How to Grow One of the Easiest Flowers: Marigolds
Whether you’re a beginner at gardening or well experienced in that department, marigolds are one of the simplest and easiest flowers to grow. One good thing about marigolds is that they don’t come in just one color. You have your choice of various yellows, reds and oranges. Marigolds are cheerful flowers, so many people enjoy planting them, no matter their experience in gardening.The two ingredients that marigolds require are full sun and well-drained soil.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Kathy Bosin adds, "When planting marigolds or any other annual in planting beds, remember to plant in triangles rather than straight rows. By planting in triangular groups of three, your planting beds will look full and natural."
When to Plant
When planting marigold seeds outdoors, you can either start planting 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date, or you can plant them right after the last frost date.
Where to Plant
Be sure the seeds are planted in rich, well-drained soil. Depending on how tall the specific type of marigold you picked out grows, space the seeds anywhere from 8 to 18 inches apart. Once you have them placed in the soil, cover them with 1/4-inch of soil. This will enable them to gather nutrients from above them as well as from below.
If purchase marigolds as bedding plants from a garden center, choose a set of marigolds that appear to be some what bushy and healthy. Do not choose plants that have wilted leaves or any sign of disease. Plant them during the spring after any sign of frost is gone.
Mulching and Fertilizing
Another thing you can do to improve growth is to place mulch on the soil surrounding your marigolds once they have begun to sprout. Mulching conserves moisture and helps prevent weeds. Some people tend to fertilize their plants anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks after planting. While this is not required, it doesn’t hurt to do it. You can also snap off spent blooms to prolong flowering.
Even though marigolds tend to be well kept flowers, it does not mean they are completely free of all problems known to plants. Grasshoppers and spider mites can cause damage during hot weather. One disease that can be a problem to marigolds is called Aster Yellow. Once frost blackens the leaves of the marigolds in the autumn, you may wish to discard the plants.
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