Tomato plants and marigolds do well as companion plants because they like similar growing conditions: fertile, well-draining soil, warm temperatures, and full sun.
Blooming Marigolds help draw beneficial pollinators to your veggie garden. They look pretty and help protect your tomato plants against insect pests, such as aphids, thrips, white flies, and soil-dwelling root-knot nematodes.
This article discusses planting marigolds and tomatoes together and provides sound advice and tips to help you do so successfully. Read on to learn more.
Why Are Marigolds Such A Great Addition To Any Garden?
Annual marigolds are easy to grow and provide color and interest to your garden from late spring until mid-autumn.
They look beautiful, attract pollinators, repel insect pests, and are edible!
Marigolds come in many sizes and colors and look beautiful planted between tomato plants and other garden veggies, mixed into your herb garden, or planted in or around your flowerbed.
All-in-all, planting marigolds is a win-win, no matter how you plant them, but they are especially suited to keep company with tomato plants.
How Do You Plant Tomatoes And Marigolds Together?
Begin by planting your tomato plants. You’ll want to place the marigold in even spaces between or around your tomatoes, leaving plenty of room for you to work with the plants and put tomato cages in place.
Generally speaking, marigold plants should be a couple of feet away from tomato plants.
You can plant marigold seedlings between your tomato plants, or you can direct sow marigold seeds onto the soil’s surface after putting your tomato plants in place.
If you do it this way, you’ll need to come back and thin the marigolds when they reach 2” or 3” inches high.
Water Carefully And Correctly
Tomato plants and marigolds like soak and dry watering. Water at the ground level using a soaker hose or garden hose set to just trickle.
Soak the ground thoroughly, and then allow the top couple of inches to nearly dry before watering again.
Remember that overwatering almost always leads to root rot. In addition, overhead watering promotes fungal infections on the leaves of both tomato plants and marigolds.
What Are The Best Marigolds To Plant With Tomatoes?
There are more than 50 species of marigolds available, and all of them are useful in the garden for all of the reasons we’ve mentioned.
However, your best choice for your tomato patch is the French Marigold. This variety is small and compact so that the plants won’t get in your way and don‘t collapse in heavy rain.
French Marigolds are some of the most powerful in terms of pest repellent properties.
Many different colors and flower configurations are available so that you can add a great deal of visual interest to your garden with French Marigolds.
How Do You Care For Marigolds During The Growing Season?
The main thing you need to do to marigolds is deadhead the spent flowers regularly.
If you are using your marigold blossoms in cooking, this may just naturally come as you harvest them.
As with most plants, deadheading or harvesting blooms promotes more flower development.
At the end of the growing season, you may wish to allow the last blooms to go to seed.
They may reseed themselves and show up with no help from you in the springtime.
Once the final bloom is complete, just till your marigold plants into the soil. This will help keep root-knot nematodes under control.