Garden Guides, Common Pests for Marigold Flowers

Common Pests for Marigold Flowers

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By: Isabel Prontes

21 September, 2017

Marigolds are bright and attractive flowers that are highly popular in home gardens. They are known scientifically as Tagetes, and are a genus that is comprised of 51 different species. Marigolds originate in the southwestern United States. Marigolds tend to be yellow, orange, golden and white in color. The foliage of marigolds has a distinct and musky scent that is believed to repel many pests. Because of this, marigolds are more resistant to pests than other flowers, but there are some common pests that occasionally bother marigolds.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are known scientifically as Popillia japonica. They originate in Japan, as their name indicates. They are a major pest of approximately 200 different plants. Japanese beetles inflict damage upon marigolds by skeletonizing its leaves, which means that they feed on the leaf material that is situated between its veins. They tend to seek marigolds when they cannot find any roses. Control Japanese beetles by picking them off of the marigolds and then dropping them into a bucket filled with soapy water. They then should be thrown into the garbage. In cases of bad infestations, use insecticide.

Aphids

Aphids, also known as plant lice and greenflies, are common marigold pests. They are tiny insects that are part of the Aphidoidea superfamily. Aphids can cause a lot of damage to marigolds, including stunted growth, mottled leaves, lowered rates of growth and curled foliage. With infestation by aphids, marigolds will have sticky secretions over their newer buds and leaves. The best way to eliminate aphids is, in the nighttime, using a chemical called rotenone.

Leafhoppers

Leafhoppers are plants that consume insects. They are part of the Cicadellidae family. They are frequently referred to simply as «hoppers.» Some common signs of infestation by leafhoppers are the leaves becoming disfigured and discolored in appearance. Marigolds can be defended against troublesome leafhoppers by laying out a garden fleece (white polyspun) over the flowers towards the beginning of the spring. This action will stop leafhoppers from gaining any access to the marigolds.

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Marigolds As a Pest Control

By: Kimberly Sharpe

21 September, 2017

Marigolds grow approximately 6 inches tall in a mounded shape. They are considered a tender annual with a strong susceptibility to cold. Flowers appear in yellow, red, orange, maroon and cream depending on the variety. The foliage is fine and feather-like in appearance. Marigolds require very little care once planted. They have been used in the garden as a successful pest repellent for centuries.

Marigold Smell

The smell of the marigold flower is quite pungent. It is believed that the strong smell often confuses flying insects, which aids in repelling pests. Marigolds are commonly planted beneath tomato plants and bell peppers to repel white flies. The smell also seems to repel carrot flies, which often attack garden carrots.

Beans, Cucumbers and Marigolds

Marigolds are often planted between the rows of a variety of beans to ward off beetles and spider mites. Planted at the base of trellised cucumbers, marigolds protects them from numerous pest infestations.

Mexican Marigolds

Mexican marigolds are believed to have an even stronger and more pungent smell than other marigold varieties. It is a common practice to ring the entire garden in Mexican marigolds to help drive off foraging rabbits who do not like the smell.

Marigolds and Nematodes

Nematodes are unsegmented roundworms that readily consume the roots of vegetables and plants. Marigold roots release a substance called alpha-terthienyl. This chemical damages and repels nematodes. The University of Florida IFAS Extension suggests spacing marigolds every 7 inches for nematode control. Marigolds must be planted before the vegetable crops to have an effect. It is suggested that marigolds be planted two months before the vegetable crops to offer adequate nematode control.

Hybrids and Smell

Many marigold hybrids have been cultivated without the smell. These hybrids offer no pest-repellent abilities and should be avoided. They were designed because many gardeners have found the smell of marigolds offensive.

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Marigolds As Pest Prevention

Marigolds add bright color to the vegetable garden.

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Marigolds (Tangetes spp.), classic bedding annuals, thrive in full sun in fertile, well-draining soil. The practice of interplanting marigolds with vegetables to deter insect pests may be standard for many gardeners, but scientific evidence supporting the practice is lacking. Although it is true marigolds deter nematodes in the soil, whether they deter flying insects is not proven. They may provide protection from insect damage in other ways.

Nematodes

African marigolds (Tagetes erecta) and French marigolds (Tagetes patula) release a toxin that kills nematodes, microscopic roundworms that live in the soil and damage the roots of plants. But the protection comes when the marigolds are tilled into the soil after blooming. Simply planting them near vegetables won’t do much. Growing marigolds during the summer and tilling them into the soil in the fall may offer protection against nematodes the following season.

Attracting Beneficial Insects

While marigolds may not deter insect pests, they are thought to attract a host of beneficial insects that prey on damaging insects. They are known to attract lacewings, lady beetles and parasitic wasps, all of which offer protection against the damaging effects of insect pests by eating the eggs, larvae or adult insects.

Masking the Scent of Vegetables

Marigolds are highly fragrant and release a strong scent that may mask the scent of vegetable plants. Growing marigolds in wide borders or in wide rows around vegetable plants is thought to confuse insect pests and protect the crops from damage. Proponents of companion planting to control insect pests recommend planting marigolds and other strongly scented herbs around the garden, in alternating rows or in the same row as vegetables to mask the natural scent of vegetables, as many insects rely on scent to find food.

Pot Marigold

Pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) is not a true marigold, but produces single-petaled yellow and orange flowers that are similar to the marigold flower. According to North Dakota State University Master Gardener Program, pot marigolds deter beetles, tomato worms and other garden pests. Planting pot marigolds in or near the garden may offer protection against insect pests.

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Keep Pests Away From Your Garden with Marigolds

Keep Pests Away From Your Garden with Marigolds

Gardening is a wonderful hobby, but keeping pests away from your tomato plants can be a nightmare! If you want to enjoy restaurant-quality vegetables, the bugs need to find a new home. So, how do you get rid of these pests?

See also:  The most effective remedy for lice and nits

There are a few solutions to this problem. One of the best things you can do is contact a professional exterminator for a physical inspection of your yard, flower beds, and vegetable gardens. A one-time treatment will probably be necessary, but continual inspection and treatment is the best way to continually prevent pests.

There is another treatment option that can boost prevention efforts, and it’s gaining in popularity: marigolds!

Why are marigolds important for garden pest control?

Marigolds are a great solution for pesticide-free garden protection. They produce a specific scent called limonene, which has been shown to repel the following insects:

  • Ants
  • Slugs
  • Nematodes
  • Tomato hornworms
  • Spider mites
  • Whiteflies
  • And other garden pests!

Limonene is a component in citrus peels, which is why citrus peels have become a common DIY solution for pests.

Marigolds can attract pollinators.

Marigolds can also help attract bumblebees, important pollinators that can help your garden thrive! Bees prefer single bloom marigolds, rather than the double bloom marigolds.

If you’d prefer to avoid insecticides and other chemicals, buy your marigold seeds from a nursery or organic garden center. Unless they’re specifically labeled as organic, there’s a good chance they have been treated with insecticides, which are bad for your tomatoes and your bees.

Marigolds have other benefits, too!

These flowers have been used in cultures all over the world for centuries, and have a long history of benefits and positive attributes. Other benefits of marigold include:

  • Marigolds can actually serve as a kind of trap for Japanese beetles. If you place them on the perimeter of your garden, collect the beetles for a day or so. Shake out your flowers into a bag, and get rid of those beetles!
  • Marigolds are known for a strong scent, which most humans find pleasant. Pests and even some predators do not!
  • Marigolds also make great companions for other plants, like potatoes, bush beans, broccoli, eggplant, kale, and squash. In addition to French Marigold, Mexican Marigold can be very helpful too.
  • Marigolds offer very low-maintenance and can survive frost and droughts. They will grow and flourish for several seasons.
  • Marigolds are edible! Try them in soups, stews, rice, or other dishes to add a subtle flavor.

Planting marigolds in your flower beds and vegetable gardens can help to get rid of pests, and they also add beauty and color. If you’re looking for a great DIY solution to support your other pest control treatments, consider planting marigolds this season!

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Companion planting

Combining your plants in the right way can be good for their health and growth, as well as from an aesthetic point of view. This guide explains which species can work together and what the key benefits are.

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About companion planting

Creating plant communities for mutual benefit is an old gardening tradition. Companion planting isn’t just about pest control. By combining plants carefully, plants can help each other in terms of providing nutrients in the soil, offering protection from wind or sun and also, by attracting beneficial pests or acting as a decoy for harmful ones.

Plant combinations

  • Grow French marigolds among tomatoes. Marigolds emit a strong odour that will repel greenfly and blackfly.
  • Grow sage with carrots or plants in the cabbage family to ward off pests. Both have strong scents that drive away each other’s pests.
  • Plant nasturtium with cabbages — they’re a magnet for caterpillars that will then leave the cabbages alone.
  • Garlic planted among roses will ward off aphids.
  • Plant carrots and leeks together on the allotment or vegetable patch to protect against a number of pests. Leeks repel carrot fly and carrots repel onion fly and leek moth.

Make sure companion plants are planted at the same time as your edible crops to prevent pests from getting a foothold.

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How to Plant Marigolds in Vegetable Gardens

How to Plant Marigolds in Vegetable Gardens

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Ranging from creamy, pale yellow, to bright yellow, orange or variegated reds and oranges, marigolds (Tagetes spp.) provide a pop of color in any vegetable plot. Whether you plant a 6-inch or 3-foot variety, your vegetable garden will look more interesting than without the flowers. Plus, you have the added possible benefits of protecting your veggies from certain pests and attracting valuable insects. You can grow all types of marigold as annuals or as perennials in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones nine through 11, although the plants will die if temperatures drop to freezing.

Choose either seeds or seedlings for fast-growing marigolds. Place the seedlings directly where you want them to grow or strew seeds by hand over the area where you want them. The seeds will germinate within a few days in warm weather.

Why Plant Marigolds

In addition to the cheery flowers that marigolds bring to your garden, they also attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, hoverflies and parasitic mini-wasps, that prey on garden pests. If you sow the marigolds as a cover crop and plow them under before planting, they will repel harmful nematodes. And there is some evidence that marigolds ward off cabbage worms from cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. But some gardeners say that the slugs and Japanese beetles attracted to marigolds is too large a price to pay to keep cabbage worms at bay.

The Naturalistic Approach

To mimic nature, strew seeds randomly throughout the vegetable garden, in the open spaces in front, in back and in between vegetables. Plant seedlings in the same random, or naturalistic way, in clusters here and there throughout the bed. This method works best with just one color of marigold, which will unify the entire vegetable bed. Use as many marigolds plants or seeds as you need to cover all the empty spaces between your vegetables.

Create a Border

Rows of marigolds around the edges of your vegetable garden present a more formal or orderly feel. Strew the seeds or place the plants in a single row, or create a more lush look with a double or triple row of flowers if you have the space. With this kind of planting, you can choose a random assortment of colors within the same marigold variety or go with a single color.

Planting Tips

Like most vegetables, marigolds require full sun, at least six hours a day. They may need less water than your vegetables, so water them directly only when the soil becomes dry, and let them gather water indirectly from the nearby vegetables. If you plant from seeds, thin the plants when they are 1 to 2 inches tall and leave them 10 to 12 inches apart.

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Marigolds possess a natural repellent against devastating pests

Marigolds possess a natural repellent against devastating pests

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Do you worry about your plants being infested by pests? Try planting marigolds near them. Gardeners have practiced “companion planting” where marigolds are planted around tomato plants for protection against insects. This practice isn’t new, but its effectiveness is now backed by science.

In a recent study, researchers from Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences in the U.K. found that marigolds have a chemical called limonene that naturally repels insects – particularly tomato whiteflies. Whiteflies are small, moth-like insects that feed on plant sap. They cause severe losses to various crops by transmitting plant viruses and encouraging mold growth.

The researchers discovered that limonene emits a strong odor that slows down whiteflies and prevents them from hosting on tomato plants. But unlike most commercial pesticides, the limonene in marigolds does not kill the pest that is targeted. For this reason, using the chemical would not lead to resistance. Better still, the researchers found that it does not affect the quality of the produce.

The researchers explained that limonene can potentially be used indoors and outdoors – either by planting marigolds near tomatoes or by using pods of pure limonene. The former may offer an additional benefit; marigolds can provide nectar for pollinating bees. For the latter, the researchers suggested that it may be possible to develop a product containing pure limonene that can be hung in glasshouses to daze pests that are exposed to the compound. They also found that other non-host plants that whiteflies do not like, aside from marigolds, can repel them.

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“This is exciting because limonene is inexpensive, it’s not harmful and it’s a lot less risky to use than pesticides, particularly when you don’t apply it to the crop and it is only a weak scent in the air,” said Niall Conboy, one of the study’s lead researchers.

The researchers tested the repellent effect of marigolds. They established that marigolds are an effective companion plant to tomatoes to keep whiteflies away. Furthermore, they used a machine that enabled them to assess the gaseous and volatile chemicals released by marigolds. Through this, they identified which chemical the marigolds released. The team published their findings in the journal PLOS One. (Related: Mexican marigold essential oil holds potential as powerful natural herbicide.)

More reasons why you should plant marigolds in your garden

The humble marigold can add color and beauty to your garden. They have daisy- or carnation-like flowerheads that are produced singly or in clusters. They vary in color, depending on the variety: They range from creamy, pale yellow to bright yellow, orange, or variegated reds and oranges.

Another reason why marigolds are a great addition to your garden is that they are low-maintenance plants. They are easy to care for and will continue to grow even in different seasons. They can even withstand droughts and frosts.

How to plant marigolds

All types of marigolds can be grown as annuals or perennials in USDA zones 9 to 11. You can choose seeds or seedlings for fast-growing marigolds.

You can plant marigolds using the naturalistic approach – strew seeds randomly throughout your garden, in open spaces, in the front, back, and between vegetables. The same method applies when planting seedlings. For a more orderly garden, strew the seeds or place the plants in a single row, or even double or triple row to create a more lush look – that is if you have space.

Marigolds need full sun, at least six hours a day. When it comes to watering, marigolds may need less water than the vegetables in your garden. Only water them directly when the soil turns dry, and let them gather water indirectly from nearby plants.

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15 Reasons To Grow Marigolds In The Vegetable Garden

Published: Feb 14, 2020 by Elizabeth Waddington · This post may contain affiliate links.

French Marigolds (Tagetes patula) are an excellent plant to grow.

They look lovely in planters, hanging baskets or ornamental beds or borders. But they can also be an excellent addition to your vegetable garden.

French marigolds should not be confused with another useful plant –Calendula (sometimes referred to as Pot Marigold).

Nor should they be confused with Tagetes erecta (African marigold).

While both of these other plants can also be great additions to your garden, in this article we are taking about French Marigolds.

Many gardeners do not think to plant flowers in their vegetable garden. But creating polycultures of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs can help you to garden organically.

Placing flowers in your vegetable garden will help increase the diversity of plants and wildlife, increase resilience, protect the soil and keep your garden growing strong.

But why choose to grow French marigolds in particular? Why exactly are French marigolds such a great flower to choose? (Their prettiness doesn’t even come into it!)

Here are 15 other reasons to grow these marigolds in your vegetable garden:

1. Marigolds Are Easy To Grow

The first reason that marigolds are such a popular choice is that they are so easy to grow.

Marigolds will grow in a wide range of soil types and conditions. All they really demand is plenty of sunlight. As long as you plant them in areas of full sun, they should be particularly trouble-free plants.

Marigolds can be started from seed around 4-6 weeks before the last frost date in your area and will usually germinate within 1-2 weeks.

If sowing seeds yourself seems like too much work (or you have left it a little late) then you can also consider picking up inexpensive bedding plants from a local garden centre or plant nursery.

Once you have bought marigolds once, you can let some of your plants go to seed, and they should readily self-seed throughout your vegetable garden and pop up the following year as sort of ‘wanted weeds’.

If this more natural and wilder approach does not suit your style, you can also easily collect your own seeds. You can then sow them and plant them where you want to next year.

2. Marigolds Are Edible Plants

You might not realise this, but marigolds are also one of plenty of edible flowers that you could grow amongst your fruits and vegetables. Marigolds are not just a good companion plant – they are an edible crop in their own right.

The petals can be added to a range of salads, as in this excellent example:

The petals of French marigolds can also be added as decoration to cupcakes or other baked goods, and used decoratively in a whole host of other ways in your kitchen.

3. They Produce Chemicals Effective Against Harmful Nematodes

Marigolds are famously excellent as a companion plant. One way in which marigolds are said help their neighbors is by killing nematodes that can cause problems for crops.

What Are Nematodes?

Nematodes are tiny organisms, roundworms, which constitute the phylum Nematoda. The word nematode comes from the Modern Latin ‘nemat’ (thread) (from Greek ‘nema’) and ‘odes’ (like, of the nature of). There are a huge number of different species of these small, thread-like creatures.

Some nematodes cause problems for plants and people. But others are beneficial – involved in some important jobs in the soil and around your garden.

Can Planting Marigolds Really Help With Nematode Problems?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this issue. The subject is not as clear cut as some gardeners believe. Marigolds do produce compounds in their roots that are nematicides.

But it is important to understand that there are a huge range of different nematodes that can become a problem, and home gardeners will usually be unable to determine which ones they have in their soil.

When certain French marigolds are infested with certain nematodes, they kill them off in that particular spot and reduce their numbers. This can bring harmful nematode populations down.

Marigolds may also excrete a chemical which can repel nematodes in the surrounding area (though scientists disagree over whether or not this is the case).

Companion planting with marigolds may help some nearby plants, though the science is currently inconclusive.

Planting marigolds in a given, exact location in your vegetable beds before the vegetables can, however, definitely reduce certain nematodes there and make it less likely that crops immediately following them will be struck.

Which French Marigolds are Most Effective?

Some French marigold cultivars produce higher levels of toxin and are therefore more effective in reducing the number of pest nematodes in soil. ‘Tangerine’, ‘Petite Gold’, ‘Petite Harmony’, ‘Goldie’, and ‘Nemagold’ are said to be particularly effective. They work most effectively when planted closely spaced in a solid block.

Marigolds produce these secretions around 3-4 months after sowing, so must be grown for a length of time in order to effectively reduce the nematode populations.

Including them in a crop rotation could therefore be more effective than simply placing a few between your other plants. Leaving roots in situ at the end of the growing season can help to increase the efficacious effect.

Growing marigolds can help control a nematode population, such as root rot nematodes.

Root knot nematode disease

However, it is important to realise that it will help control them, not get rid of them altogether. Marigolds may help reduce the harmful nematode population, at least short term.

But if you have a severe problem, you may also have to consider choosing and growing resistant varietals, or implementing other biocontrol measures.

4. Marigolds Attract Bees & Other Pollinators

Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding the potential efficacy of marigolds in nematode control, there are still plenty of very good reasons to use them as a companion crop in your vegetable garden.

Marigolds can bloom over quite a long period of time. Their blooms are therefore an excellent resource for bees and pollinators throughout the growing season.

Some marigolds are better than others for certain pollinating insect species – but many can help to draw them into your garden.

For a number of pollinators, single flower types are better than doubles, as it will be easier for them to reach the heart of the flowers. But always try to choose as many different flowers for your garden as possible, to encourage all the different pollinators that live in your area.

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5. Marigolds Attract Predatory Insects

They don’t just draw in those pollinators, they also draw in insects to help you in organic pest control.

Marigolds can help to bring in ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies, parasitic mini-wasps and other predatory insects that will eat aphids and other pests which can damage your crops.

Attracting such beneficial insect species to your garden will help to keep the ecosystem in balance and should make it less likely that any pest problems will get out of control.

6. Marigolds May Be an Effective Trap Crop

Marigolds may also be somewhat effective as a trap crop for certain pest species. A trap crop is a crop that lures pests to them, to keep them away from other, more valuable crops.

For example, slugs love marigolds, so planting a ring of ‘sacrificial’ marigolds around the edges of a bed might help to protect your crops. The slugs will be drawn to the marigolds. And while you will likely lose some plants, you can spot them on the marigolds and collect them up before they become a big problem for other plants in your garden.

7. They May Repel Certain Pests

There are all sorts of claims out there for the pests that marigolds repel when planted in your vegetable garden.

Claims that marigolds can repel deer or rabbits are, unfortunately, completely unfounded. These flowers will not keep either of these animals out of your vegetable garden.

There is, however, some evidence to suggest that marigolds may be at least partially successful in repelling certain pests – such as cabbage moths and Mexican bean beetles. And scientists have determined that marigolds secretion of limonene can help (at least a little) in repelling whiteflies.

8. They Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

Marigolds can also be a great plant choice for attracting butterflies to your garden. Tagetes patula can be particularly successful in drawing in these beautiful creatures.

Note, single flower varieties will be more beneficial for butterflies, as they will be more easily able to access their nectar.

9. Marigolds Can Be Used To Make Natural Yellow Food Colouring

Marigold petals are often used to bulk out saffron, or as a ‘poor mans’ saffron alternative. They can impart a natural yellow colouring to food.

They can be used in soups, stews etc., or to make a natural colored icing for cakes or confectionary.

The petals are sometimes also fed to chickens, to impart a natural rich golden tone to egg yolks.

10. You Can Use Them To Make a Natural Fabric Dye

The intense pigment in the petals can also be used to make a natural dye for fabrics.

Marigolds are wonderful for dyeing natural fabrics like silk, cotton, hemp, wool etc.. They will not stick as successfully to synthetic fabrics.

The vibrant yellow tones that can be derived from marigolds are particularly prized in natural dyeing, because they are easy to extract and do not necessarily require the use of a mordant, like alum, for the color to stick. Learn how to dye a silk scarf at the link below:

11. They Can Yield an Essential Oil, Used in Perfumery

Scented French marigolds are also useful because they can provide a yield of essential oil. The whole plant is used in distillation.

This essential oil is used in a range of ways, including in perfumery. Marigold essential oil is blended with sandalwood oil to produce ‘attar genda’ perfume.

12. Marigolds Can Be Cut For Floral Displays

Marigolds will, of course, add a beautiful pop of colour in your garden. But you can also cut them for floral displays inside your home. See some beautiful examples in the link below:

You can also string marigolds to make beautiful garlands for your home or garden, or for a special event. Such garlands are popular for weddings and other special occasions in India, and are also popular for the Mexican Day of the Dead.

13. They Can Also Be Dried To Create Longer Lasting Arrangements

Marigolds are also a flower that is suitable for drying.

To dry your marigolds, you can use a number of different methods.

The easiest method is simply to hang bunches of the flowers to dry in a warm and low humidity area. The area should have good air circulation and be out of direct sunlight. Then simply leave your marigolds to dry there, undisturbed, for 2-4 weeks.

You can use dried marigolds in a range of decorative ways around your home.

You can also dry and store the petals for making marigold tea. A tea made from marigolds has a mild, rather bland flavour but gives good colour. Marigold petals are therefore often mixed with other botanicals, like mint, for example.

14. Marigolds Are Useful For Soap Making (And Other Cleaning & Beauty Products)

Marigolds can also be a useful plant when it comes to soap making, and the making of other cleaning and beauty products.

15. You Can Chop and Drop Marigolds You Don’t Harvest To Feed the Soil

Finally, you can also chop and drop your marigolds at the end of the growing season to add organic mattr to the growing areas.

There is some evidence to suggest that this may help to reduce nematode issues. It may not kill the nematodes themselves after the living plants are felled. But it is believed that the increase in organic matter will promote populations of beneficial soil life that will help to keep negative nematode numbers down.

How To Incorporate Marigolds in Your Vegetable Garden

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to grow marigolds in the vegetable garden. But how and where exactly should you incorporate them?

There are several different ways to include marigolds in your planting schemes. Which one you opt for will largely depend on your main motivations for growing them.

You can incorporate marigolds:

  • As single companion plants, dotted naturalistically throughout your vegetable beds.
  • In wild profusion in between other plants in polyculture planting schemes.
  • As neater intercropping, between rows of vegetables or fruits.
  • To form borders around the edges of your growing areas.
  • As a cover crop, as a primary crop within your crop rotation.

Which of these options will be the best option for you will depend on why you are primarily growing your marigolds.

However you choose to incorporate your marigolds, you will no doubt find that they are a great addition to your garden.

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About Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. She is a practical,hands-on gardener, with a background in philosophy: (an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University). She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change.

In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton.

She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site.

When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations.

In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. She has created booklets and aided in the design of Food Kits to help gardeners to cool and warm climates to grow their own food, for example. She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies.

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