This Monday it’s Marigold
Marigolds are incredibly easy-going and reliable under a wide range of growing conditions. Once planted, marigolds grow rapidly with no fuss. Most thrive in full sun, taking hot, sunny exposures in stride. Marigolds can even handle the reflected heat and light of paved surfaces as long as they get regular moisture. However, marigolds will tolerate up to 20% shade if there is bright light the rest of the day. In fact, lovely white ‘Snowdrift’ actually prefers some afternoon shade in regions where summers are extremely hot.
Marigolds are not at all fussy about soil, accepting poor to average soil without complaint as long as it is not constantly soggy. In fact, marigolds bloom better and more often in poorer soil. Too rich a diet stimulates lush foliage growth at the expense of flowers.
Seeds or Plants ?
With seeds so easy to handle, marigolds are frequently used in gardening programs for children or the elderly. While it is very easy, starting marigolds from seed indoors offers no real advantage because they germinate so quickly outdoors. Seeds sown directly into the garden about 1-inch apart sprout within days in warm weather and plants bloom in about 8 weeks. For best results, thin or transplant young marigolds while they are still small, spacing French and Signet types 8 to 10 inches apart. Larger American varieties should be at least 10 to 12 inches apart. Marigolds grown in containers can become a bit crowded.
Self Seeding :
Marigolds are rapidly growing plants and most varieties are self–seeding, which means they will drop seeds and spread throughout your yard or garden. Limit the ability to self–seed by deadheading before blooms go to seed.
Marigold Eatable :
Marigolds are eaten as petals or leaves, raw or blanched, fresh or dry, sweet or savory. To prepare marigolds: Pull entire petals from the stem, and as you hold them firmly in your hand, with scissors cut off the white (or pale greenish) “heels,” as this could give a bitter taste if not removed
6 to 8 cups mixed salad greens
1 cucumber sliced thin
1 cup nasturtium petals,
1 cup marigold blossoms,
1 tablespoon snipped fresh lemon thyme
1/3 cup raspberry-flavored vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
In a large salad bowl, toss greens, cucumbers flowers and thyme. In a jar with tight-fitting lid, combine dressing ingredients and shake well. Drizzle over salad; serve immediately.