Lower South

September, 2006
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Mexican Mint Marigold
Equally at home in the herb garden and perennial flower border, Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida) does double duty as a culinary herb and beautiful, fall-flowering plant. It's a dependable perennial returning each year to form a mounded plant 2 to 3 feet in height. In fall it's covered with a multitude of small, yellow, single, 1/2-inch blooms. Plant it in a well-drained soil in full sun for best results. The leaves have a distinctive, pleasing, anise-like scent (similar to those black jelly beans!). They are used in herbal teas and as a substitute for tarragon in herbal vinegars, salad dressings, and sauces.

Tool or Gardening Product

Row Cover Fabric
Spunbound polyester row cover is a lightweight (about 1/2 ounce per square yard) fabric-like material that's also used to line the inside of disposable baby diapers. It allows sunlight, air, and water to pass through, but excludes insect pests. Use it to cover a bed of pest-prone greens or a row of looper-attracting cole crops. Just cover the edges with soil or boards to prevent pests from entering. Although much lighter than frost blankets, this fabric will provide seedlings and tender plants with a little protection from frosts and light freezes.

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