There are many types of ventures that I’ve been considering for the property. From some research, I’ve found a few ideas that could be fairly profitable…if I can get it up and running. My struggle is always the same– choosing ONE thing. My brain is convinced that, “Why choose ONE when you can do them ALL!” You only live once right? Might as well try everything. Even if I fail at something I’ll have learned some valuable lessons one way or the other.
So second to some sort of animal venture, the other thing that keeps nagging at me is flower &/or herb crops. Not like roses and parsley, though those are nice. But herbs that are more specialized the the naturalistic realm. What comes to mind specifically are flower and medicinal herbs that I can grow in bulk, that specifically will grow well here in our pretty extreme dry/hot/windy/full sun climate.
Like what? I’m so glad you asked.
Marigolds are much more than just a vibrant addition to your garden. These versatile flowers, known for their striking golden and orange hues, have been cherished for centuries. In this guide, I’ll share the art of growing marigolds, their benefits for herbal use, and their significance in Dia de Muertos celebrations.
Growing Marigolds – A Beginner’s Guide:
Choosing the Right Varieties: Marigolds come in various species, but the two most common for gardening are the French marigold (Tagetes patula) and the African marigold (Tagetes erecta). French marigolds are smaller and more delicate, while African marigolds are larger and more robust. Select the variety that suits your garden and needs.
Planting and Soil: Marigolds are easy to grow from seeds. Choose a well-drained, sunny spot in your garden. They prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH level around 6.0 to 7.0. Plant the seeds about 1 inch apart and 1/4 inch deep in early spring, after the last frost.
Watering and Care: Marigolds are fairly low-maintenance. Water them moderately and avoid overwatering, as they are prone to root rot. Mulch around the base of the plants to help retain moisture and deter weeds.
Pest Control: Marigolds are known for their natural pest-repelling properties. Planting them near your vegetables or other susceptible plants can help deter harmful insects like aphids and nematodes.
Harvesting: Marigolds typically bloom from late spring until the first frost. Once the flowers have fully opened, you can begin harvesting. Gently snip the flowers just below the blossom and remove any leaves. Use them fresh or dry them for future use.
Marigolds for Herbal Use:
Marigolds have a long history of herbal and medicinal applications. Their petals and leaves contain beneficial compounds, including antioxidants, flavonoids, and essential oils.
Top Herbal Uses:
- Wound Healing: Marigold petals can be used to make a soothing salve or infusion to help heal wounds, cuts, and minor burns.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Marigold extracts may reduce inflammation and soothe skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis.
- Digestive Aid: Marigold tea can be consumed to alleviate digestive discomfort and promote healthy digestion.
Decorating with Marigolds for Dia de Muertos:
In Mexican culture, marigolds hold special significance during Dia de Muertos, the Day of the Dead. These bright flowers are believed to guide the souls of departed loved ones back to the world of the living. They are used in various ways to honor and remember the deceased.
Altars and Ofrendas: Marigolds are a common feature on Dia de Muertos altars, known as “ofrendas.” Their vibrant colors are used to create intricate designs, and their petals are scattered on the ground or used to form paths leading to the ofrenda.
Garlands and Wreaths: Marigold garlands and wreaths are hung around homes and cemeteries during Dia de Muertos. They add a festive and welcoming touch to the celebrations.
Face Paint: Children and adults often paint marigold designs on their faces, using them as a symbol of remembrance and connection with the spirits of the departed.
So to wrap up, Marigolds are not only beautiful additions to your garden but also hold deep cultural and herbal significance. Growing marigolds allows you to enjoy their vibrant colors and beneficial properties. Additionally, their role in Dia de Muertos celebrations adds a cultural and spiritual dimension to their charm. Whether you’re gardening, crafting herbal remedies, or celebrating the Day of the Dead, marigolds can be a source of joy, beauty, and cultural connection in your life. Plant these radiant flowers, and watch your garden come to life with their warm and inviting presence.