You may be staying home right now, but insects and pests didn’t get the memo. They’re still up to their usual mischief in our gardens. But what if you could use that to your advantage?
You can rid your plants of unwanted guests like ants, aphids and other insects by planting herbs that act as natural insect repellents. Then use the herbs to spruce up your favorite recipes during this time at home. These six herbs will help you keep your gardens pest-free and your dishes full of flavor.
This herb does more than make your Italian dishes taste delicious. It also repels flies and mosquitoes. The oil in basil kills mosquito eggs, so plant it in your garden or place pots strategically around your patio to keep your outdoor spaces more pleasant.
You can even make basil mosquito repellent.
This floral herb is known to keep dirty smells at bay. While humans love it fresh, dried or as a scent in household soaps, detergents and cleaners, other species do not share our taste. Moths, fleas, flies and mosquitoes would rather say, “Thank u, next.” Grow it in your garden and keep a few bouquets around the house.
Arguably the best flavor to complement chocolate ice cream (sorry, peanut butter), it does double duty by keeping biting insects away. Grow it in pots so you don’t overrun your garden – once planted in your garden, it can be difficult to remove.
Make a refreshing mojito to cool off this spring and summer. With all that fresh mint, it would be rude not to.
Protect your vegetable plants with this poignant herb. Keeping bugs away with rosemary doesn’t take any special work because the live plant, its cuttings and its oil will all repel pesky mosquitoes.
Rosemary is commonly used for roasting vegetables – defend your garden and then dig in. You can also use rosemary to season poultry or fish.
A delicious topping for potatoes, eggs, soups and a variety of dishes, chives stave away aphids, mites and Japanese beetles. It also keeps away rabbits, whose appetites can also get the best of your garden.
Dill repels aphids and spider mites. You can sprinkle the herb on vegetables, like squash, when you want to keep pests away. You can also play a little game to protect your tomatoes. As their name implies, tomato hornworms love tomatoes. But they love dill even more. Plant your dill far enough away, lure them in and they’ll forget your tomatoes are even there.
With all of the time we’re spending in our homes this spring, it’s the perfect season to experiment in your garden. Planting new herbs can be a fun activity, with the reward of making our outdoor spaces more inviting and fruitful. Plus, the fresh flavors and aromas might just be the thing you need to repel cabin fever – a different type of pest.