Cover Crops: Marigold

Table of Contents

  1. Description: Family
  2. Growth Habits
  3. Benefits and Concerns
  4. Getting Started
  5. Related Links


Figure 1 . Crop of Marigolds

Figure 1. Crop of Marigolds


  • Compositae

Growth Habits


  • annual

Top Growth

  • height growth is cultivar-dependent
  • moderate growth rate
  • stocky plant with lacey leaf growth
  • tough stalks

Root System

  • moderate rate of root growth
  • medium sized root system


  • winterkills

Benefits and Concerns

Pest Management

  • non-host for nematodes, suppresses nematode populations
  • 2 year control achieved in Ontario
  • needs to be weed free for nematode suppression

Getting Started


  • seed can be drilled or broadcast
  • plant shallow – 1 cm and pack lightly
  • seed is light and fluffy – will bridge in seed drill tubes. Some success has been had with mixing seed with pre-cooked dry rice to help flow from seed box in drill
  • seed at rate of 1.3 kg/ha
  • does not require mowing

Cost & Availability

  • seed is expensive eg more $100 per acre
  • seed can be difficult to source
  • cv Cracker Jack is most common seed available,
  • cv.Creole will also work

Related Links

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300