It’s always a nice surprise when you learn that something has hidden benefits that you aren’t aware of.

Take Marigolds for example. Although it is true that they’re beautiful flowers and that they have lovely colors that add a certain milieu to a garden, it is also true that they hold secret benefits that can help enhance the health of a vegetable garden. Marigolds and vegetable gardens can be great companions.

No doubt you’ve heard of companion planting. The concept of combining species of plants together that all benefit one another is one that many novice gardeners may not be aware of. It’s true! And Marigolds are ideal companion plants for vegetable gardens.

And the added benefit is that their bright orange color enhances a floral environment, they grow quickly, and they are easy to maintain.

Their benefits to vegetable gardens include:

• Increase in pollination

• Attract beneficial insects

• Repels pests

Increase Pollination And Attract The Good Bugs

Marigolds have hidden benefits you may not be aware of. (Courtesy: Irina Miroshnikova at flickr.com)

No doubt, as a gardener you understand that gardens can’t produce with pollination. The bright colors of Marigolds are natural attractors for pollinators. The orange and yellow of Marigolds are ideal colors for attracting bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects. Plant Marigolds in containers and place them next to your vegetable garden. Since the Marigolds in containers are content in the soil in which they thrive, you don’t have to fret if the soil content of your vegetable garden isn’t compatible. Pollinators will be attracted to the Marigolds and also proceed on to the vegetables nearby.

Marigolds Repel Pests

You may not be aware that African Marigolds (T. Erecta) and French Marigolds (T. Patula) generate a substance called alpha-terthienyl, which repels tiny worms called nematodes that threaten the roots of plants. Whether you know it or not, tomatoes are quite susceptible to nematodes. The French Marigolds offer the best guard against them.

In addition, Marigolds release a strong scent that assists in repelling cabbageworms, thus protecting veggies that are vulnerable to them including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts.

Adding Marigolds To Your Vegetable Garden

When deciding how to integrate your Marigolds with a vegetable garden the largest concern is the compatibility of the soil. If the soil needs of your vegetables match the soil needs of the Marigold, then go ahead and plant them in the vegetable garden.

Marigolds flourish in fertile, well-drained, non-acidic soil. So do tomatoes, beans, and cucumbers. So include Marigolds in the neighborhood.

If your vegetable garden’s soil is not compatible to Marigolds, then the flower performs quite well in containers with appropriate soil.

A trick you may want to consider is to plant Marigolds in the area you intend to plant your veggies before hand. In this case, the alpha-terthienyl seeps into the soil. Then when you plant your veggies, the soil already contains their protection. You can leave the Marigolds in the soil. However, you may not get all the benefits you otherwise might have gotten if the Marigolds were in a container nearby.

(Source: lavenderhomefront.com)