Have you ever studied a leaf or flower closely? They are beautiful! The patterns formed by their veins, their unique outlines, and their radiant color in autumn make them something worth collecting. Collecting and pressing plant specimens is a hobby many people enjoy.
Container grown sunflowers are a great way to bring color from the garden and landscape onto your patio, porch, or even into your home. Whether you grow them from seed yourself or buy them at a garden center, there are a few things you should consider when growing them. Follow these tips to get the most out of your sunflower.
Marigolds are a member of the Asteraceae family along with plants like daisies and sunflowers. The family is made up of over 22,000 species! They belong to the genus Tagetes, and there are 56 species in the genus. The two common species you will find at Bob's Market are tagetes patula (French Marigolds) and tagetes erecta (African Marigolds). Many species of tagetes, including the varieties we use as ornamental flowers, are used as herbs in other parts of the world. They are used to prepare a medicinal tea in Mexico, and used as a culinary herb in South America. In Nepal marigold garlands are used during Tihar, the festival of lights in late autumn. In India marigolds are commonly used as wedding decorations, and the are regarded as one of the national symbols of the Ukraine.
Marigolds also have a strong, pungent scent that is said to deter many insects and other pests like deer and rabbits. They are a common companion plant in vegetable gardens. However, you should avoid planting them near bean crops due to antibacterial compounds called thiophenes produced by their roots. Legumes have symbiotic bacteria living in their roots that produce nitrogen compounds and help the plants grow. I use marigolds in my own garden as living row markers.
Here are some marigold care tips:
- Plant marigolds in full sun.
- Space them 6-9 inches apart for French varieties and 18 inches apart for African varieties.
- Avoid fertilizers with a high nitrogen content. It will cause them to become bushy and produce less flowers.
- Deadhead regularly to promote branching and flowering.
- Water marigolds at least once per week once established. They are one plant that doesn't require much water.
This weekend join Bob’s Market online as we head to Columbus, OH for the Cultivate 2017 conference and trade show. Follow along with our own John Morgan as he attends the Urban Agriculture tour on Saturday, visits the Franklin Park Conservatory on Sunday, and the Ohio State University Trial Gardens on Monday. Also, watch our Facebook Page, Instagram, and Snapchat stories for other updates, awesome ideas, and more.