Were you aware that putting marigolds around your tomato plants will not only keep your tomatoes in peak health but can also help you harvest the most tomatoes you’ve ever grown?
Marigolds are among the greatest tomato companion plants. Tomatoes act as a magnet for pollinators and other beneficial insects, as well as a natural repellent for many common pests that could harm or damage your plants.
Known as one of the most beneficial companion plants, marigolds have been around for a long time. The same goes for different kinds of vegetables, such as herbs, and for both annual and perennial flowers.
But maybe the best thing about marigolds is that they can brighten up any room with their vibrant hues and eye-catching designs. There are several ways to incorporate plants into your environment, from flowerbeds and pots to the garden itself.
Marigolds’ allure is further enhanced by the fact that they are one of the simplest annual flowers to grow from seed.
Here are some reasons why you should plant marigolds in your garden this year — and how to do so quickly and easily. The health of your tomato plants and the quality of your harvest will thank you for it!
Planting Marigolds with Your Tomatoes: How & Why
Benefits of Marigolds for Tomatoes
The advantages of growing marigolds alongside your tomatoes are numerous, as you’ll see in the next sections. But, right away, one of the most crucial issues that marigolds may help with in terms of preserving your tomato plants is the nasty nematode.
When it comes to tomato and pepper plants, nematodes are particularly devastating pests. Nematodes feed on plant roots in the soil where they live. They consume energy from the leaves and fruit above them as they move.
The decay of the plant’s root structure is caused by nematodes, which slowly drain the roots of vitality. As this happens, the leaves and fruit above begin to wilt and eventually die out. Marigolds have the potential to halt this slow and steady deterioration of the plants.
The marigold plant’s roots generate and emit a toxic and lethal chemical compound that nematodes cannot resist. In fact, it can annihilate an entire nematode population in a matter of minutes.
Additionally, you’ll be able to save many of the other vegetable plants that tomato and pepper pests feed on in the process.
Attracting Beneficial Insects
A wide variety of beneficial insects can be found in the garden thanks to the pungent foliage and brightly colored flowers of marigolds. Wasps, among other insects, are at the top of the list.
What is the significance of wasps for tomatoes? Incredibly, the paper wasp is a great pollinator of tomato plants, despite its name. There are few insects that can assist manage the tomato hornworms, and parasitic wasps fall into this category.
In a short period of time, tomato hornworms can completely destroy a tomato crop. They’ll not only eat away at your plants’ foliage, but they’ll also pierce the skin of your tomatoes as they grow on the vine.
However, parasitic wasps can assist in the natural control of hornworms. The eggs are first laid on the backs of hornworms, as the name suggests. This causes the hornworm to die as the tiny larvae hatch and devour it.
In addition to attracting wasps that help reduce hornworms, the pungent fragrance of marigolds repels hornworms and keeps them away from your tomato patch right from the start!
Marigolds also repel other common tomato pests
The tomato hornworm isn’t the only pest that marigolds may defend your garden from. Squash bugs, cabbage worms, and aphids are also deterred by the odor of blossoms and leaves of these plants.
Furthermore, many of the garden’s common animals are not exactly fans of marigolds. Among the animals in this list are rabbits, chipmunks, groundhogs and raccoons. It’s hard to imagine a more protective plant than this one.
Where to Grow Marigolds
So, where are the ideal spots to put marigolds in the garden? The short answer is that you can find it almost anyplace! After all, they do add a wonderful burst of color to the landscape.
Growing marigolds near your tomato plants will help protect them from pests and diseases. Planting in the same row is the typical method for traditional gardens.
On the same day that we plant our tomatoes, we now also put marigold seeds in the same rows. Because the soil is warm at this moment, the seeds will germinate, develop, and begin to protect themselves quickly.
We use 8 to 12 seeds per plant in our row plantings, spaced about 12 inches apart across the plant’s perimeter. Each tomato is surrounded by four to five plants, which we trim off as they sprout.
We either utilize seeds or small marigold transplants immediately next to the tomato plants in the containers for container plants. Depending on the size of the container, we either plant or leave a few plants growing side by side.
French Marigolds: A Priceless Flowering Plant
The French Marigold type is the one we most often use to shield tomatoes from predators. These marigolds are not only tiny, but they are also among the finest at repelling pests, which makes them ideal for protecting container plants.
One of the easiest flowers to grow, French marigolds can withstand high heat, drought, and sunlight.
The French Marigold is not only gorgeous, but it is also one of the most effective marigolds for pest control! The French marigold family has a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes to pick from.
The border of your garden can be decorated with marigolds in addition to the rows and containers. These are the regions where we tend to go with larger, more eye-catching cultivars. Big-blooming marigold varieties, such as the Inca II, are always popular.
The Ease of Planting
Marigolds are an excellent choice for the garden because they are so easy to grow. Even if you can buy marigold seedlings, they grow so well from seed that it doesn’t make sense to do so.
When planted in warm soil, marigold seeds can germinate in as little as five days. At this point, they’re able to stand four or six inches tall, enveloping themselves with a protective scent from their leaves. And they’re usually in full bloom by the time they’re six to eight weeks old.
Sow the seeds straight into the soil and cover them with 1/8 to 1/4 inches of dirt, then water and fertilize as necessary. Wait patiently for the seeds to germinate before moving on to the next step. The seeds will normally germinate within a week if the soil temperature is at 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Most importantly, they can germinate and thrive in almost any soil or growth environment. In addition to their aesthetic value, the seeds of marigolds can be saved and replanted year after year.
Here’s to a bumper crop of tomatoes this year and to the best marigold harvest ever! Happy gardening!