Marigold: The Troubles With Companion Planting

Marigolds have come under scientific scrutiny to determine their merit as companion plants.
by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors
February/March 2001
Add to My MSN

Marigold's statue as a perfect companion plant is coming under scrutiny.
Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors


Content Tools

Related Content

Announcing “Top 10” Heirloom Tomatoes for 2012

“Black” tomatoes still reign with the best of the reds and pinks bi-colored and cherry tomatoes stil...

Statement on Chicken Ordinances

We strongly support keeping a few chickens (hens only) within city limits. Feel free to use this sta...

Peruvian Mint

Here’s a relative newcomer plant that’s easy to grow, and very useful for the “survival garden” and ...

The Strawberry Strategy

Do you love strawberries? It is hard to decide on the best way to manage them if attempting to grow...

There's not a whole lot of hard science backing up most companion planting suggestions — they're based mainly on folklore and the educated guesses of experienced gardeners. Perhaps one of these days a lot of this advice will be scientifically explained and proven, but some of it is already withering under the glare of careful observation.

Many of the companion lists suggest that marigolds repel some garden pests, particularly cabbage worms and Mexican bean beetles. Research, however, shows that marigolds actually attract cabbage butterflies, which lay eggs that hatch into cabbage worms. Furthermore, though it does appear that marigolds protect beans against Mexican bean beetles and corn earworms, it seems they also exude chemicals harmful to bean plants.

While on the subject of marigolds, we should examine the oft-made assertion that they should be planted among tomatoes to repel certain pernicious root nematodes. It's not all that simple. Root nematodes bothersome to tomatoes are discouraged only by certain French marigolds (Nemagold and Queen Sophia, for example), and only when the entire infested area is planted with marigolds for a whole season. Simply planting a few common marigolds in among the tomatoes will not do the trick.








Post a comment below.

 








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.