The marigolds are for rodent control as you suggested, I see them in amish gardens all around here. I like to plant a row of wild flowers as a pollinator attractant. I like the idea of a compost pile, but it needs some attention, (moisture, heat, turning) but I dint go that route.What I do instead is I keep a couple 5 gal. bucket around for scarps. I keep all table scrapes, (no dairy, meat and easy on citrus, meat and dairy draw critters) when the bucket gets full I take it to the garden, dump it out in a 2-3" layer and leave it untill I till next. In a day or two go out and disrupt the layer and be amazed at all the worms. I will add newspaper, recycled cardboard, leafs, grass clippings and yes, even the dirt from my vacuum cleaner. To be continued
Bob, my daughter was standing over my shoulder and read your post. She reminded me of a few years back when we found our selfs in the same situation. We had planted around 150 tomato plants, manly for seed production, and they were calling for frost the next 3 nights. What the ---- are we going to do?? Just so happened a friend that works at a body shop stopped by and had an idea. He had some damaged rolls of that thin plastic masking film. He saved the day, er plants. He had all the tomatoes he could use that year.