Marigolds brighten up the landscape like miniature rays of sunshine. They are loved by experienced gardeners, but because their demands are so few, they're a perfect choice for novice green thumbs. Plant them amidst vegetables, and the marigold's somewhat unpleasant aroma will discourage nematodes and aphids. Sow marigold seeds indoors about 2 weeks before the last expected freeze.
Fill the peat pots with commercial potting soil. Poke two marigold seeds about 1/2 inch into the soil, and mist the soil lightly.
Put the peat pots in a sunny window, and cover the peat pots with plastic wrap, which will act like a miniature greenhouse. The plastic will keep moisture in, but if the soil appears dry, remove the plastic, mist the soil lightly, and put the plastic back on. The seeds should sprout in 3 or 4 days.
Remove the plastic wrap as soon as the marigold seeds sprout, and continue misting the soil regularly. Let the seedlings grow for another 10 days to 2 weeks, and then plant them outdoors.
Choose a sunny spot for the marigolds. Although they can tolerate some shade, they'll bloom better if they receive at least 6 hours of sunlight each day.
Remove any weeds from the planting site, and use a hoe to work the soil down to about 8 inches. Plant the marigold seedlings about 10 inches apart.
Fertilize the marigolds two or three times throughout the growing season, using an all-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer. Water the marigolds once a week, or twice if the weather is hot and dry. To keep the marigolds blooming prolifically, deadhead the blooms by pinching them off when they begin to fade.