Calendula officinalis (Pot marigold) are a wonderful annual to use around the garden. With their bright orange and yellow flowers, which look beautiful thrown into a salad.
The nice thing about these beautiful and tasty little flowers is they are ideal companion plants for the veg garden and go hand in hand or root in root with tomatoes and spuds.
Insects and animals will keep away from them as they hate the smell, but to my nose they are lovely; they really are. As I was pricking them out from their seed trays my little shed was filled with their herby scent.
There are a few little secrets about this wonderful little plant I’d like to share with you.
Did you know there are about 50 different types and they all come from just 3 varieties.
Its rumoured that this plant does wonders for your soil pests too! Under the ground this humble little marigold repels nematodes for around 3 years, not that your plant will last that long, but it will set seed. But just shows you how one plant can affect your soil!
These microscopic worms (nematodes, of which there are about a million different kinds) can be great for killing the evil slugs and snails but ‘others’ love nothing more than munching on the roots of your plants -They are the ones we want to keep away from our tomatoes, it’s usually the eelworm nematodes which can effect our tomatoes and potatoes. Here’s the scary bit, these horrible little blighters can stay in a poorly rotated plot for about 20 years!
Less of the spooky worm stuff…
Marigolds are great to eat, they make lovely cut flowers, they dry nicely for arrangements and you can use them in Wiccan spells too!
Don’t forget to dead head them and they will keep flowering away all season.
What a fabby little plant!
Happy Gardening xxx