Marigolds in the vegetable garden, offer us so much as gardeners and homesteaders. Do you know why? Let me share the top 6 reasons you should be planting marigolds in the vegetable garden…if you aren’t already.
Marigolds in the Vegetable Garden – Reason 1, Helping & Attracting Bees
As vegetable gardeners we know the importance of bees to the success of garden…aka pollination. Marigolds not only attract bees but they help the to thrive and survive! BUT if you are planting marigolds in the vegetable garden as part of your bee attracting plan there are a few caveats to be aware of (I’ve learned this the hard way). Bees prefer the single-bloom varieties of marigolds over the double. Secondly I highly recommend only planting seeds or flowers grown in organic conditions; the ones purchased at big-box stores contain insecticides that are bad for bees and your garden.
So before reading any of the other reasons to plant marigolds in the vegetable garden please note that I recommend only organically grown seeds and transplants.
Marigolds in the Vegetable Garden – Reason 2, Protecting Tomatoes
Marigolds and tomatoes are BFFs! The French Marigold is the best choice for tomato protection. Planting French Marigolds near your tomatoes has show to repel nematodes (learn more about nematodes here), slugs, tomato horn worms and other garden pests.
Marigolds in the Vegetable Garden – Reason 3, Companion for Other Vegetables
Marigolds in the vegetable garden is a companion plant to bush beans, potatoes, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, squash, eggplant and kale. Again the French Marigold is the best bet but the Mexican Marigold and be extremely helpful too. The marigolds will help these veggies deter beetles, slugs leaf hoppers, bean beetles and the dreaded horn worms.
The strong scent of marigolds may be the reason they are such amazing helpers in the garden. Their scent masks the scent of your vegetables so garden pests and predators are not attracted there.
It should be noted that they can attract spider mites and in some areas slugs – though I have never seen this personally.
Marigolds in the Vegetable Garden – Reason 4, They Add Color and Beauty
If being tough little pest fighters isn’t enough of a reason to plant marigolds in the vegetable garden, then let them add some gorgeous color and beauty to it. Now I think my veggies are beautiful, don’t get me wrong; but flowers just add a touch of whimsy and shot of knock-out color that can’t be beat.
Marigolds in the Vegetable Garden – Reason 5, Low Maintenance
Another great thing about marigolds in the vegetable garden is that they are pretty low maintenance. As flowers go, they are easy to care for and will continue to grow for several seasons. They are hardy enough to stand up to droughts and frosts.
Marigolds in the Vegetable Garden – Reason 6, Medicinal Calendula
The medicinal herb calendula is in the marigold family. It has wonderful medicinal benefits when made into Calendula Oil or Calendula Salves; like helping skin conditions, rashes, wounds, bed sores, eczema and varicose veins. It can aid in treating itchiness, sores, inflammation and skin softening.
See the difference between French Marigolds and Pot Marigolds (Calendula) here.
So there you have it, 6 reasons to plant marigolds in the vegetable garden. Are you using marigolds in your garden? What has your experience been with them? Leave me a comment and let me know.