The Canny Gardener

how to grow, cook and use plants, plus some philosophy!

summer gold that keeps the nasties away

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Marigolds are annual summer flowers- easy to grow and flowering all summer.  The flowers are cheerful and brighten up any garden, particularly small ones.  The plants need sunshine but will grow in any good, well drained soil.  Here I am growing them in a container.

If planting in the soil in the garden, then remember these points-

  • Sow them directly into the garden once the soil is warm, or start seeds indoors about a month to 6 weeks before the last spring-frost date.
  • The seeds germinate easily, but watch out for damping off if you start them inside.
  • Separate seedlings when they are about 2 inches tall. 


  • Deadheading makes the plants continue blooming profusely through summer.
  • When watering marigolds, allow the soil to dry somewhat between watering, then water well, then repeat the process.
  • Do not water marigolds from overhead. Water at the base of the plant. 
  • It has been long known that marigolds make important companion plants. The scent of the marigold (Tagetes spp.) repels animals and insects.  The underground workings of the marigold will repel nematodes (microscopic worms) and other pests for up to 3 years.


Author: Sumita

Sumita is an architect and artist, enthusiastic about living sustainably. She is passionate in her belief that everything should have more than one use. Sumita founded an environmental design charity, Charushila, which has created kitchen garden projects around the world

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