How about planting a marigold ''mule'' in your garden this year? Triploid marigold hybrids, or mules, combine the best qualities of large American marigolds and the smaller French ones. They are compact, vigorous, and floriferous - a wonderful addition to any garden.
Since triploid marigolds do not use their energy to set seed, they are continually and enthusiastically in bloom.
Triploid hybrids are not the only recent development in marigold breeding, however. This year you can also buy carnation-flowered marigolds, chrysanthemum-flowered marigolds, doubles, singles, bicolors, crested marigolds, and even odorless marigolds.
Culture for all marigolds couldn't be easier. Plant them, water them, and watch them grow and flower until frost.
Marigolds are seldom, if ever, bothered by insects or disease. In fact, they are perhaps the most foolproof annuals for a garden. And many gardeners believe that the French marigolds repel nematodes and therefore plant them with other crops as a natural method of pest control.
For carefree bedding plants that provide long-lasting cut flowers for the house, it's hard to beat the glories of yellow, gold, orange, and red marigolds - and the most glorious of all are the mules.