Companion planting is all about planting flowers, shrubs, fruits or vegetables that help one another. In the vegetable garden, there are a number of vegetables that grow better together. For instance, cucumbers grow well with tomatoes, beans and peas. Did you know that adding flowers to your vegetable garden can also be beneficial?
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, but why?
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.
Marigolds also produce a strong scent which helps repel cabbageworms. This helps protect cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts.
How Should I add Them To My 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 marigolds.
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 marigolds alongside your garden bed.
The best way to take advantage of repelling nematodes is to grow the marigolds 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.
What Else Can I Use Marigolds 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!