While you might think of marigolds as nothing more than a pretty addition to your flower bed, they are more useful than you realize. Marigolds are actually a key component of your vegetable garden. Not only do they attract pollinators like butterflies and bees, but they can also help ward off pests that would otherwise damage your vegetables. Plus, marigolds are incredibly easy to grow!
Here are 9 reasons you should grow marigolds in your vegetable garden and how to get started today.
Meet the marigold
Marigolds low-maintenance annuals that come in many varieties. They range from tiny and fragrant to large and showy, making them a great addition to any garden or vegetable plot. Some types of marigolds are even edible (always check your variety before ingesting)!
Marigolds can also be dried and used as a natural insect repellent or to make garlands, wreaths, and other decorations. Growing marigolds is easy. They thrive in sunny spots with well-draining soil that has plenty of compost added to it. Water them regularly and fertilize every two weeks for the best blooms.
Marigolds come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Choose from various shades, including yellow, orange, red, pink, and creamy white. Their height varies too! The taller marigolds can be a backdrop for shorter vegetables, while the smaller varieties make great edging plants.
In vegetable gardens, marigolds are great companions to vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and squash because they help ward off pests. The bright yellow and orange petals also add a splash of color to your garden!
Whether you love their vibrant colors or appreciate them for their pest-busting abilities, growing marigolds is a great way to add life and beauty to your garden. So get your hands dirty and start planting some marigolds today!
9 reasons to grow marigolds in your vegetable garden
1. Marigolds help deter pests
Marigolds produce an aroma that naturally repels some common garden pests like nematodes, cabbage moths, and whiteflies. Though there is some discussion amongst garden experts about the effectiveness of this pest control, it is certainly worth trying and is a great natural alternative to pesticides.
Many gardeners used to claim that marigolds could help repel deer and rabbits. Unfortunately, more recent research suggests that this is not the case. However, marigolds could act as a sacrificial barrier for certain pests. Some insects and slugs may eat your marigolds instead of your vegetables, making these flowers an effective deterrent.
2. Marigolds attract pollinators
The bright colors and sweet scent of marigold flowers draw in butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects to your vegetable garden. Plant plenty of varieties with different flower shapes to ensure that there’s something for every pollinator.
3. They protect your vegetables
Planting marigolds around your vegetables can help protect them from certain pests, including beetles and caterpillars. They also attract predatory insects such as ladybugs and lacewings to help eat harmful pests that can damage your vegetables.
4. Marigolds are easy to grow
Marigolds are very easy to grow and require little maintenance. All they need is regular watering and plenty of sunshine! But don’t worry, unlike other annuals, if you forget to water marigolds for a few days, they’ll bounce back with a good drink.
Once established, marigolds can withstand periods without water and still produce beautiful blooms! In fact, they love warm weather and will bloom all summer long if given proper care.
5. They’re fast-growing
Once you plant marigolds in your vegetable garden, they’ll grow quickly. In just a few weeks, you’ll have beautiful blooms!
6. Marigolds are easy to grow from seed
Starting marigolds from seed is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to add the plant to your garden. Add the seeds to pots near your vegetable garden, as a decorative addition to your patio garden, or sow the seeds next to your edible plants. Many varieties even self-seed, so you won’t have to worry about planting them or buying seeds the following season.
7. They are good companion plants
Marigolds help improve the health of other nearby plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, by providing protection against certain pests. For more information about companion planting, check out my recent guide!
Best vegetables to grow with marigolds:
- Bush beans
8. Marigolds are edible
Some varieties of marigolds are edible. The petals and buds can be used to add a subtle, spicy flavor to salads and other dishes, or you can use them as a natural food coloring.
9. They look beautiful!
Last but not least, marigolds will give your vegetable garden an extra touch of beauty. They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, and red. Plant plenty to add some cheerful color to your garden!
How to grow marigolds in your vegetable garden
Now that you know all the reasons why you should be growing marigolds in your vegetable garden, here’s how to get started.
- Choose a variety of marigolds suitable for your climate and soil type. The best types of marigolds to grow in vegetable gardens include African, French Marigolds, and Signet Marigolds.
- Plant in full sun and well-draining soil. Avoid planting in spots that are too windy or rainy. Plant the marigolds along the edges of your vegetable garden or between rows of vegetables. You can grow them next to specific vegetables as companion plants or even dotted sporadically throughout your beds.
- Fertilize when needed with a balanced fertilizer to ensure your plants get enough nutrients for healthy growth.
- Water the marigolds regularly and deadhead them to encourage more blooms.
- Enjoy new plants the following year if you let the marigolds go to seed! If you don’t want an abundance of marigolds in the spring, try trimming the spent blooms before late fall.
Marigolds: incredible annuals
Marigolds are a great addition to any vegetable garden. Not only do they look beautiful, but they also provide protection from pests and attract beneficial insects. So next time you head to the garden center, make sure to pick up some marigold seeds or plants for your vegetable patch!
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