Contrary to what some of you may think, gardening doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Herbs are super easy to grow and don’t take up much space, which makes them perfect for beginners! Fresh herbs will add flavour to your home-cooked meals, bring colour and fragrance to your home, and generally make you feel happier!
Still need another reason to grow herbs? Your time spent outdoors would be more enjoyable! There are fragrant herbs that can repel mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Simply planting these herbs in and around your home is enough to keep the bugs away. But you can also increase the effectiveness of these herbs by bruising or rubbing the leaves together to release the fragrant oils.
Here is a list of some of these herbs that repel mosquitoes:
Basil, a popular culinary herb that makes soups, sauces and salads extra tasty, is also known to be a mosquito repellent. This herb is the perfect plant for beginners, as it is easy to grow and low maintenance. There are many varieties available, with lemon basil and cinnamon basil being the most effective. For the best results, plant a large quantity of basil near doors and windows to keep mosquitoes away. It can be grown in containers or mixed in with flowers in the garden bed. Plant in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil. Basil leaves can also be crushed and rubbed on the skin for a fast, natural mosquito repellent.
Lavender is a beautiful flowering herb with many uses, including repelling mosquitoes and moths. It is most effective planted near windows and doors; fresh or dried lavender can be placed on windowsills to prevent mosquitoes from entering the house. Lavender can also be grown in flower beds. Plant in well-drained soil in a sunny spot.
Lemongrass (sometimes called mosquito grass), a common herb used in southeast Asian cuisines to impart a fresh, citrusy scent to dishes, contains citronella oils that mosquitoes detest. Lemongrass is fast growing. The easiest way to grow lemongrass is to start off with stalks from the supermarket. Trim off the tops of the plant and place the stalks in a glass jar with water until roots form. The lemongrass can then be re-potted in soil and grown in a sunny spot. If growing them in a garden bed, space plants 3-5 feet apart. Water regularly so roots don’t dry out.
Lemon Balm, a member of the mint family with furry green leaves and a lemony scent, is known to be an effective mosquito repellent. It is easy to grow and tends to grow quickly. In fact, lemon balm grows so vigorously, it can take over other garden plants. So be sure to cut back frequently to keep plants in control. And it’s one of the reasons, many gardeners choose to grow lemon balm in containers. Lemon balm is known to attract bees and butterflies to your garden. The leaves can also be used in potpourri and to flavour teas.
Rosemary, a small evergreen shrub, is another common culinary herb that can repel mosquitoes. However, unlike the other herbs on this list, this one can get quite large, growing to be 4 feet tall. Trim frequently to keep shrub small and compact. It does best in a warmer climate, but can also grown as an indoor plant, for those living in colder climates. Plant in full sun, in sandy, well-drained soils. It doesn’t require much water—perfect for those that are forgetful!