Monday, August 30, 2010

How does my garden grow? Ant and Mosquito Repelling Plants

Apparently, I'm having better luck uploading photos ... if I have patience. I started to post about my garden in May, but I didn't finish. (Click here to see what I posted back in May).

Here are some more pictures from my garden back in late-May:
Lavender, a wonderful smelling plant that is a natural mosquito repellant:

I bought more lavender, so I'll show you pictures of all my lavender!

Rosemary, another wonderfully smelling mosquito repellant:

I also bought more rosemary. I put it in the top of a candle lantern candle holder, and the smell of the semi-burning rosemary appears to help repel mosquitoes.

Irises (in front), marigolds, silver leafy thing, more marigolds, and geraniums (in the back):

Mint (pepper mint, to be exact), a natural mosquito repellant and yummy herb:

On Wednesday, I'll post my garden now.

Marigolds are supposed to repel ants. It's hard to confirm they're working, but they aren't hurting and I enjoy them. We had an ant problem in the spring, but we used an exterminator to get rid of them (they were that bad). Then I planted marigolds, and they haven't come back inside. That could be due to the exterminator or the marigolds or both. The exterminator said that nature is the source of their ant poison - chrysanthemums, in particular, but there are many plants in nature that repel or even kill ants. He said it was smart to plant the marigolds to try whatever natural methods to repel the ants. (We also dug up these massive cedar bushes out front that attract ants.)

Geraniums are supposed to repel mosquitoes. We have a ton of mosquitoes at dusk, so I don't know if a few geranium plants will make a difference. I enjoy the geraniums, so I think they're worth it. We've also planted a bat house to try to attract a bat to the area. More on that another time.

The silver leafy thingy is supposed to attract butterflies (and thus repel mosquitoes). We have a ton of milkweed on the back of our property, and so we have a ton of the endangered monarch butterflies floating around our property, including on the silver leafy thing. We have little monarchs and big monarchs, monarchs of all sizes all over, including on the silver leafy thing and just floating by!

My marigolds were thriving. I was weeding them every day, and found a weed spray that is "safe in flower beds". You can guess where this is going - only about half of the marigolds lived, and some of them are still dying. I'll post a picture of the marigolds I have left so you can get an idea of how they might have been thriving! Half my geraniums died, too, and one of the silvery leaf things doesn't look so good. I pulled up the dead marigolds and moved them all to the right side of the bed (they were distributed on both the right and left side before). On the left side, I've recently planted fall chrysanthemums to fill out the flower bed. It was making me really sad when I saw the empty areas where thriving marigolds had been, so having the mums there is nice.

Lesson learned.

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