"For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations." Isaiah 61:11

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today in the spotlight: Marigolds

I have always loved marigolds. They are such an easy to grow, hardy flower. They also have a long blooming time. They like full sun and bloom mid summer through autumn. Their scent is also known to repel some insects and many gardeners plant them around their tomato plants to keep insects & others pests away.
Besides that added benefit they are also edible! Add some bright color to salads by sprinking a few petals on top or use the petals to make some marigold tea.

I was delighted the first time I realized how easily I could collect the seeds from them myself and grow them the following year from what I'd collected.
To collect the seeds simply wait until the blooms have dried and shriveled up on the stem. Then, simply grasp the end of the blooms all together and give a light tug. You will likely be surprised by the amount of seeds that will pull out into your hand! It is best to collect seeds on a dry, sunny day so the flower is not moist. Simply let the seeds sit out in a sunny, dry location to air out a bit. Then, I simply store them in a labeled envelope for the next year. They can be planted the following year after all danger of frost has past. This year I started mine out in my garden. Once they had grown to a nice size I transplanted them into a large pot that sits by my front steps. They provide a cheerful welcome!