Companion planting with marigolds

Person Author: Lajos Szabo Calender August 16, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

Companion planting means lots of different things to different people. Wether one plants flowers in order to attract pollinators or just quick sprouting radish to mark the row, all can be called companion planting. If you plant two or more different species of plants together so one will help an other in growth or in protection from pests is also companion planting. There are hundreds of different ways and techniques what flower to plant with what vegetable and which vegetables grow best together. The most common is to attract bees and other useful insects to your plot is to plant flowers with your vegetables.

So called traditional gardens have a herb garden, flower bed and the vegetable beds all separately planted, but for best results and maximum benefits it is the best to mix all of your favourites together. Change your planting habits and put some flowers between the veg rows, or some herbs in the border of the raised vegetable beds.

My all time favourite flower to use as a companion plant with literally any vegetable is pot marigold (Calendula officinalis). Did you know that he orange petals are edible and the name ‘pot marigold’ comes from the usage of the petals in broth. Just chuck them in your stew for some extra colour and flavour. If you use lots and lots of it in your stock it will give a mild winter squash flavour to it. Truly delicious. Growing pot marigold is very easy and they self seed every year if you leave the flowers on to finish their job to produce seeds.

The Calendula attracts pollinators (I always plant lots of them around my greenhouse) and beneficial insects like hoverflies, which needs the nectar to produce healthy eggs and then the larvae feed on the aphids. And french marigolds reported to repel the aphids so if you use these two in companion with your vegetables, the aphids will have a hard time to get to your precious produce. Be careful though as slugs just love french marigolds. Why not try to have a patch of Calendula at one end of the vegetable garden and a patch of french ones at the other end; just an idea… Do you plant marigolds around your vegetables?

 

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