MArigold and its characteristics
Marigolds are a favorite, no-fuss annual that can bring the color of sunshine to your garden, as well as butterflies, bees, ladybugs, and other beneficial insects. Give them full sun and some well-draining soil and watch them bloom from late spring until fall.
Marigold seeds germinate quickly, within just a few days, and bloom in about 8 weeks. This quick sense of satisfaction makes them a great first-time gardening project for kids and garden newbies. Not to mention, marigolds are a great companion in your vegetable garden and can help protect your veggies from predators and pests.
When to plant:
Taller African varieties (Tagetes erecta) should be planted in early spring after all danger of frost has passed. Starting these taller varieties early in the season will allow them more time to grow and mature. French and Signet types (T. patula and T. tenuifolia) can be planted any time from spring through mid-summer.
Where to plant:
Most marigolds prefer to be located in an area with full sun but will tolerate some shade. During times of extreme heat, some afternoon shade is beneficial. T. erecta varieties should be planted in an area protected from strong winds and damaging rainfall. These taller varieties may also require some light staking for support.
How to plant:
Marigolds germinate quickly, sprouting within a few days and blooming in about 8 weeks, making them easy to grow from seed. Sow seeds directly outside after all danger of frost has passed and the soil has begun to warm up. Sow seeds 1 inch apart and water thoroughly after planting. After the seeds sprout, they should be thinned to the following guidelines: French or Signet varieties 8 to 10 inches apart, and African varieties 10 to 12 inches apart. . Seeds can be started earlier indoors, but with their fast germination time, this really isn’t necessary. Seedlings can be transplanted when 2 inches tall.
When transplanting marigolds purchased at a nursery, dig and loosen the soil about 6 inches down, with the final planting hole just slightly larger than the rootball. Backfill with soil and press firmly into place. Water thoroughly. Adding a 1 to 2-inch layer of mulch between the plants will help keep the soil moist and discourage weeds.
Marigolds grown in containers can become overcrowded, so be sure to space them accordingly.