Day of the Dead Marigold - Tagetes erecta
Most gardeners plant little marigolds in their vegetable gardens to repel bugs. In Mexico, giant marigolds have been grown for centuries to decorate graves and celebrate Day of the Dead. They grow 5 feet tall and 3 feet across with huge blooms that look like orange carnations. They’ll tower over the tomatoes they’re protecting.
Long stemmed and superb for cutting they’re profuse & long blooming from Summer through Fall. Rich soil and full sun will yield impressive, pungent glory.
This hardy strain was grown by the Aztecs 500 years ago. Seeds for the original giant are almost impossible to find. These seeds were collected in the Campo Santos (the town cemetery) in El Tuito, Jalisco, Mexico.
Surface sow seeds on the surface of a well draining soil, very lightly cover with soil. Use light water pressure, like the mist setting on your hose to keep soil consistently moist, but not soaking wet. Harder water pressure can bury seeds too deeply to germinate. Cover your pot with plastic wrap and a rubber band to keep in heat and moisture. Place your pots in a warm, sunny spot, seeds need heat and light to germinate.