Organic Garden Update: Spring Planting Three (Guest Post)

Doris Day might have said “please don’t eat the daisies”, but did you know that there are several flowers that you can eat? Edible flowers make a delicious and pretty addition to summer salads and homemade cakes. This week I’ve been sowing marigolds for eating later in the summer, as marigold seeds need to be planted no later than April. Marigolds not only add beautiful colour to the garden, but they also have a fresh and citrusy flavour.

If you want to have a go, the first thing to do is to check that the variety of marigold you are growing is edible. I probably don’t have to say this, but please don’t eat anything from the garden unless you are 100% sure that it is an edible plant. Read the information on the back of the seed packet carefully to ensure that you have chosen an edible variety.

Marigold seeds 

Once you have bought your marigold seeds, you will need to sow them in seed trays. To do this, fill a seed tray with compost, and then water. You will find that the compost in the trays compacts a little with the watering. This will give you enough space in each cell to place the marigold seeds on top of the moist compost, and then to cover them over with another light covering of compost. Sow 1-2 seeds in each cell- you can always thin out any 2-seed cells later once you are sure that at least one of the plants has germinated. Water regularly with a spray bottle (or a small watering can with a rose attachment) to avoid washing the seeds away. 

Filling the seed tray

Sowing the marigold seeds 

Once the marigold plants have grown to about 6 inches high, you will need to “pot them on”. This just means moving the plants that have successfully germinated into larger pots so that they have more space to grow. When you remove the plants from the cells, be careful not to damage the delicate roots. Marigolds in pots can be planted 4-6 inches apart. If you nip off the flowerheads once they start to fade, the plant will respond by producing more flowers- this is known as “deadheading”. Doing this will prevent the plant from going to seed, giving you lovely flowers all summer long.

You might also want to check out my earlier post on spring planting, Organic Garden Update: Spring Planting One:

Organic Garden Update: Spring Planting Two:

Happy planting!

Love Becky x 

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