David Wall, Mount Pleasant Master Gardener
French marigolds (Tagetes Patula) are great plants to grow in your garden. It looks good, smells good, and is perfect as a companion plant for vegetables. It seems that it is number one as a flower to plant in the vegetable garden. Many people don’t even consider planting flowers in their vegetable gardens, but French marigolds should be the first of several exceptions.
Keep in mind that this discussion is about French marigolds. Not African marigolds.
First, marigolds are easy to grow. You can start with seeds or buy them in groups of six from your local garden center. After planting, it can grow in any kind of soil as long as it receives sunlight and water. If you sow the seeds this year, they will sprout next year.Marigold petals during the growing season are used as a variety of ingredients.
Marigold roots release chemicals that are nematicides. The final verdict is still out on whether nematicides actually kill the harmful nematodes or try to escape them. Either way, the results are good. Marigolds are thought to be useful companion plants, but a definitive answer on this seems years away. Varieties such as Tangerine, Petit Gold, Petit Harmony, Goldie and Nema Gold are considered more effective. Plant marigolds early, as nematicides take time to work.
Marigolds attract bees and other pollinators and flower for a long period of time. But that’s not all. They attract predatory insects that feed on aphids and other pests found in the garden.
These are just a few of the many reasons why you should consider planting marigolds as companion plants in your garden.