Marigolds have been herald by gardeners as one of the easiest and beneficial flowering annuals for years.
The flowers distinct smell has been known to keep insects and bugs from visiting vegetable gardens, insect population in a flower beds to a minimum, and it is the flower of choice with those that suffer with deer grazing on their plants.
The plant flats are economical to go out and purchase from greenhouses, but a package of seeds is still a better economical option for myself.
There are two ways to start your seed. One is to sow the seed directly outdoors in the soil after all danger of frost has passed. The second way is to start your seed indoors.
I start my seeds indoors about 6 weeks before the expected last first for my region. Fill containers with a good potting soil mix, sprinkle the seed on the top of the soil. Lightly cover the seed with soil and water well. Keep the seed in direct sunlight, a bright window works well.
Keep an eye on the soils moisture. You only really need to keep it moist but never let the soil dry out completely before watering. Typically, the seed will take 4-6 days to sprout. A few years ago, we suffered a gloomy spring and I had lost all hope after two weeks of looking at dirt. Low and behold, after two full weeks I had sprouts. So, patience is key.
When your sprouts reach two inches tall, thin them out, leaving only a few strong sprouts in each container. It will take about a month for the sprout to start looking like a true plant.
After the danger of frost has passed, plant outdoors in your garden, flower pots or a flower bed.
Marigolds will bloom from summer to the first hard frost of the growing season. To keep your plants blooming, pinch back dead blooms so the plant keeps producing.