Marigolds beneficial companion plant in the garden
Marigolds are a flower that I cannot do without in my rasta garden.They are a generous plant with strongly aromatic leaves and bright cheerful flowers. Not only do they stimulate the senses, but they are very useful plants in a healthy permaculture garden.
Tagetes erecta African Marigold
Tagetes patula French Marigold
Tagetes minuta Stinking Roger
Rastas like to put all energy into planting food. As Marigold is a flower it might seem to take up room where food can be grown however these hardy gems are not only medicinal but attract beneficial insects to the garden and repel non-beneficial pests.
They help to control nematodes in the soil that cause all sorts of root problems in plants. Apart from drenching the soil with dangerous pesticides there is not a lot of other ways to get rid of these pests in an overworked soil.The best way is to build your soil fertility by using organic farming practices including the addition of compost which builds up the humus and the micro and macro organisms. Planting marigolds builds up the humus, suppresses weeds and of course helps to repel nematodes.
I was fortunate enough to come across a strong genetic strain of marigolds in my district that are tall and vigorous.They self seed everywhere and they make me very happy. I love their pungent woody smell. They have been regrowing year and year in this area and are very adapted to the climate.
This is the best way to get a good strain, look around and if you see a plant ask the owner for a few seeds.Marigolds like to grow in the full sun.
Marigolds are an easy plant to save seed from. After flowering pull them out and cut the tops of the plants with the flower heads and hang to dry.Then before the seed falls out cut off the flowerheads and put into an empty fertiliser bag. All the seeds will fall out.
It is nice to sit around with your friends and deflower them. Many hands make light work. Put all the aromatic green foliage back into the compost.
Marigolds are also said to act as a decoy for lots of other garden pests and planting a variety of plants creates natural balance in the garden of beneficial insects and non-beneficial insects.
Marigolds are said to be good companions for tomatoes, beans and potatoes.T hey will repel whitefly from your tomatoes.Dried crushed leaves are toxic to cockroaches. Natural pest control at its best.
Tagetes patula or French Marigold is grown as a commercial crop in Asia, India, United States and Europe for the flowers as well as for medicines. Believed to have originated in Africa this genus of plants spread out all over the world.
The leaves are harvested as required for immediate use during the growing season, whilst the flowering plant can be dried and stored for later use.The whole herb is aromatic, digestive, diuretic and sedative. It is used internally in the treatment of indigestion, colic, severe constipation coughs and dysentery. Externally, it is used to treat sore eyes and rheumatism.
The health benefits of Tagetes Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties like anti biotic, anti microbial, anti parasitic, anti septic, anti spasmodic, disinfectant, insecticide and sedative. A word of caution essential oils are very concentrated and require care. This oil may cause sensitization and irritation. Heavier doses or doses of higher concentration may be hard to withstand. It therefore, should be avoided in pregnancy.
Made from Tagetes minuta flowers in Sandalwood oil, Genda Attar is an aromatic perfume oil seldom encountered outside of India. The common occurrence of the Marigold leads people to believe that there is nothing special about it, yet it’s perfume is uniquely beautiful and refreshing. In India, garlands of marigolds are given to symbolize friendship, loyalty and steadfastness in love hence they a common beautiful natural decoration for weddings.Genda Attar helps to open the lungs and encourage long, deep breathing, making it useful for Yoga and meditation! Emotionally, Genda Attar is deeply calming, fortifying and inspiring. In India, people drape temples with beautiful garlands of marigolds, then meditate in the fragrant atmosphere
Originating in South America with the Aztecs have been using Tagetes minuta for millennia as a flavorful beverage, a medicinal tea, and a condiment.The local names vary by region, most commonly found in the literature as; chinchilla, chiquilla, chilca, zuico, suico, or the Spanish term anisillo.
For medicinal use, a decoction made by steeping a “double handful” of the dried plant in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes is used as a remedy for the common cold; including upper and lower respiratory tract inflammations, and for digestive system complaints; stomach upset, diarrhea, and “liver” ailments. The decoction is consumed warm, and may be sweetened to individual taste.
The humble marigold is a very beneficial plant and with ample research into which species you need, care with ingestion, experimentation and imagination, can be used to gloriously decorate your party, make a cup of tea, deter your cockroach invaders and attract beneficial insects to your garden.