Quickly learn how to grow crackerjack marigolds, a stunning annual flower that attracts bees and butterflies and keeps deer and slugs away from your vegetables!
How to Grow Crackerjack MARIGOLDS
Marigolds are just as they sound, a merry array of shades of yellow, gold and bright orange. In the summer and fall they line the borders of vegetable gardens and rows of tomatoes as protectors of a bounty yet to be harvested.
Marigolds are one of the many flowers that are great companions to vegetable gardens.
They are the easiest flower I’ve ever planted in my vegetable garden. I seriously throw a pack of dollarstore seeds to the wind and had a whole plot of marigolds surrounding my tomato plants!
COMPANION PLANTING WITH MARIGOLDS
Marigolds make a good healthy relationship with basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, kale, potatoes, squash and tomatoes as they help aid in their growth and development.
But do not plant marigolds next to your beans and cabbage.
Marigolds help keep away aphids and can be used anywhere in the garden to deter Mexican bean beetles, squash bungs, tomatoes hornworms and whiteflies.
In the Pacific Northwest, us gardeners often struggle with deer and rabbits in our gardens. Marigolds can be use to protect gardens from deer and rabbits but if they don’t have more suitable foliage they won’t do much good. We use deer fencing to fence off our orchard and vegetable garden to deter these animals.
WHEN TO PLANT MARIGOLDS
For earlier blooms seeds can be started indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date. But honestly, they take off well enough in a healthy vegetable garden bed that I wouldn’t bother!
If it’s not quite after your last frost date yet, make seed bombs!
HOW TO GROW MARIGOLDS
When choosing an area in which to plant your marigolds here are some qualities to look for in the perfect growing area!
- Choose a sunny location
- plant after the last danger of frost
- plant 1/4 in deep, a fingernail is a good reference
- space seeds 2 inches apart
When planting marigold seeds consider the following tips
- plant along borders
- plant along rows of basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, kale, potatoes, squash and tomatoes
- They tolerate heat and poor weather
HOW TO CARE FOR MARIGOLDS
Marigolds bloom from June to the first frost date. Remove faded blooms for a longer display of colour. Thin seedings so the final spacing of the plants is 6-8 inches apart.
SAVING MARIGOLD SEEDS
Allow seed heads to fade and die. Collect seed heads in a brown paper bag then lay them out for a day or so to air dry. Store marigold seeds in paper envelopes so any additional moisture can escape.
Your Common Questions Answered:
How tall do crackerjack marigolds get?
Crackerjack Marigolds are by far the best marigolds to grow because they are tallest! They grow up to 2-3 feet tall.
Are crackerjack marigolds annuals or perennials?
These beautiful tall ball shaped flowers are half-hardy annuals to be planted every spring for bright shades of orange, yellow and primrose.
They will bloom from mid summer to the first frost.
Are crackerjack marigolds edible?
It wasn’t until I had overly spread marigold seeds last summer that I soon realized I was going to need to find all possible uses for these beautiful flowers.
Crackerjacks marigolds are just one of the many edible varieties of annual flowers! Throw the petals in the sunshine to dry or have them dehydrate in a dehydrator and use for tea.
These flowers are in fact a high source of vitamin C and often used as a food dye.
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