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in Fruit & veg
If I want to use calendula to help keep the bugs from my veg, must they be the original species officianalis, or can I use prettier ones. Don't much like the old ones, although I believe they are the only ones to use to make my own handcream!
Last year (which was my first growing year for veg) i grew seeds of pretty tagetes and nasturtiums, I grew some pots of chives and put around in the carrot patch.
so long as they're single flowers ( nice and open so the bees can get to the pollen) not closed centred double flowers, most flowers can be used to attract beneficial insects.
What veg are you wanting to keep pests off GJ?
Calendula is the English, or Pot, Marigold. It attracts blackfly and their predator, hoverflies (which eat aphids). So they aren't a pest deterrent but they encourage hoverflies into your garden, which will help to keep the numbers of black fly in check.Marigolds: there are many, including Mexican, French, African. French and African are quickly devoured by slugs and snails.
They are usually a companion plant for potatoes, the reason being either that the bugs that like potatoes hate marigolds, or else the bugs that like potatoes like marigolds even more (sacrificial crop.) and aim their destruction in that direction instead. But there's a real mix of views on whether it's effective or not.
French marigolds smell strong and as I understand it they help to repel or confuse pests that find our veg by smell e.g. cabbage whites, carrot fly, onion fly all find food with their noses. Mexican marigolds apparently secrete something from their roots that deters or interferes with other plants - good if they are weeds, not so good if they are your precious veg.
I also read somewhere that marigolds badly affect the nematodes in the soil, but i am not 100% on this so will have to look into it.
I hope other members will correct me if they know different.
i shall be attempting to do the same as you this year. i have officinalis, tagetes tenuifola and french, which i planned to stick with/around the tomato and potato areas.
I grew Tagetes in the greenhouse last year in an attempt, to keep whitefly off the tomatoes. It was partly successful: they attacked the peppers instead.
I tend to encourage Calendula (the wild ones) in the veg garden to attract hoverflies but I have no real info on how effective they are. Feverfew as well.
And that reminds me - it's time I sowed some seeds for this year!