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Are Marigolds Good For Your Vegetable Garden?

Choosing other plants to add to an existing vegetable garden can sometimes feel confusing. Do you want to try adding marigolds to your veggie garden but don't know whether they will benefit the space? What beneficial qualities do marigolds have?

We'll answer these questions and many more throughout this post.

Adding marigolds to a vegetable garden can be a great idea. Generally, these bright-colored flowers attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings, which can reduce the number of harmful garden insects around your veggies.

Furthermore, marigolds also can help eliminate nematodes, which can be toxic to vegetable gardens.

As we begin, we will cover all things growing marigolds in your vegetable garden and discuss whether or not this flowering species is helpful. We're here to assist if you have actively-growing vegetables, want to plant some, or have other related questions. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

Unripe cluster of green plum roma tomatoes and marigold growing in a permaculture style garden bed, Are Marigolds Good For Your Vegetable Garden?

Why Should I Put Marigolds In My Vegetable Garden?

One of the main reasons many people plant marigolds in their vegetable garden is their protective qualities. As we said, marigolds attract beneficial insects to your crops, including ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings, which all prey on vegetable-damaging pests.

On top of attracting good insects to your vegetable garden, marigolds also release a nematode-killing toxin which can keep your crops healthy and parasite-free.

You can also eat marigolds, so they aren't just beautiful to look at. One of the many reasons this flower species is so popular is its versatility.

So, if you want to protect your vegetables, add color to your garden space, and keep the parasites at bay, we recommend looking into adding marigolds to your landscape.

Orange marigold flowers and foliage

What Are The Best Types Of Marigolds For A Vegetable Garden?

Now that you know how good marigolds can be for your veggies, choosing the right variety is essential. In general, adding a French marigold into your vegetable landscaping will be the best in terms of protection.

A unique feature of French marigolds is that they fend off the broadest range of nematodes/parasites, which is a must for healthy crops. As we said above, nematodes are attracted to vegetables, which can quickly become a problem when it's time to harvest.

Therefore, adding a few French varieties of marigold to your plot of land is a great idea. On top of French marigolds, you can add 'Tangerine,' 'Petite Gold,' 'Petite Harmony,' 'Goldie,' and 'Nemagold' varieties to your space, as they'll protect your crops too.

If you can't decide on one marigold variety, go ahead and use a couple of different ones!

French Marigold Sparky Mix

These French marigold seeds include 5,000 pieces, will become 6-18 inches, are yellow, orange, and red, require full sun, have a summer blooming time, and germinate quickly.

Follow this link to view them on Amazon.

Where Should I Put Marigolds In My Vegetable Garden?

When it comes to location, we recommend placing marigolds along the corners/borders of a vegetable garden. Since these bright-colored flowers will work to protect your crops, creating a barrier with them is the best option.

With that said, you don't want to plant too many marigolds in a vegetable garden directly next to each other. That's because they attract bugs, which can become a problem in excess.

According to experts, slugs love marigolds (and vegetables), so try planting a couple of "sacrificial" ones bordering your veggies. Even though you may see bites out of your marigold, they will keep the slugs busy and away from your other valuable vegetables.

Just like building a fence around your home, marigolds can be that layer of security for your plants. Again, you don't need to plant them around your entire vegetable garden with zero breathing room, but try to create a pattern and protective layering.

Additionally, if you're worried about aesthetics, you can plan your marigolds to grow in rows.

What Vegetables Should I Not Plant Marigolds Near?

The list is pretty small for those wondering if there are vegetables that don't agree with marigolds. Generally, cabbage and beans don't respond well to marigolds close by.

You may also want to avoid putting marigolds in gardens with cabbage family species, including radish, mustard greens, turnips, rutabaga, arugula, the spices mustard, horse radish, and wasabi.

Again, these are all closely related, hence why it's better to be safe than sorry. Again, marigolds are usually beneficial for veggies, but there are some exceptions to be mindful of.

You may want to grow cabbage and its related family members in their own garden if you still want to incorporate marigolds into the landscaping.

Can You Plant Marigolds With Peppers?

.African marigolds are planted in the organic vegetable garden

Yes! Planting marigolds around peppers is a common garden practice and is completely safe. As mentioned, marigolds release a toxic substance that repels nematodes and eelworms.

Subsequently, eelworms love peppers, so this is a great way to protect yours. This toxic substance is released from your marigold's roots into the soil surrounding them, creating a protective barrier for the veggies.

Therefore, you create a safe haven from nematodes and eelworms by planting marigolds, so this is a major win for your peppers/other plants.

On top of planting marigolds, Nasturtium flowers are also protective against parasites, so you could try and combine the two for your space.

Again, you don't want to go overboard with the protective flowers, so space them accordingly.

Can You Plant Marigolds With Cucumbers?

Yes! Like having marigolds near peppers, you can also grow them near your cucumbers. Typically, marigolds will keep insects and parasites away from your cucumbers, meaning more healthy ones in your garden.

On top of that, marigolds can keep aphids off and away from your cucumbers, which is a big deal. Considering how frustrating aphid damage can be to growing crops, adding a few marigolds nearby is an easy way to prevent this.

You can also place marigolds around the melons in your landscape, so again, they cover an extensive range of vegetable crops.

Are Marigolds Good At Protecting Tomatoes?

Yes, having marigolds near tomatoes is the perfect garden pairing. Generally, tomatoes attract loads of critters and nematodes, as they have a strong smell and flavorful taste.

Therefore, adding marigolds beside them can stop unwanted visitors. Specifically, planting marigolds near tomato plants can prevent the infamous 'root-knot' nematode from entering your crops.

From an aesthetic point of view, marigolds are also typically orange, yellow, and red, which can complement tomatoes quite well. So think of this as a win-win.

How Many Marigolds Do I Need Per Tomato Plant?

Number-wise, there isn't a set amount of marigolds you need per tomato plant. However, if you're trying to create a protective barrier, you may need 4-5 marigolds per tomato plant you grow.

This all comes down to the size, layout, and risk level of your tomato garden. As we said, you can try and have your marigolds grow in rows in front of your vegetables, which also applies to tomato gardens.

Do Marigolds Keep Rabbits Out Of A Vegetable Garden?

Rabbit looking at garden

No. Although marigolds are very helpful for protecting your crops, they won't fend off rabbits. Furthermore, you can't depend on marigolds to repel deer either, so that can be frustrating.

However, according to Iowa State University, you can try erecting a chicken-wire fence around your veggies if a rabbit or deer problem develops.

The same goes for smaller critters (rodents, i.e.), so sometimes, a fence can be worth it. Unfortunately, rabbits enjoy feasting on the food growing in your garden, so this is a part of life.

Again, you don't need to sit back and watch your crops be destroyed, so we recommend creating a physical barrier between your vegetables and the outside world.

Even though it sounds cliche, if your garden has carrots: expect bunnies to come running.

Do Rabbits Eat Marigolds?

Adding to our above theme, rabbits also tend to nibble on marigold flowers. However, we'd worry more about the crops between vegetables and marigolds.

In general, rabbits will eat gazanias, marigolds, pansies, and petunias in a garden, vegetable or not, so that's something to be wary of. Furthermore, rabbits travel in groups, so this could become a family dinner if you aren't careful.

Specifically, wild rabbits enjoy eating entire marigolds, so it could be better to build a fence instead.

Do Marigolds Keep Bugs Away?

Orange yellow french marigold

Yes, marigolds have a strong reputation for repelling bugs away from your home and garden. As we said, these flowering plants attract beneficial insects, which often eat and prey on the harmful/annoying ones.

Specifically, French marigolds repel whiteflies and kill harmful nematodes in a vegetable garden, so we recommend them first. Mexican marigolds are also great for repelling harmful insects and wild rabbits, so they are also excellent choices.

On top of that, your marigolds can also help control mosquito populations. So, adding these bright flowers to your landscaping can be the perfect solution if you live in the tropics.

Again, marigolds aren't always a one-stop shop for preventing vegetable disease and infestation, but they're certainly a great front-line defense.

To Finish

Planting marigolds can be a great option if you have a flourishing vegetable garden or have noticed yours doesn't look as good. We found that marigolds protect veggies from nematodes and harmful insects, all without affecting your crops.

Furthermore, marigolds have bright yellow, orange, and red flowers, which can add the perfect pop of color to your landscaping. On top of that, marigolds are easy to grow, create a protective layer beneath the ground's surfaces, and don't take long to grow.

One thing, though, they don't protect against rabbits or deer, so you may need a fence!

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related garden articles below:

Do Deer Eat Marigolds? [And How To Prevent That]

What To Plant Under Iceberg Roses? [17 Suggestions You Should Try!]

Winter Cover Crops For Vegetable Gardens [17 Options You Should Try!]