Gardening

Magic Marigolds

Marigolds are pretty and they smell nice. They are also very easy to grow from seed and will flower continuously if you keep up with dead-heading them. I keep the dead-heads and put them in a dry place, saving them for the following year. When spring rolls around I bring out the dried dead-heads and crumble them over the places I have chosen for growing marigolds (which is everywhere). It helps to rake the dirt a little and then tamp them in. They come up pretty quickly, in a week or so.

Marigold seedlings have a distinct red stem and
a red vein down the cotyledon leaves.

Why Grow Marigolds?

Aside from being pretty and easy to grow, Marigolds are inexpensive, organic pest control. Marigolds distinctive scent wards off bugs like mosquitoes and flies. I often tuck one behind my ear or run my hands and arms through the marigolds before gardening. The scent also confuses bugs that are sniffing around for plants to eat.

They are great flowers for picking because they just keep making more flowers. To get a lot of flowers they prefer at least partial sun. The ones growing in the shade tend to be kind of puny and have less flowers.  The seeds are easy to save and will keep for a few years, but for best germination use them the following year. Marigolds are short enough to grow in with bulbs and look great under sunflowers. They are also small enough to sneak a few in around your vegetables to ward off pest bugs.

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