder into creams for wounds, abrasions, burns, and sores. Besides, marigold oil and natural fabric dyes are also produced from the flowers.

8. Pest Repellent

Use marigolds in the garden for pest control.

Pests that marigolds repel include ants, whiteflies, aphids, tomato hornworms, cucumber beetles, and thrips. Marigolds also keep away mosquitoes, cabbage worms, and Mexican bean beetles.

Additionally, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and other wildlife are well known for ruining vegetable patches.

Although the jury is out on the plant’s effectiveness as a deterrent for these animals, many gardeners say it does help. Rabbits and deer seem to hate the taste and smell of marigolds.

9. Protects Tomatoes

French marigolds and Calendula are useful in protecting tomatoes. Gardeners have long planted tomatoes and marigolds together to deter a host of pests, including tomato worms.

10. Companion Plant

Companion planting with marigolds enhances the growth of some crops.

Vegetables that you can plant with marigolds include potatoes, melons, tomatoes, broccoli, eggplants, various squashes and gourds, and cucumbers.

How to Grow Marigolds

Marigolds are an attractive plant for many reasons. They are colorful, scented, have many uses, and are easy to grow.

The plants thrive in most soils. And as long as they have their faces to the sun, they will give lasting pleasure over a long season. Besides, they require very little care — only occasional watering in dry weather.

It is best to plant marigolds from seed after the frosty season. After that period, it should germinate and bloom after about two months.

Sow about 1 inch apart directly into the earth and water well but without over-watering.

Or, plant the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost. Cover in plastic wrap until germination and give plenty of light.

Takeaway

With so many benefits, it is no wonder marigold is such a popular plant. For the organic gardener, they can be a joy to view and a boon to the vegetable garden.

Sasha Brown

Blogger and lover of all things natural.

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