When you plant marigolds with vegetables, you get more than a splash of beauty in your garden. Plant them in between your vegetables and crops in your vegetable garden, and you will be surprised at the many benefits they offer! They provide color all over the garden and can be planted amongst vegetables and flowers alike!
What the benefits of this amazing Marigold plant are, other than the obvious beauty they add to your veggie patch and to your garden will certainly impress you! Marigolds are the perfect companions to your vegetables but are so versatile that they can be used in many different exciting ways!
- Marigolds repel bugs.
- Rabbits and moles do not like marigolds!
- Marigolds attract beneficial insects to your garden.
- Predatory insects are attracted too!
- Marigold plants will not crowd your veggies.
- Marigolds are nematode fighters.
- The marigold plant is edible.
- They are extremely easy to grow.
- Marigolds may be an effective crop trap.
Now that we have listed some reasons to plant and grow marigolds (another name for the marigold is calendula) in your garden with your vegetables let’s have a look at 9 exciting benefits you can expect from planting marigolds with your vegetables!
1. Marigolds Repel Bugs
The first reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is to repel unwanted bugs! Research has shown that many insects locate their food by smell. The strong aroma of marigolds helps to mask the smell of your veggies. This effectively disrupts the insect’s ability to home in on your vegetables! This is particularly true regarding protecting cabbage and kale from the cabbage moth that lays eggs on the cabbage leaves. The eggs hatch into cabbage worms that can decimate your crop. Mosquitoes and gnats are also repelled by marigolds, so plant them everywhere in your garden for effective pest control!
2. Rabbits And Moles Do Not Like Marigolds.
The second reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is to repel vegetable eating mammals. The scent of the marigold has been known to repel rabbits, although certain types of marigolds such as calendula grown in pots can be fed to rabbits. Marsh marigolds are toxic to rabbits, and French marigolds can cause irritation, so rabbits should avoid your veggie garden if marigolds are planted there! Moles do not like the taste of marigold roots and thus avoid them. Hence, if the marigolds are in your vegetable garden, they are avoided as well.
3. Marigolds Attract Beneficial Insects To Your Garden.
The third reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is to attract beneficial insects to your garden. The marigold flowers attract bees and other pollinators into the garden, and as marigolds bloom for quite a long time, their blooms provide pollen throughout the growing season. These pollinators then pollinate the marigold flowers as well as the vegetable flowers, increasing your harvest! Butterflies are attracted by marigolds and add extra beauty to your garden! Check which marigolds work best in your garden and environment.
4. Predatory Insects Are Attracted Too!
The fourth reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is that beneficial predatory insects are also attracted by them! Marigolds assist in organic pest control and help to keep pests under control! Ladybugs, hoverflies, and mini-wasps prey on garden pests like aphids, which can damage your crops, so plant a variety of colorful marigolds to attract these beneficial insects to your garden!
5. Marigold Plants Won’t Crowd Your Veggies.
The fifth reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is that marigolds have a shallow root system that does not spread out too wide. They also do not grow very tall or bushy; thus, they do not out-compete your vegetables for space in the garden and take over. Plant marigolds alongside cucumbers, melons, eggplant, squash, potatoes, lettuce, and pumpkins, but keep away from beans and cabbage as they are not good companions. Planting seedlings rather than seeds will give you some control over the plant initially, but once the plant self-seeds, you will have to weed some out eventually.
6. Marigolds Are Nematode Fighters
The sixth reason to plant marigolds with vegetables, and possibly one of the best reasons is, they keep nematodes at bay in the garden. Nematodes are tiny worm type creatures that live in the soil. They are parasitic and feed on the roots of certain plants. Tomatoes are particularly susceptible to devastation by nematodes; hence, tomatoes love marigolds as they help to control the nematodes and improve the health of the tomato plants! French Marigolds (Tagetes patula) are the best species to plant as companions to tomatoes since they provide protection against the widest range of nematodes.
7. The Marigold Plant Is Edible.
The seventh reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is that the flowers are edible! Now that’s a bonus in any gardener’s vegetable patch! Marigolds are an edible crop in their own right and, with their bright colors, are sure to liven up any dish! The marigold petals can be added to a range of salads, used as decoration on cupcakes, and used decoratively in a host of other ways. Petals are often used to imitate saffron as they add a natural yellow coloring to food and are often fed to chickens to impart a natural golden tone to egg yolks. Petals and leaves can be eaten but remove the white or pale green-colored “heels” first since this could give add a bitter taste if not removed.
8. They Are Easy To Grow.
The eighth reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is that they are a very easy plant to grow – if they are planted in areas of full sun, they are generally trouble-free plants. They can be planted in a wide range of soil types too, and only require light watering, making them a very hardy plant. Towards the end of the marigold growing season, allow some of the plants to go to seed. They should readily self-seed throughout your vegetable garden and continue to pop up year after year, spreading throughout your vegetable patch or flower garden. Marigolds are summer annuals that will flower until the first frost! They are very low-maintenance plants and only require a touch of deadheading to ensure full blooms during the next season.
9. Marigolds May Be An Effective Crop Trap.
The ninth reason to plant marigolds with vegetables is that the marigold may be effectively used as a trap crop for certain garden pest species. A trap crop is a plant which is used to lure pest to them, which keeps the pests away from other, more valuable crops.
As an example, slugs love marigolds, so planting them around the edges of a bed with more valuable crops may draw the slugs to the marigolds, thereby keeping them away from the other crops. You should be able to physically see the slugs on the marigold plants and be able to pick them off and get rid of them before they can do any further harm to your crops.
Marigold plants have a very long list of benefits, including being used as essential oils, for scent in perfumes, fabric dye, floral displays – the list is endless!
They are a good medicinal plant and are often used as an antiseptic ointment to dress cuts and open wounds and soothe irritated skin. The marigold flowers can be made into a tea and used to treat many stomach ailments such as acid reflux and ulcers as well as stomach cramps. Used in a drop or liquid form, the marigold or calendula plant can be used to treat bacterial ear infections and decrease pain! What a versatile plant!
In conclusion, marigolds are one of the best companion plants to grow in your vegetable garden. Their variety of colors, shapes, and sizes make them a wonderful addition to your garden and have many uses and benefits other than in the garden. Sprinkle seeds overall empty spaces in your vegetable patch and watch how the wonderful marigold takes over and adds life to your garden!
So, go and plant some marigolds to bring glamour and health to your vegetable garden!