Marigolds are a favorite, no-fuss annual that can bring the color of sunshine to your garden, as well as butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects. If you full sun and some well-draining soil and you can enjoy bloom from late spring.
The seeds germinate quickly, within just a few days, and bloom in about 8 weeks.Marigolds are a great companion in your vegetable garden and can help protect your veggies from predators and pests.
Plant care and maintenance
Marigolds aren’t too picky about their soil, but will be their best in moderately fertile, well-drained soil. If planted in clay soil or an area that doesn’t drain well, they may not perform as expected.
Planting is done on July and January.
There is need of requirement of 17 essential nutrient for the proper growth of the plant, but in case of marigold, this plant demand quite lesser extent of nutrients. When transplanting, a 5-10-fertilizer can be added, In fact, if fertilizer is applied during the growing phase, it can boost foliage growth at the expense of flower production. Marigolds in containers can benefit from a diluted liquid fertilizer watered in occasionally.
It is best to water marigolds at the base of the plant and not from overhead. Water is basic need of every creature, so the watering interval has to follow 2days once, the over watering will cause the root rot. The indicator point for watering is dryness of top inch of the soil, the plant like moderate wet condition.
To save seeds, allow the flower heads to fade and dry intact on the plant. When fully dried, remove the petals and shake out the seeds. Not all flower heads will produce seeds, but most should. Remember that hybrids will not come true from saved seed.
Diseases and Pests:
Marigold is quite hardy plant, only few disease can be observed in plants. Those are;
Powdery mildew: rainy season of cool and moist environment favor the powdery growth on leaves, where the corresponding lower surface turns to yellow spot. In severe stage the plant shows the mosaic symptom which give great hit on photosynthesis, leads to plant die.
Control measure: assure the bright sunlight and good aeration to the plant, avoid the close spacing. Give the Sulphur based fungicide spray like Pow-Mel (1g of pow-Mel in 1lt of water) to the whole plant.
Bacterial leaf spot: in the initial stage the yellow spot will develop on the upper surface of the leaf later it turn to black color spot known as necrotic spot, in further stages the spot extend to all over the leaf and spread to the other part of the plant that is petiole, stem, fruit at the end the plant shows the death due to the lack of photosynthesis.
Control measure: dispose of the affected leaves in the initial stage is best method of avoiding the spread of disease, or can go for the spray of xylozeb (1g of medicine in 1lt of the water dilute and spray all over leaf)
MARIGOLDS IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN
Growing marigolds in or next to your vegetable garden can prove to be quite beneficial in many ways.
- Attract bees and other pollinators, as well as beneficial insects like ladybugs. T. tenufolia ‘Lemon Gem’ is a great choice to attract beneficial insects.
- Repel unwanted visitors such as whiteflies, cabbageworms and tomato hornworms. French marigolds are said to be the best choice for this.
- Protect your garden from harmful nematodes that live in the soil. Again, French marigolds can be the best choice.
- Guard your veggies by keeping rabbits and deer from nibbling in your garden, since they tend to not like the scent.
KEY WORD: soil, eco-friendly organism, pollinator, growth, drainage, pest, disease, nutrient