Many people know that growing marigolds with tomatoes is a good idea, but they don’t know why.
Well, here are some of the top reasons why you should plant some marigolds with your tomatoes this year.
After reading this list, I’m sure you’ll add a packet of marigold seeds to your next seed order!
Slugs and snails love marigolds. They like them so much that they will avoid other plants in the vicinity if they see a marigold.
This makes them a great help for keeping slugs and snails off young, delicate tomato plants.
And as marigolds are quick and easy to grow from seed, you can afford to grow a few as sacrificial lambs, and then replace them.
Bees and other beneficial pollinators are attracted to marigold blooms.
The more pollinators you have buzzing around your tomatoes increases the chances of successful fertilisation of tomato flowers.
The more flowers that are pollinated, the more tomatoes you will get per truss.
Another beneficial insect that loves marigolds is the ladybird.
These little flying insects are not only lovely to see in the garden they are very beneficial.
They feed on aphids and other small bugs, keeping their numbers down.
So next time you see a ladybird in your garden, make sure to tip your cap to them.
Attract Parasitic Wasps
Again these flying insects love marigolds and will seek them out.
And just as before, they have many benefits for the garden and don’t worry, despite having wasp in the name, they don’t sting.
Parasitic wasps lay their eggs on all sorts of harmful pests. These then hatch, and the larvae eat the pests.
Nasty but effective, and it is here where the parasitic part of the name comes from.
They can attack whitefly, aphids, caterpillars and even tomato hornworms (luckily we don’t have to worry about those in the UK!).
Lacewings are another insect that is attracted by the bright colours of marigolds.
Again they feed on many common pests, particularly greenhouse pests like whitefly and aphids.
They also eat smaller caterpillars, mealy bugs and mites.
They Look Nice!
And finally, and a great reason all on its own, is how nice marigolds look.
It can be nice to have some bright, cheerful colours scattered in amongst your productive crops.