Using Plants to Keep Insects at Bay
Plants are really amazing and beneficial to just about all living things. Plants can be used for food, to purify the air that we breathe, for decoration, for medicine, and the list goes on. But in this article, we will be looking at plants that repel insects.
I believe that wise gardening is not just planting for beauty, but using plants that can serve more than one purpose. Your garden should be designed in such a way that when planning in this way it makes life easier for you.
It’s all about proper planning
That’s right it is all about proper planning, think outside the box, plan in such a way that you will receive full benefits from your garden, don’t just think of beauty. For example, many herbs that we consume can actually repel pest like mosquitoes, whiteflies, snails, slugs, and so forth
When planting your garden try and incorporate a few of these plants with your other garden plants to bring balance and overall health to your garden area.
Garden herbs a great insect repellent
Here are some herbs that you may be cooking with and are not aware that these plants are great insect repellents.
1. Rosemary-this herb is great to cook with and can give your recipes that BANG, but this herb is also good to get rid of mosquitoes and bean beetles.
2. Basil-a very wonderful herb that is used by many to flavor their pots, this herb can be used to get rid of flies and mosquitoes
3. Mint plant-bugs hate the smell of peppermint, you can crush them and rub the leaves on your skin, this will keep insects away. it is also believed that planting enough mint in your garden area can keep mice away.
4. Lemon thyme-lemon thyme with its amazing aroma is hated by mosquitoes and is a must to add to your garden area.
5. Tansy-tansy is another garden herb that is used to repel mice, flies, moths, ants, and fleas. Tansy makes a great garden choice.
6. Basil-basil is used to flavor foods such as rice and meats, but do you know that this herb is great to keep roaches, moths, mice, and flies out of your pantry. Just place a few on each shelf and watch as these leaves work wonders for you.
7. Garlic-garlic is a strong herb that can really wake up your food care should be taken when cooking with this herb. Planting garlic around your garden area can keep away flies, ticks, ants, and mosquitoes. Besides insects, garlic has been known to repel deer, moles.
8. Thyme-thyme with its pleasant aroma and taste makes a good deer repellent. You can plant thyme around the borders of your garden areas.
9. Sage-sage is also a good deer repellent and can be planted around the border of garden areas.
10. Chives-chives have a great taste and add that much need flavor to soups and salads. This herb is effective in repelling aphids.
11. Lavender-lavender is great for flavoring foods and is also great in keeping away rabbits and mosquitoes.
How to plant herbs
When planting herbs make sure that you plant them in the garden area that gets a least 4-6 hours of sunlight. The same goes for planting and placing them around porches and patios.
Plant herbs in good garden soil or add organic material to the soil to help with soil quality such as proper air circulation and moisture-holding capacity.
Do not overwater allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering and then water again
It is best to use fertilizers such as cow and chicken manure since you will also be using these for food also.
Overwintering your herbs
Summer has passed as the cool weather begins to set in, doing this time many plants take a nice long nap until spring comes around again. To ensure that you continue to enjoy the benefits of your herbs, it is time to go into winter mode.
Steps you should take
1. Remove the herb from the soil before the first winter frost. Make sure not to damage the root ball, the roots are tender and much care should be taken.
2. Make sure that herbs are healthy, look for signs of stress because seeking to overwinter stress herbs can present a challenge. Use good potting soil when transplanting herbs
3. Even though herbs repel some insects, there are still a few that find herbs to be a good meal so use an organic spray to eliminate these insects before transporting herbs indoors.
4. Make sure and keep your potted herbs outdoors but out of direct sunlight for about a week and a half. By this method, you will be preparing your herbs to survive indoors doing the winter months.
5. Once your herbs are on the inside make sure to keep them near a window where they can get at least 4-5 hours of sunlight per day. Make sure and turn the pot so that entire plants can get that much-needed sunlight.
6. If you prefer, you can install grow lights which can be purchased from home depot or a garden supply store.
7. Make sure and use trays add a layer of gravel and set plant pots on top of the gravel to help with drainage. Make sure that each pot you plant your herbs in has a drain hole also.
8. Keep plants group together to produce humidity.
9. With your finger check soil moisture level. Allow the soil to dry out a bit and then water again.
10. You can remove or harvest a few leaves at a time, this will also encourage new growth.
11. Use a liquid fertilizer in small amounts. Make sure and read the label or check with your garden center salesperson.
The final word
Herbs are amazing plants because they can be used for medicine, their vitamin content, as repellents for insects and animals also for flavoring foods. Herbs are one of nature’s wonders so let’s make them a part of our garden feature.