Regarding companion planting, basil and marigolds are a great pair. They have similar needs in terms of soil, water, and sunlight, and they also benefit from each other’s qualities.
For example, the basil repels pests from the marigolds, while the marigolds help to enrich the soil and add essential nutrients to the basil.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at why these plants make such good companions.
What Is Companion Planting?
Companion planting is a gardening technique that pairs plants together for each benefit. The concept is simple: planting two or more different plants next to each other can take advantage of their complementary qualities.
For example, one plant might deter pests while another improves the quality of the soil. Or one plant might provide shade while another needs full sun.
The benefits of companion planting are numerous, but some of the most common include:
- Improved yield
- Better pest and disease control
- More efficient use of space
- Improved soil health
- Greater diversity in the garden
What Are Basil and Marigolds?
Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is an annual herb in the mint family. It’s native to tropical regions and has a wide range of culinary uses.
Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are annual or perennial plants in the daisy family. They’re native to North and South America and have a long history of use in traditional medicine.
The Benefits of Companion Planting Basil and Marigolds
Basil and marigolds make great companions because they have similar needs and benefit from each other’s qualities.
Here are some of the benefits of companion planting basil and marigolds:
Basil deters pests from marigolds
Basil is a well-known pest repellent. It emits a strong smell that deters many common garden pests, including aphids, whiteflies, and tomato hornworms.
Marigolds enrich the soil
Marigolds are known as “sacrificial plants” because they release chemicals that improve soil quality. They also add essential nutrients to the soil, which benefits other plants growing nearby.
Basil requires full sun
Marigolds can provide shade for basil plants, which helps to protect them from the hot summer sun.
Marigolds benefit from Basil’s nutrients: Marigolds are heavy feeders and quickly deplete the nutrients in the soil. By companion planting with basil, marigolds can benefit from the nutrients that the basil adds to the soil.
How to Grow Basil and Marigolds Together
If you’re interested in companion planting basil and marigolds, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Here are some tips for growing these plants together:
Choose a sunny spot
Basil requires full sun, so choose a spot in your garden that gets at least six hours of sunlight per day.
Prepare the soil
Both basil and marigolds prefer well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, mix in some organic matter such as compost or peat moss to improve drainage.
Plant the seeds
Sow the basil seeds about ½ inch deep and 18 inches apart. Sow the marigold seeds ¼ inch deep and 12 inches apart.
Both plants need regular watering, especially during the hot summer months. be sure to water the soil, not the leaves, to avoid leaf diseases.
Basil is a heavy feeder and benefits from monthly fertilization. Marigolds are also heavy feeders, so they benefit from the extra nutrients that basil adds to the soil.
As mentioned earlier, basil is a natural pest repellent. However, if you notice pests on your plants, remove them by hand or treat them with an organic insecticide such as neem oil.
Basil leaves are best harvested when the plant is approximately 8 inches tall. When the flower heads are fully open, cut them off.
Basil and marigolds are great plants to have in your garden. They work well together and have complementary qualities. Make sure to plant them in a sunny spot, prepare the soil well, and water regularly for the best results.
Harvesting Tips for Both Basil and Marigolds
You can begin harvesting basil leaves when the plant is about 8 inches tall. To gather marigolds, cut the flower heads when they’re fully open.
Here are a few tips for harvesting both basil and marigolds:
- Only harvest what you need. It will have difficulty recovering if you take too much from the plant.
- Harvest in the morning. This is when the plants have the most moisture and nutrients.
- Use sharp pruning shears or scissors to avoid damaging the plant.
- Be sure to clean your tools after each use to prevent the spread of disease.
After you’ve harvested your plants, you can enjoy them in a variety of ways. For example, Basil can be used fresh in salads, pesto, or as a garnish. Likewise, marigolds can be used fresh in salads or as a decoration.
Tips for Success on How to Care for Basil and Marigolds
If you’re thinking about companion planting with basil and marigolds, there are a few things you should know to succeed. First, it’s important to understand that while these two plants share some similarities, they also have unique needs when it comes to caring.
Basil is a warm-season herb that thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. On the other hand, Marigolds are tolerant of a wide range of climates and soil types but also prefer full sun. Therefore, when growing them together, it’s important to give each plant the space and conditions it needs in order to thrive.
In terms of specific care, both basil and marigolds need to be watered regularly. However, basil is more sensitive to overwatering than marigolds and can quickly become waterlogged if the soil is too moist. Marigolds, on the other hand, are quite drought-tolerant and can survive periods of dryness better than most other plants.
As far as fertilizing goes, a general-purpose fertilizer will work well for both plants. However, it’s important not to overdo it with the fertilizer, as too much can cause problems for basil and marigolds.
Finally, when it comes to pests and diseases, basil is generally more susceptible than marigolds. This is why it’s important to keep an eye out for potential problems and immediately take action if you notice anything.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to successfully growing basil and marigolds together. Just remember to give each plant the space and care it needs, and you’ll have a thriving garden in no time.