French marigold (Tagetes lucida) is a herbaceous plant with aromatic foliage of the family of Asteraceae which brings a colorful touch to the garden as well as to the balcony without having to spend a lot of time maintaining it. The carnation of India also finds its place in the vegetable garden because it helps to fight against aphids, nematodes, ants but also against certain parasitic fungi. It would therefore be a shame to deprive yourself of the abundantly flowering Tagete, a perennial plant that is grown as an annual. Here is how to sow the marigold and the few care it needs.
The sowing of marigolds can begin from mid-February and continue until the end of March provided sow under cover, in a compost for sowing, in terrine placed on a layer of drainage. Once the seeds are distributed in the soil and then covered with a thin layer of 1 to 1.5 cm, spray water, taking care not to dig up the seedlings.
All that remains is to store the terrine in a bright room, at a temperature of 20 to 21°C, then wait for the lifting which is usually done in 7 to 10 days. If you do not have a specific terrine, you can use buckets or some biodegradable egg trays. But only one seed is sown per bucket or cell.
Once seedlings begin to form some leavesyou can – without haste, however, if it is still cold – the transplant at selected locations. Maintain a spacing of about 25 cm between two plants.
Gardeners in a hurry can simply buy marigold in bucket because it is ready to be planted in the ground or in a planter. In most cases, the plants already have a few buds. They are therefore quick to bring a colorful touch to the garden, on the sill of a window, the terrace or the balcony, or even in the vegetable patch.
marigold pot grown needs a container of 40cm depth, with a pierced bottom and covered with a clay ball-type drainage layer. The ideal substrate is 25% sand, 50% geranium soil and 25% good topsoil. If the soil in the garden is not suitable, we therefore content ourselves with a quarter of sand and the rest in potting soil.
Note, however, that it is necessary to be rigorous when planting marigolds in place because the growth of plants and flowering are conditioned by this important step. Thus, we take care to wait avrileven the to me even a little later if the risk of frost is still to be feared because marigold is chilly. He can’t stand the cold.
Carnation culture (Tagete)
The marigold particularly likes the sun. Well-drained, ordinary soil can do just fine. It is therefore not very complicated.
Grown in the ground, the marigold needs to be watered when it is very hot or in case of prolonged drought. For marigolds in pots or planters, watering must be more regular because the substrate tends to dry out quickly in these conditions. The good reference point for watering potted marigolds is the soil that is beginning to dry out. But above all no excess ! If you have a heavy hand, whether for plants installed in the garden or in a window box, the excess of humidity leads irremediably to the rotting of the roots. As for the foliage, it should never be wet during watering.
It is recommended to lay a mulch at the foot of marigolds in the ground to save water. Mulch keeps the soil cool well, which in summer eliminates nearly one out of two watering sessions.
A liquid fertilizer for flowering plants is welcome during the season, especially for marigolds in pots.
It is useful to pinch the stems of Tagete because it causes it to branch out. This results in a bushier plant that will produce more flowers.
Parasites and diseases
The slugs and the snails are fond of the tender leaves of marigold. Their presence is betrayed by the holes that the gastropods cause by nibbling the foliage.
The marigold fears especially the maladies cryptogamiques when the foliage is watered systematically, which of course must be avoided, or when the plant is overwatered.
Not very sensitive, it is rather considered as an answer to many problems since on its own, it makes it possible to protect other plants against aphids, caterpillars or nematodes. We can therefore plant it everywhere but also prepare a natural repellent from a decoction of carnation leaves from India, with a powerful smell similar to that of anise.
This plant, originally from Latin America and not from India as one might think, is a must in town and in the countryside. Easy to grow, marigold blooms profusely since the spring and until the middle of thefall as long as it doesn’t freeze. We love the colorful touches that its single or double flower heads bring to the vegetated space, from red to brown, from yellow to orange. There are even specimens with bicolor flowers.
However, to encourage this plant to bloom again, it is absolutely essential toremove faded flowers gradually because they do not fall off on their own. After this little treatment session, new flowers appear in a very short time.
Once the flowering period is well and truly over, the plants can be uprooted and used as green manure. It will suffice the following year to renew the seedlings or to buy new plants of marigolds in pots. But some gardeners prefer overwinter marigolds before the first frost, in a frost-free room. They just have to take them out in March or April to see them bloom again until the following fall.