Planting marigolds with vegetables

Here in North America, it’s time to think about planting (if you haven’t already), and the Old World Garden Farm suggests a garden pair that makes a lot of sense: basil and tomatoes. They’re tasty together, but basil also repels pests that feast on tomato plants, which makes caring for them easier on you.

As with most “natural” remedies for pest control, a lot of this depends on your environment, so consider it a tool in your arsenal and not a single remedy for all of your tomato-planting woes, but they elaborate:

Basil is well-known as a natural deterrent for everything from tomato hornworms to white flies, aphids and more. When planted near tomatoes – it can help to keep those nasty critters away.

Just think – in just a few steps you can pick the perfect appetizer ingredients right from your garden – now if we could only get the fresh mozzarella cheese to grow there as well! And by the way – it is also a great repellent for mosquitos – so keep a few bunches in water on the table on your back porch or patio to help there as well.


In addition to the basil and tomato tip, they also suggest using pantyhose or nylons to protect baby cabbage or broccoli from cabbage worms, which is a great solution since they’ll still get the moisture and light they need, but the pests won’t get in to eat them before you do, and using toilet paper rolls as a slug and snail-proof collar around baby plants so they can’t get to the stalk and climb up.

They have a few other tricks up their sleeve to to keep pests away and to make that spring planting a little easier if you’re planning on growing some food in your backyard or container garden this year. Hit the link below to see them all.

7 Nifty Garden Tricks to Try This Year! | Old World Garden Farms

Photo by Kate Fries.


One of the great things about gardening is that in some ways your garden can take care of itself. Now I’m not endorsing abandoning your garden chores completely, but there are a few things that you can do to make your work a little easier. One of these things is to select plants for your garden that will help control insect pests.

Certain plants contain properties that either invite beneficial insects or repel harmful insects. Beneficial insects prey on pests that cause damage in the garden. Ladybugs and praying mantis are good examples of beneficial bugs.

Using plants for pest control not only cuts down on your workload, but it also reduces the amount of insecticides that you use in your garden. And fewer insecticides means more good bugs, which in turn means help in controlling bad bugs.

Remember that what works in my garden may not work in yours. Every garden is different with its own microclimate, soil type, and pest control issues. It is important that you experiment to find out what works best for your situation. With this thought in mind, it also helps to choose plants that are native to your area. This way beneficial insects will already know what to look for.

Artemisia – This plant produces a strong antiseptic, although not unpleasant aroma that repels most insects. Planted in drifts it can also deter small animals. My favorite variety is ‘Powis Castle’. I prefer to use this plant in flower borders and not in my vegetable garden because it produces a botanical poison.

Basil -The oils in basil are said to repel thrips, flies, and mosquitoes. I plant basil alongside my tomatoes for larger, tastier tomatoes. However, basil and rue should not be planted together.

Bee Balm – I love this plant because it attracts bees to my garden. It is another plant that you can grow with your tomatoes.

Borage – This plant is a real workhorse in the garden. It repels tomato hornworms and cabbage worms and attracts beneficial bees and wasps. Borage also adds trace elements to the soil. This is an annual but readily comes back each year from seed.

Catnip – I think that this plant repels just about everything, except for cats of course! Use it to keep away flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants, and weevils. I use sachets of dried catnip to deter the annual parade of ants that invade my kitchen. My favorite variety of catnip is ‘Six Hills Giant’ because of its proliferation of sky blue blooms.

Chives – Chives are one of my favorite herbs. Not only do I love the flavor but their grassy foliage and round flower heads also add so much interest to my garden. You can plant chives to repel Japanese beetles and carrot rust flies. It has also been said that chives will help prevent scab when planted among apple trees.

Chrysanthemums – When I do use an insecticide I use one made from chrysanthemums called pyrethrum. This all-natural pesticide can help control things like roaches, ticks, silverfish, lice, fleas, bedbugs, and I like to use it to control ants in certain parts of my garden. In the garden white flowering chrysanthemums are said to drive away Japanese beetles and C. coccineum, commonly known as Painted Daisy, kills root nematodes.

Dahlias – I have a renewed appreciation for these old fashioned favorites. Dahlias repel nematodes and the blooms are great for adding bold splashes of color to flower borders and fresh arrangements.

Dill – I always find a place for this plant in my garden. Dill is best planted with cucumbers and onions. During the cool season I plant it with my lettuce. Dill attracts hoverflies and predatory wasps, and its foliage is used as food by swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Tomato hornworms are also attracted to dill, so if you plant it at a distance, you can help draw these destructive insects away from your tomatoes. Dill repels aphids and spider mites. I like to sprinkle dill leaves on my squash plant to repel squash bugs.

Four O’Clocks – This plant is a favorite food for Japanese beetles. However, because of its poisonous foliage rarely do they get to finish their meal. It is important to note that Four O’Clocks are also poisonous to people and animals, so avoid planting it if you have small children or pets.

Garlic – I could write endlessly about garlic. I love the stuff. In addition to its great taste and health benefits, garlic planted near roses repels aphids. It also deters codling moths, Japanese beetles, root maggots, snails, and carrot root fly.

Hyssop – This is another one of my favorite plants. Hyssop is great for attracting honeybees to the garden.

Lavender – I can’t imagine my garden without lavender. I just love its fresh scent and delicate blue blooms. Lavender is a favorite among many beneficial insects and also repels fleas and moths.

Marigolds – The marigold is probably the most well-known plant for repelling insects. French marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Mexican marigolds are said to offend a host of destructive insects and wild rabbits as well. If you choose marigolds for your garden they must be scented to work as a repellant. And while this plant drives away many bad bugs, it also attracts spider mites and snails.

Nasturtiums – I plant nasturtiums with my tomatoes and cucumbers as a way to fight off wooly aphids, whiteflies, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles. The flowers, especially the yellow blooming varieties, act as a trap for aphids.

Petunias – I plant petunias throughout my garden just because I love them so much. As an added benefit they repel asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, a range of aphids, tomato worms, and a good many other pests.

Sunflowers – I use sunflowers as a way to draw aphids away from my other plants. Ants move their colonies onto sunflowers. The sunflowers are tough enough that they suffer no damage.

Visitors to my garden frequently comment, upon seeing a few marigold plants growing in my vegetable beds, that I must have planted them for pest control.

After all, marigolds are supposed to be one of the workhorses of biological pest control. Plant them and plant pests will be killed or — if they are lucky — merely repelled, right? It’s an appealing concept: sunny plants that thwart pestilence and blight even as they brighten your garden with blossoms.

How marigolds are pest unfriendly

Marigolds’ greatest claim to pest control fame is their effect, documented in numerous studies, on nematodes, which are a kind of worm that in some cases is destructive to plants.

Like other members of the daisy family, marigolds also do their share in feeding nectar to beneficial insects, such as syrphid flies, who prey on aphids and other insects that attack garden plants. Members of the daisy family do not yield nearly as much nectar as flowers of the parsley family — dill, for instance — but daisy family flowers keep the nectar flowing longer.

Other beneficial effects of marigolds are less dramatic or useful. They have been shown to have some slight effect in repelling cabbage worms from cabbage and their kin. And some marigolds, especially a variety called Stinking Roger, repel flies, except that the flies are the kind that bother cows and other domestic animals, not plants.

Read and listen to claims made for marigolds, and you also could press it into service as a fungus killer, an insect killer, even a selective weed killer.

Weigh pros and cons

Hold on a second, however, before you blanket your garden in marigolds. Some of these claims have been blown out of proportion.

Those marigolds that helped repel cabbage worms: They also stole water and nutrients from nearby cabbages. So which is better? Stunted cabbages, or those with some leaves lacy from caterpillar feeding?

Marigolds, especially the Gem varieties, also are a favorite food of slimy slugs and Japanese beetles. As such, they have been used to stop Japanese beetle damage — by attracting the beetles away from other garden plants. Of course, such schemes commonly backfire by attracting more pests to the area than would have been there otherwise.

And now, for some marigold reality

If you really want their pest-controlling benefits, blanket your garden with oodles of marigolds. British studies showed that African marigolds killed weeds such as ground ivy and bindweed, but the marigolds were planted densely and early in the season, then allowed to grow 5 feet tall. Might not any tall, dense growth do the same?

Similarly, marigolds suppress nematodes only when the marigolds are grown as a cover crop, that is, planted thickly and allowed to grow for many weeks.

To sum up, marigolds seem to have little actual benefit in suppressing disease and above ground insect pests, except perhaps to woo certain insects away from other plants. Be wary of such claims as, “I planted marigolds in my bean patch and did not have any beetles to speak of, while my neighbor’s bean plants were devoured by Mexican bean beetles.” Was this gardener growing the same bean variety as the neighbor? Were soil conditions the same? Did he or she perhaps forget about the insecticide also applied? It happens.

Below ground, marigolds do have some benefit — on nematodes, at least. However, you have to plant masses of marigolds to get this benefit and anyway, not every garden has nematode problems.

So why are those marigolds in my vegetable beds? ‘Cause they look pretty.

Marigold Uses in the Garden and on the Table

Marigold balm makes a soothing rub for tired, aching feet. Just put 5 tablespoons of petals into a bowl, covering them with 1 cup of heated (about 120°F) sunflower oil. Let the mixture soak for about 4 hours, then strain the petals through a coarse cloth and store the oil in a jar.

How to Grow Marigolds

In order to have plenty of flowers during the gardening season, I start plants in flats about six to eight weeks before the last spring frost. For dwarf marigolds (which I use in quantity), I prepare four flats about four inches deep, filling them with a mixture of 3 parts garden soil, 1 part sand, 2 parts compost, and 1 part peat moss. I sow the seed thinly and cover the flats with plastic until sprouting occurs.

When the seedlings appear, I place the flats on a sunny windowsill, being careful that they don’t burn or dry out. During cloudy weather, I set the plantings under grow-lights for about six hours a day, and if they become crowded, I transplant a few to a separate container.

Meanwhile, I start the seeds of larger marigolds in flats, too, treating them in the same way as I do the dwarf varieties until the second leaves have grown to a good size. I then transplant the bigger plants into individual paper cups filled with soil mix and give them lots of light. And I water all of my flower seedlings with manure tea or fish emulsion once a week.

About a week before the last spring frost, I prepare the bed for my early snap beans and the first flat of dwarf marigolds. I till the area thoroughly, open a deep furrow, and lay about an inch of rough compost in the bottom. Next, I draw an inch of soil over the compost and plant the bean seeds, spacing them about four inches apart. Every three feet or so, I skip a space in the bean planting and set a dwarf marigold seedling in the furrow instead. The bean seeds are then covered with an inch of soil, and the dirt is firmed around the flowers.

Setting marigold plants—not seeds—in with the beans helps mark the rows and insures that the flowers will bloom in time to protect the emerging bean pods. (The cheery garden helpers have more bug-repelling power when they’re in bloom.)

One week after that first planting—and again the following week—I repeat the procedure until I have all my rows of “marigolded” beans in the ground. About that time, I also set out tomato plants, spacing them approximately three feet apart in the row. In every other gap between the staked vines, I set a tall variety of marigold, with basil, borage, or collards filling the additional space.

As soon as I finish putting in the vegetable garden, I seed marigolds into my ornamental plots. Adding a thin mulch of straw or hay to this seeded bed helps keep moisture in and sprout-eating birds away.


My marigolds brighten the landscape of my South Carolina home throughout the summer and fall, right up to the first frost, and often beyond. (I’ve enjoyed the blooms until Thanksgiving in years when I’ve planted some in a sheltered location and covered them against the chilly nights.)

Finally, I harvest flowers for drying during September and October, leaving the rest of the plants to provide a bit of protection for fall/winter cole crops as theyget their start. The dried petals can be used—just like the fresh ones—for cooking and dyeing, and as colorful additions to potpourris.

Truly, this little flower’s virtues are legion!

Have you planted Marigolds (Tagetes) in your vegetable gardens? They not only have bright yellow, orange, and red colors, they attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, hoverflies, and parasitic mini-wasps.

Marigolds and tomatoes are good garden companions because they like similar growing conditions. French Marigolds repel whiteflies and kill bad nematodes. Those whiteflies drive me crazy in the summer, do you get them where you live?

Marigolds For Vegetable Gardens

Marigolds are perfect garden companions for basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes. They enhance the growth of each one. My favorite ones are the short squatty ones because they do not get too tall and take over my garden.

This flower is native to Mexico and Central America. They are robust, free-branching, almost totally trouble-free plants, growing 6-inches to 6-feet tall. They have flowers from pale yellow to gold and also brownish maroon.

They are finely divided, ferny, almost spindly, and usually strong scented. Annuals will bloom from early summer to frost if you pick or clip off the old flowers. In the desert they bloom best from fall until frost.

They are easy to grow from seeds, although you can pick up some annuals from your local garden shops. The seeds will sprout in just a few days in warm soil, so be ready to watch for them. Don’t you love seeing the first seeds sprout? I sure do! You can also plant them indoors to transplant when the soil is warm enough. This is where I buy seeds: SeedsNow

In general, most seeds planted after the last frost will begin to flower after about 45 days. Most varieties are self-seeding, meaning they will spread year after year. Have you noticed finding a few sprouts here and there? It’s because of self-seeding.

You can plant your Marigold seeds directly outdoors in the spring after the danger of frost has passed in your neighborhood. You can start your seeds indoors in potting soil about eight weeks before the last frost. The seeds will take about four to 15 days to germinate in the soil if the temperatures are between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Moisten the soil you plan to put the seeds in whether it’s inside or outside. Sow the seeds about one inch apart and no deeper than one inch deep. After they sprout and are still small, thin the seedlings. Space them about 10-12 inches apart.

Marigolds require at least six hours each day of full sun once fully grown. Water by hand if the soil is dry around them. If you want to keep the flowers reproducing you need to deadhead them. This means exactly what it says, cut the dead head (dried up flowers) off.

Another awesome tip about these flowers is that they will attract bees. Yay! We need bees to pollinate our vegetable plants, and even our flowers.

Calendula Flowers

Some people think these are Marigolds, they are not. They are called Pot Marigolds and they are edible. But they are often confused with the genus of the Marigold. They are in the same family, but are not interchangeable. They are not botanically related. This flower is used to make medicine and salves for sore muscles and muscle spasms. It’s also used for fevers, pain, and treating poorly healing open wounds.

Your Planting Hardiness Zone

You can put your zip code in this website and see what time you should plant. USDA Hardiness Zone

American/African Marigold

Annual, all zones. Most have double flowers, they range from dwarf Guys and Dolls 12-14 inches tall, Galore, Lady, and Perfection 16-20 inches tall, Trinity Mix and Nugget 10-12 inches high, Sweet Cream has creamy white flowers on 16-inch stems. The climax will grow 2-1/2 to 3 feet tall.

Irish Lace

Annual, all zones. This one forms a mound of bright green, finely divided foliage to 6-inches high and wide. It’s great when used as a border or for edging foliage effect. You will see tiny white flowers which are very attractive.

Copper Canyon Daisy

Shrubbery perennial, Zones 8-10, 12-24. Height 3-6 feet tall and wide. The flowers are finely divided with leaves that are 2-4 inches long. They smell like a blend of marigolds, mint, and lemon. Tends to be short lived, moderate to regular water.

Mexican Marigold/Tarragon

Perennial in Zones 8-10, 12-24 often grown as an annual in all zones. They grow to 3 feet tall and wide. The green leaves have a scent of tarragon and licorice. The yellow flowers are unimpressive being only 1/2 inch wide. Moderate to regular water.

French Marigold

Annual, all zones. These grow from 6 inches to 1-1/2 feet tall. Blossoms may be fully double or single. Excellent for edging are these dwarf varities, like Janie (8 inches), Bonanza (10 inches), and Hero (10-12 inches). Most flowers are 2 inches wide.

Signet Marigold

Annual, all zones. This one is the least grown with 1-inch wide flowers, and single blooms. They typically grow about 10-12 inches tall.

Improve Garden Soil by Linda

Tiffany at Imperfectly Happy Gardening Tips

Final Word

I hope you will try planting Marigolds in your garden this year. Are you excited to get your hands on the earth as soon as it’s warm enough to work the soil? I just planted some seeds and I’m waiting for the first sprouts and then I will plant the seedlings when weather permits. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

My Favorite Things:


Azomite Micronized Bag, 44 lb
FibreDust Coco Coir Block
Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound
Miracle-Gro Nature’s Care Organic Bone Meal, 3 lb.
Espoma VM8 8-Quart Organic Vermiculite

Copyright Images: _8638857_m-2015 Marigolds Tagetes, _12648238_m-2015 Vegetable Garden, _211678182_m-2015Marigold Seedlings

Companion planting

About companion planting

Creating plant communities for mutual benefit is an old gardening tradition. Companion planting isn’t just about pest control. By combining plants carefully, plants can help each other in terms of providing nutrients in the soil, offering protection from wind or sun and also, by attracting beneficial pests or acting as a decoy for harmful ones.

Plant combinations

  • Grow French marigolds among tomatoes. Marigolds emit a strong odour that will repel greenfly and blackfly.
  • Grow sage with carrots or plants in the cabbage family to ward off pests. Both have strong scents that drive away each other’s pests.
  • Plant nasturtium with cabbages – they’re a magnet for caterpillars that will then leave the cabbages alone.
  • Garlic planted among roses will ward off aphids.
  • Plant carrots and leeks together on the allotment or vegetable patch to protect against a number of pests. Leeks repel carrot fly and carrots repel onion fly and leek moth.

Make sure companion plants are planted at the same time as your edible crops to prevent pests from getting a foothold.

Ten plants to try

  • Asparagus – prevents microscopic nematodes from attacking the roots of tomatoes
  • Chervil – keeps aphids off lettuce
  • Chives – onion scent wards off aphids from chrysanthemums, sunflowers and tomatoes
  • Coriander – helps to repel aphids
  • Dill – attracts aphid eating beneficial insects likes hoverflies and predatory wasps
  • Garlic – deters aphids and is particularly good planted with roses
  • Tansy – strongly scented plant deters ants
  • Plants in the pea family – lupins, peas, beans and sweet peas benefit the soil by taking nitrogen from the air and storing it in their roots
  • Yarrow – this boosts vigour in other plants and accumulates phosphorous, calcium and silica, which can benefit homemade compost when plants are added to the heap. It attracts many beneficial creatures such as hoverflies and ladybirds

When it comes to adding an explosion of color to the landscape, its hard to beat growing marigolds.

From giant blooming “puff-ball” styles to dainty miniatures, and everything in between, there are well over 50 varieties of marigolds available.

And with their high tolerance to both sunlight, drought and heat, it’s easy to see why they have long been a go-to choice when planting flowerbeds, containers, hanging baskets and more.

Marigolds can add more than just beauty to your garden and landscape.

But beyond their bright blooms, marigolds have some pretty amazing additional benefits when grown in or near vegetable gardens.

Benefits that can help defend against pests and disease, and lead to a more productive harvest.

The Many Benefits of Growing Marigolds In The Garden

The Ease Of Planting Marigolds

Heading up the list of benefits is the ease with which marigolds can be planted.

Marigold seeds are easy to save, and easy to plant.

Although marigolds can be grown and planted as transplants, there is simply little need to do so.

Marigolds seeds are among the easiest to plant, and the fastest to germinate.

In fact, once the soil has warmed, they can sprout in as little as 3 days. And within 6 to 8 weeks, be thriving and blooming in full color.

Adding to their allure, marigolds will grow in almost all soil conditions. To plant, simply sow seed 1/8 deep. Cover lightly with soil, water in, and you are all set.

French marigolds growing in the garden.

Among the various varieties to grow, Giant Crackerjack Marigolds and French Marigolds are two of the top favorites.

Attracting Pollinators

Marigolds bright blooms are wonderful for attracting some of natures best pollinators.

And attracting pollinators to the garden means a better chance for more fruit and vegetables.

Marigold blooms attract a whole host of beneficial insects to the garden and landscape.

Honey bees, butterflies, moths and wasps are all attracted to marigolds. And all work their magic with vegetable crops as well.

Battling Nematodes

Nematodes can be quite the destructive in the vegetable garden. And marigolds are a great first line of defense against these unwanted pests.

These soil borne enemies feed on the roots of tomato, pepper and various other vegetable plants.

Nematodes feed on the roots of vegetable plants, causing serious damage to crops.

As they feed, they slowly drain and deplete energy from the plant. In the process, the roots decay, and the plant weakens and ultimately dies.

But the roots of marigolds produce a chemical that is toxic to nematodes. And when planted near or in the vegetable garden, can protect plants from these devastating pest.

Pest Repellent / Deterrent

Beyond their known abilities to attack nematodes, marigolds have long been thought by many gardeners to be a natural repellent against all kinds of additional pests.

Marigold are thought by many to help deter tomato hornworms.

Marigolds pungent scent is said to help deter everything from tomato hornworms, squash bugs and cabbage worms, to rabbits, deer and squirrels from feasting in the garden.

Just all the more reason to plant a few of these beautiful annuals in your garden this year!

This Is My Garden

This Is My Garden is a garden website created by gardeners, publishing two articles every week, 52 weeks a year. This article may contain affiliate links.

ToadStool Aquaponics

Why do I plant marigolds in my vegetable garden?

Marigolds are easy to grow and they help keep the away aphids. “The relationship between plants and insects is known as ‘companion planting.’ it’s by far the safest, natural way to garden organically.”

SHERIDAN NURSERIES GARDEN TIP gives you tips on Plants That Naturally Repel Insects:There are many beneficial herbs that keep insects away.

Ø Peppermint repels ants, white cabbage moths, aphids, and flea beetles.

Ø Garlic discourages aphids, fleas, Japanese beetles, and spider mites.

Ø Perennial Chives repel aphids and spider mites.

o Chives are often planted among roses to keep aphids away and to resist the disease, Blackspot.

Ø Basil drives away flies and mosquitoes.

Ø Borage deters that monster of vegetable garden insects, the tomato hornworm.

Ø Rosemary and Sage repel cabbage moths, bean beetles, and carrot flies.

Ø Annual Marigolds can be used anywhere to deter Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies. They are also known to repel harmful root knot nematodes (soil dwelling microscopic white worms) that attack tomatoes, potatoes, roses, and strawberries. The root of the Marigold produces a chemical that kills nematodes as they enter the soil. If a whole area is infested, at the end of the season, turn the Marigolds under so the roots will decay in the soil. You can safely plant there again the following spring.

Ø Nasturtium is another annual, in this case a trailing vine, that keeps away Colorado potato bugs, squash bugs, and whiteflies.

Ø The perennial, Artemisia or Wormwood, deters slugs that are so devastating to foliage.

Ø Radishes can be planted to discourage cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and stink bugs.

Attracting Good Insects To Your Garden:

Plant certain vegetables, herbs, or flowers in your garden to attract predatory insects that will feed on the harmful, undesirable ones.

Perennial Yarrow…attracts ladybugs that consume masses of aphids. The lacewing that feeds on aphids, mealy bugs, mites, and scale needs lots of pollen from flowers and evergreens for shelter. Wasps and bees are also beneficial to the garden. Even the prehistoric-looking preying mantis is a friend, so don’t discourage it from visiting. When you create a natural balance in your garden you’ll discover how much better everything grows and you won’t need to worry about damaging the environment.they also suggestIdeal Planting Companions For Vegetables:The following is a list of vegetables and their ideal planting companions, plus combinations to avoid:

  • Beans-like celery and cucumbers but dislike onions and fennel.
  • Beets are compatible with bush beans, lettuce, onions, kohlrabi, and most members of the cabbage family. Keep pole beans and mustard away from them.
  • Cabbage, celery, dill, onions, and potatoes are good companion plants. Dislikes include strawberries, tomatoes, and pole beans.
  • Carrots, lettuce, radish, onions, and tomatoes are friends. Dill isn’t, so plant it at the other end of the garden.
  • Corn prefers to be near pumpkins, peas, beans, cucumbers, and potatoes. Keep tomatoes away.
  • Cucumbers like sweet corn, peas, radishes, beans, and sunflowers. Dislikes include aromatic herbs and potatoes.
  • Lettuce grows especially well with onions. They are also compatible with strawberries, carrots, radishes, and cucumbers.
  • Onions can be planted near lettuce, beetroot, strawberries, and tomatoes but keep well away from peas and beans.
  • Peas, carrots, cucumbers, sweet corn, turnips, radishes, beans, potatoes, and aromatic herbs are good companions. Keep peas away from onions, garlic, leek, and shallots.
  • Radish grows well with beetroot, carrots, spinach, parsnip, cucumbers, and beans. Avoid planting near cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or turnips.
  • Squash can be planted with cucumbers and corn.
  • Tomatoes, carrots, onions, and parsley are good companion plants. Basil improves growth and flavour. Keep cabbage and cauliflower away from them.

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.

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 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.

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