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Color Your Yard with Marigolds

Author : Tracy, Mike Date : 2013-2-3 14:38:27

Marigolds are a favorite of home gardeners for their ease of care and their bright colors. Marigolds come in many varieties and sizes. Marigolds have remained so popular through the ages due to their many uses.
 During the 15th century, Marigolds were thought to cure a large number of ailments including jaundice, headache, bee stings, toothaches, wounds, sprains, fevers and headaches.

 Early Anglo-Saxons used the marigold flower to add a yellow color to foods, fabrics and even their hair. It is even said that if marigold petals are mixed with chicken feed it will add intensity to the chicken's egg yolks.

 The flowers are used extensively in every day life in India. They are used for weddings and ceremonies and even crafted into garlands as offerings to the gods or honored guests.

 In Mexico, marigolds are considered a flower of death. They are often planted on graves. The marigold flower will turn towards the sun and so were once thought to have magical powers. They were often used in love spells and carried by sorcerers to be used as talismans.

 One type of marigold, Calendula Officinalis L. or Marsh Marigold, is commonly used in many skin healing ointments and gels for its anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties.

 This easy to grow annual flower can range in size from six inches to 4 feet. The flowers come in a variety of colors including orange, yellow, red, cream and maroon as well as mixed blooms. The flowers can either be rounded, like a little puff, or flat, resembling the daisy.

 Marigolds can be planted from seed after all danger of frost has passed and take 45-50 days to flower. They can be started indoors and then planted outside in the spring. Marigolds require a good garden soil that is moist and well drained. If you don't have good soil, or limited space, you can sow your marigolds directly into pots.

 Plant your Marigolds in an area that gets plenty of sun. Loosen the soil and sprinkle the seeds on top. Barely cover them with a quarter inch of soil and water gently. Keep the soil moist and you will see sprouts in just a few days. Your marigolds bloom until the first frost. Marigolds produce seeds in late summer and early fall and if allowed to remain will commonly reseed themselves.