Calendula Playtime mix 75 seeds

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Calendula seeds Playtime mix is prolific and very pretty hardy annual flower. The flower seeds are easy to germinate and grow. The plants bloom fairly quickly, normally in 2 months. The result of the breeders playing with a number of different crosses, providing a stunning mix of single, semi-double and double blooms in a variety of bright, pastel and buff colour. Ideal for adding interest to borders. Prefers sunny location, can be grown in any soil type. Recommended as a companion plant by many gardeners to grow around tomatoes, peppers to repel black and green flies and other harmful insects.

Calendula is a delightful flower to add to your spring garden this year. It’s relatively easy to grow Calendula from seed, as it requires very little maintenance and is an abundant bloomer once established. Today, let’s talk about how to make this lovely plant at home in your garden.

About Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is also known by the popular names Pot Marigold, English Marigold, Goldins, Jack-On-Horseback, Summer’s Bride, Common Marigold, or Poet’s Marigold. It is a medium-sized herbaceous ornamental shrub. It is moderately sprawling but is non-invasive. It can reach heights of up to 38cm (15 inches). It is celebrated for its bright and cheerful colours, as well as its medicinal and culinary uses.

The leaves and flowers of the calendula plant are not only edible, but the plant itself possesses an amazing scent as well. Naturally, this aromatic herb attracts a variety of beneficial pollinators and has very few pest problems itself. Also noteworthy, the petals of the calendula flower have a slightly peppery taste.

Appearance

In appearance, the calendula flower displays elongated orange or yellow petals with slightly teethed edges, which revolve around an orange, black, or yellow centre. The petals are often bi-coloured, meaning that beige petals can issue from its central core and transition to a bright orange along the tips of the flower. Additionally, some varieties offer multi-layered petals.

Companion Planting

The calendula plant is a wonderful companion plant to tomatoes. It releases a natural chemical known as limonene which repels whiteflies but is harmless to beneficial pollinators like bees. Calendula also repels nematodes, hornworms, corn earworms, rabbits, and flea beetles.

Starting Your Seeds

If you’re starting your calendula seeds early and indoors, try to do so 3 to 4 weeks prior to when the risk of frost will be over for your region.

Winter Sowing Indoors

First, gather your seed starter trays and fill them with seed starter mix. Seed mix is a kind of soil that is specially formulated for seeds. Your seed mix should be loose, fluffy, and have plenty of organic matter in it. This type of mixture helps the seed emerge from the soil and enables the roots to spread easily. Perlite should also be evenly dispersed to encourage good drainage and aeration of the soil. Seed starting soil can usually be found at any garden or hardware supply store.

Next, place 1 calendula seed in each container or cell. These seeds are small, so simply press them gently into the soil. Then sprinkle a thin layer of additional soil over them, so that they are about 12mm (half an inch) deep. Finish by gently watering the whole tray with a watering can.

Last but not least, don’t forget to label your seedlings!

Outdoor Sowing in Spring

If sowing your calendula seeds directly into the ground, make sure the risk of frost is long past for your area. Also, pick a location that gets plenty of sunlight or has at least partial sun.

If planting your calendula directly in the ground, space your plants at least 15 to 20 cm (6 – 8 inches) apart in a prepared garden bed. Always water generously after planting.

Outdoor Sowing in Early Autumn

Calendula is known by some growers to last into the colder months and is often able to survive a mild winter in some locations.

Here in the UK, calendula is considered to be a hardy annual or biennial and thrives well into zone H5. For this reason, some people plant their calendula in late summer or early autumn and let their calendula overwinter for early blooming in the spring.

Seed Maintenance

Continue to water your seeds every day or as needed. The soil should stay moist. Your ambient temperature should be between 20° to 25° degrees C (68°-75° F) during the day.

Sprouts

After about 10 days your little calendula seeds will have sprouted. At this time, you will want to place them under grow lights. By the 18th day, you should have a tray full of happy seedlings, each having a few leaves. Continue to water and care for your seedlings until they can be moved outside.

Transplanting

By day 45, you should have large calendula sprouts that are ready for planting into larger planters or directly into the ground. If you’re transplanting your seedlings into large patio pots, you’ll want to choose the right soil, water them more often, and place them in full sun. During the height of the summer, if it gets too hot out, you can always move your calendula plants to a partially shady location.

Hardening Off Your Plants

Before leaving your calendula seedlings outside for the season, remember to harden them off. Essentially, this means that you’ll want to slowly transition them to the outdoor elements. You can read more about how to harden off your plants here. [Add Link]

Ideal Potting Soil for Calendula

Calendula isn’t fussy. This versatile plant can endure almost any type of soil. Ideally, though, it does prefer its soil to be somewhat loamy.

In a larger pot or wheelbarrow, add the following ingredients:

  • Potting Soil – a growing medium that is formulated for gardens.
  • Compost – adds vital nutrients and organic matter.
  • Peat Moss – this organic matter will help keep the soil moist and pliable.
  • Perlite – these tiny white clumps are made from expanded volcanic glass. Each piece is full of microscopic holes that can hold air and water. It’s an important admixture because it helps keep the soil from becoming too compacted. Perlite also supports balanced drainage and helps improve aeration within the soil, which helps plant roots get enough oxygen.

Growing

Sun Exposure

Calendula enjoys full sun, about 6 to 8 hours per day, but also tolerates light shade just fine.

Watering

Continue to water your calendula bushes regularly to keep the soil moist. Always water at the base of the plant to prevent powdery mildew. Once established, calendula is somewhat drought tolerant.

Mulch

Be sure to mulch around the base of your calendula plant, as this will retain water in the soil and help prevent weeds.

Fertiliser

About every 2 to 3 weeks, you’ll want to feed your calendula plant with a liquid flower fertiliser.

Pruning and Harvesting Your Flowers

After about 8 to 10 weeks, your calendula bush should be flowering. Blooming will continue into autumn and up to the first hard frost. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage new blooms throughout the season. Also, remove terminal shoots to encourage more growth.

Calendula likes the cooler weather of spring and autumn and may stop flowering during the hottest parts of summer.

Conclusion

Flowering herbs make a wonderful addition to your garden and calendula is no exception. Not only does the calendula plant bring beneficial pollinators to your property, but it often helps your other plants grow better. Now that you’ve learnt how to grow calendula from seed, you’re all set for the spring growing season, which is right around the corner.

With their clumping style of growth, calendula flowers easily improve landscaping endeavours. It can be used in decorative patio pots or as an attractive flower border to line sidewalks, driveways, walking paths, and/or decorative garden beds.

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