Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Treading water

Tagetes  minuta
I'm not letting this past growing season move on to the season of treading water and sparing the watering can ,without praising Tagetes minuta , and hoping that everyone who is a gardener and reads this post will grow some next year .
It masquerades as a bog standard French or African marigold when it germinates .
Rule 1 , always label your seed trays . This one grows and grows  and grows and a rogue one amongst a neat border of the bedding marigold will not become obvious until about June when the municipal ones are behaving as they should . In my case ,I grow the latter to keep the border edge obvious on my no dig beds. I just don't have time to manicure edges.
Rule 2 Remember how tall T.minuta may grow. This year they are over a metre high, whereas the T.tigers eyes are about 19cm.
     Rule 3. Read the books on Companion Planting . I like Bob Flowerdew's simple  The Companion garden .You will discover that T. minuta is reputed to repel COUCH GRASS AND BINDWEED by exuding noxious secretions from its roots , or that's  the gist . I cannot see how any one on Filey Allotments then could do without it . I spend hours in February and March trying to dig out all the subterranean runners of Couch Grass. I delight when a huge piece comes out , and try to get every little bit out , but its still rife in the boundary edges of my plots. Next year I am going to plant serious borders of the giant annual, hoping to create windbreaks and artillery .
    Rule 4 Always spend time making sure your allotment guests smell T minuta. It is highly and pleasantly aromatic.
    T minuta November 2018

    Its treading water at the moment too. The winds and rain are very rough today . I've been up to the plot in the gales to see if the roof is still on the shed and if the T minuta has all fallen over, it is and it hasn't .


  1. An interesting post as always Margaret. I don't know that I have ever seen this particular plant, but then I am no botanist. The leaves appear to be similar to Golden Rod which h as appeared (courtesay of the birds) in my garden this Autumn.
    My father used to grow this in his garden in Birmingham when I was a child and I have never seen it since until this year.
    I think this very unusual Summer has encouraged a number of plants which have been lying in wait for their chance to appear.
    Keep the stories (and the photos) coming please.

    1. Thank you Ray . I'm also awake often at 4am ! Will think of you next time!!Golden Rod was such a popular plant in the 50s, and now its a favourite of the Florist trade and often appears in the mixed bunches on sale in Tesco and Sainsbury's. We never had it in Sutton , as my mother was allergic to it,but youve given me an idea, I think i'll grow some for Church to mix in with other things as it lasts so long .