It was not that many years ago that I saw a picture of a beautiful vegetable garden that had dozen’s of marigold’s planted in it. My initial reaction was wow isn’t that beautiful and what a great idea to incorporate flowers into your veggie garden. Now I still do think that it looks beautiful, but I have learned the importance of planting these flowers in your garden.
Marigold’s are a gardener’s secret weapon when it comes to keeping pests out of the garden. This is by far the most organic way I know of to keep many of the pests that gardeners dread from eating your precious plants. Marigolds work very well at keeping away Mexican bean beetles, squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies. They are also known to repel harmful root knot nematodes that attack tomatoes, potatoes, roses, and strawberries. Marigold roots also produce a chemical that kills nematodes in the soil. There are many types of marigolds and the one easiest trick to getting a variety that will work well is to pick whichever variety is the most fragrant. The stronger the smell, the better they work at repelling insects.
Now I know I have made Marigolds look like a star in the garden and they really are. However, you should always remember that every garden is different and that what works well in one may not in another. Marigolds are a great choice for your vegetable garden unless you have a problem with spider mites or snails because both of these pests actually like marigolds. I am lucky to have not had either of these pests in my garden in the past.
There are many other amazing plants that you can plant in your garden to help keep away harmful insects and attract helpful insects. Remember you garden needs insects and bees to pollinate your vegetable so think twice before you use many of the insectacides on the market because they will likely deter the bad and the good insects. I will discuss companion planting more in a future post. Until then, happy gardening!
Do you plant marigold’s in your veggie garden? What other plants to you use as natural pesticides in your garden? I look forward to hearing about your success in companion planting.