Ok then, its Meyles here. Cynthia has finally convinced me that it’s time to write a blog. So here goes………..
People have asked me why I grow Marigold plants in amongst my vegetable patch. Well, the short answer is that they stop bugs dead in their tracks. The long answer is that I need them to kill nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic white worms that have infested the soil that I grow all of my vegies in. The mongrel nematodes attack the root system of tomatoes, capsicum and a whole heap of my vegies.
This is what the nematodes do, they cause:
Nodules on the roots
Stunted root systems and plants and
Deformed root vegetables.
For those who are attempting to minimise the amount of crap that you spray onto your vegies, Marigolds are brilliant. The way it works is that the root of the Marigold produces a chemical that kills nematodes in the soil. The nematodes are attracted to the marigolds rather than the other veggies and latch onto the roots and that is the end of them. They do not reproduce because they are rendered sterile and the cycle is broken and your soil becomes healthier. As a bonus, Marigolds also deter aphids, squash bugs, thrips, tomato hornworms, and whiteflies.
If a whole area is infested I plant the whole bed out and dig them in as a manure crop when they are mature, or if the garden bed is not infested, I plant as a precautionary measure a couple throughout crops as they grow. Frogs also love them.