Tagetes and Marigolds

A widely grown half hardy annual in the UK, the most common forms being;

African Marigold: erecta

These grow to a height of around 600mm and requires planting out approximately 300-400mm apart in an open sunny position and flower from July till first frosts.

Tagetes: lucida

Grows to a height of around 600mm and requires planting out approximately 250- 300mm apart in an open sunny position and flower from June till first frosts.

French Marigold: patula

This annual generally grows to 200mm (8*) high with upto a 300mm (12") spread subject to variety.

There are single or double forms, and the colours range from yellow through orange to red plus bi-colours, and flower from early July to the first frosts.

 

erecta

 

lucida

 

patula (single)

 

patula (double)



The leaves of the marigold are coated with oily glands that produce a pungent scent.

The flowers are hermaphrodite (having both male and female organs) and are pollinated by insects, and are noted for attracting bees ,butterflies and hover flies.

The plant is often used in companion planting for many vegetable crops.

Its root secretions kill nematodes in the soil and it is said to repel harmful insects, such as white fly amongst tomatoes.

Seeds can be collected and saved when it ripens in September.

All three are easy to grow and bloom for most of the summer, regular deadheading will ensure this!

As can be seen from the details above the heights can vary from 200mm high to as much as 600mm high depending upon variety.

Cultivation

Week 14: Sow seeds of all three types, under glass in pots/cells/trays, lightly covering the seeds with compost and germinate at temperature of 18°C (65°F)

Germination should take about three or four days.

Week 15: Prick out seedlings if large enough to handle in 50mm (2") cell trays or in boxes set out 50mm (2") apart then gradually harden them off in a cold frame.

Week 22: Plant out in sunny borders 200-250mm (8"-10") apart after all chances of frost has passed.

Dead head as flowers fade to encourage further flowering.





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