Marigolds and sheep wool
May 28, 2010

If my plans work out,  I will spend the Memorial Day weekend with zinnias and snapdragons,  pansies and alyssum — i.e. I will be planting windowboxes.  My windowboxes are always colorful and chaotic, like the one shown above,  and they always have lots of marigolds to add cheery gold and orange accents.

Last summer,  I read this interesting tip in Plants & Gardens News, published by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (link here):  “Container-grown pot marigold . . . showed increased yields when sheep wool waste was added to the growing medium;  average yields more than doubled when 1.33 percent wool (by weight) was added.”  Sheep raisers and wool spinners may have known this for generations,  but I was glad to learn that composting is getting serious attention from agricultural scientists these days too.

I haven’t had any sheep wool waste lately,  but if you have tried using it,  please share (the information,  that is).  I’d love to know if it works,  although marigolds are such prolific bloomers that it may be hard to tell.  Oh,  the article says that it also works with container-grown valerian.

Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend.