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As soon as the marigold seedlings are tall enough, spread a 2 or 3 inch layer of some organic material such as chopped leaves, dried grass or wood chips on the soil around annuals like marigolds. This mulch suppresses weeds, reduces evaporation of moisture from the soil, cools the soil, and improves the soil as it decomposes.
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As a group, marigolds are wonderfully self-reliant, needing very little attention over the season. American and French marigolds benefit from deadheading. This practice of snipping off the dead blossoms prevents the plants from forming seeds, thus stimulating the production of more blooms. It also keeps the plants looking attractive.