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Seeds can be sown directly in the garden, in the spring after danger of frost. Mark a row, and drop seeds every 6 inches, cover with ¼ - 1/2 “ soil, pat gently and water. Seeds should germinate within a week, and plants will blossom 6-8 weeks later.
Seeds can be started indoors in seed trays 3-4 weeks before frost-free date and transplanted into the garden. For a continuous display, sow several times throughout the spring either in the garden or in seeds trays for transplant. If you are not able to plant the seeds immediately, seeds can be kept in a dry location, away from sun and direct heat for up to a year.
- Light: Full sun or part shade. Calendula will not do well in the hot summer heat and prefers the cooler temperatures of spring and early fall. Water regularly until well established, and when the soil is dry. Stress to the plants will cause the flower heads to droop and go to seed.
- Soil: Calendula is tolerant of ordinary soil, yet prefers optimal conditions that offer rich, nutritious organic soil. Like most flowers and herbs, however, go easy on the fertilizer since too much nitrogen will create an abundance of foliage, and few flowers. Calendula does well naturalized in meadows and herb gardens, as well as in the flower border.
- Spacing: Plant seeds in a row, allowing 5 inches between seeds, ideally along the edge of an herb, flower or vegetable garden. Mature seedlings can also be transplanted and grown in a window box and deck planter, with mixed flowers of deep blue and red to set off the brighter colors.
- Planting: When direct sowing in the garden, or in a seed tray, press seed ½” below the surface of soft soil, cover with soil, press gently, and water. Keep in full sun, lightly watered until germination and plants appear.
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