Marigolds make great companions to other plants in your garden. Just ask any farmer or gardener and they will tell you to plant marigolds to keep those pesky rabbits and annoying insects out of your prized vegetables. The pests hate the smell. Nematodes (microscopic worms) and other organisms run from the marigold’s roots underground, and they will stay away for up to three years.
No annual is easier to grow than marigolds. They are a cheerful plant that is hardy and will typically grow anywhere, but like well-drained soil the best. They will bloom all season long right up to the first snowfall in some cases. Marigolds are generally, yellow, orange and red, and are a perfect tribute to your fall garden.
According to Herbalists at MDidea Extracts, “The marigold or Calendula flower was well-known to the old herbalists as a garden flower that also could be used for culinary or healing practices. It has been cultivated in the kitchen garden for the flowers, which are dried for broth, and said to comfort the heart and spirits.”
During the American Civil War, field doctors used the flowers of the marigold to accelerate healing in open wounds, promote blood clotting, cleanse the tissue, and prevent infection. The practice of using marigolds to heal soldiers continued until World War I.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac shares some “Wit & Wisdom” about marigolds in its 2012 edition by telling how, in the late 1960s, Burpee president David Burpee launched an energetic campaign to have marigolds named the national flower, but in the end, roses won out. In addition, they explain that for years, farmers have included the open-pollinated African marigold ‘Crackerjack’ in chicken feed to make egg yolks a darker yellow.
In short, Victor Hugo is correct when he states “Nature, like a kind and smiling mother, lends herself to our dreams and cherishes our fancies.” For the marigold smiles at us with her beautiful buds of sunshine, protects our dreams of good food and health, and can adorn any patio with pure fancy.
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Marigolds: how to Plant, Care, and Grow Marigolds. (2012). Retrieved from Old Farmer’s Almanac: http://www.almanac.com/plant/marigolds
What is Marigold or Calendula extract? (2010, Dec. 1). Retrieved from MDidea Extracts Professional: http://www.mdidea.com/products/herbextract/marigold/data06.html
Why Plant Marigolds in your Vegetable Garden? (2007, Dec 7). Retrieved from ToadStool Aquaponics: http://toadstoolponds.wordpress.com/2007/12/07/why-plant-marigolds-in-your-vegetable-garden/
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