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Marigolds aren’t just for decoration in a flowerbed. They also provide use as a bug deterrent for the vegetables and some of the herbs in your garden. And on top of being a pest deterrent, they also can help strengthen other plants in your garden. This makes Marigolds an excellent companion plant for many gardeners. And you get to add some bright color to the garden.
Marigolds are one of the essential plants that I always use in my garden to help out my vegetables that I’m growing. And to deter some pesky bugs away from the vegetables I am growing.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is where you take different plants and plant them near each other in your garden. These plants provide benefits to each other to help them grow better and help keep insects away from the vegetables and herbs.
Using companion planting not only helps keep unwanted insects off your vegetables and herbs. It also helps attract beneficial insects and pollinators. And it can also help enhance your growing vegetables.
Even if you have a container garden you can use Marigolds as a companion plant.
Related Reading: Top Tips for Growing Tomatoes in Containers
What Plants Should You Plant With Marigolds?
- Collard Greens
- Peach Trees
What Insects Do Marigolds Keep Away From Your Garden Vegetables And Herbs?
- Squash Bugs
- Japanese Beetles
- Potato Beetles
- Corn Earworms
- Cucumber Beetles
- Flea Beetles
There’s even been a study done to show how effective Marigolds can be for tomatoes plants at keeping the bugs off the tomato plant.
What Not To Plant Marigolds With:
Why beans? While Marigolds can help keep bugs away from your beans like Japanese Beetles. Marigolds can stunt the growth of your bean plants.
So it is best to try to use other ways to keep the Japanese Beetles off your beans.
How Do Marigolds Help Repel Insects
It’s not so much that Marigolds repel insects, think of Marigolds more as a trap.
Marigolds are fragrant flowers that attract insects. So instead of that pesky insect-eating away at your garden vegetables, they go for the Marigold instead.
Related Reading: Indoor Plants That Keep Bugs Away
How To Plant Marigolds In Your Garden
Many gardeners like to plant Marigolds as a border plant around the garden plants they are using as companion plants with. This can help keep the bugs at the perimeter of your vegetable garden since they are attracted to the Marigolds.
You want to plant your Marigolds according to their height. Some Marigolds can grow as high as 4 feet, so these will of course be bigger in width. Shorter Marigold plants should be planted around 8 to 10 inches apart. The taller Marigolds should be planted 10 to 12 inches apart.
For sunlight, you will want to make sure that you have them in a part of the garden that gets at least 6 hours of sun daily. One mistake gardeners can make is making a full border of marigolds around taller plants like tomatoes and one side of the Marigold border won’t get much sunlight.
When you first plant your Marigolds it’s important to keep their soil moist so they can develop their root systems and grow. Once the root system develops you can cut back on the watering. Once Marigolds grow and mature they become more drought-resistant and won’t require as much attention to watering needs.
To keep your Marigolds growing good it’s is good to remove the flowering parts once they have become spent. One trick to do is to plant those in the ground and many times a new Marigold will grow. You can also let the blooms dry out on the stem and then harvest the seeds from them to keep for the following year.
Using Marigolds As A Trap Crop
Another aspect of companion planning is planting one crop as a trap crop. Essentially this is making the crop one to sacrifice so another crop has a better chance of survival against a pest.
One popular way Marigolds are used is as a trap crop for slugs. Slugs are attracted to marigolds and will eat them. You can plant marigolds as a border around other crops such as lettuce that slugs love to also eat. This way they get to the marigolds first and leave your other crop alone.