Citronella Lemon Balm
We have had unseasonably warm weather and a lot of rain over the last couple of weeks. I was in my garden a few days ago enjoying the 74 degree weather. I’m not fooled into thinking we won’t have another frost but I was using this pretty weather to add compost and topsoil to one of my raised bed gardens, getting it ready to plant cool season vegetables. That enjoyment was briefly interrupted when I was bitten by a mosquito! These mild days and wet weather had awakened them and I was the perfect target. We have problems with mosquitoes in my yard and anything I can do to use in my arsenal weapons I’ll give a try. I don’t want to spray or fog my yard because it will harm the beneficial insects I have tried so hard to attract to my gardens. I also have dogs and a cat that are in the yard daily.
But wanting to be nature friendly, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your outdoor space. One natural way is to choose plants that are known to repel insects, and one of those I particularly like is lemon balm. Some types of lemon balm have a higher content of citronella in them which mosquitoes and other insects dislike. There is one variety that I have found called Citronella lemon balm that contains about 38% more of the compound so it has a stronger ability to repel. It is the most fragrant variety available. It also has a pleasant lemony smell, so you don’t need to worry about it not smelling good to humans.
You can’t expect just one plant to do the trick, however. You need to use several plants or use a combination of plants such as marigolds, catnip, oregano, peppermint and rosemary which are also known to repel mosquitoes and flies. I like to plant several pots and place them in areas where we sit. To enjoy the benefit while you are gardening, tuck a few pots in the flower bed, or place several pots by your favorite chair where you rest. I have several different pots of herbs next to my raised garden beds. Some are to repel mosquitoes, while others are to eat or attract beneficial insects.
Lemon balm is easy to grow and pretty much maintenance free. If you plant it in a container, you will need to water more often. Be sure your container has good drainage. You can also pinch it back to keep it bushy, because it will start to get leggy as it attempts to spread out.
As you are planning your garden, consider choosing lemon balm and other insect repelling plants to make your gardening bug free.
After working in your garden, there is something relaxing about being close to the smell of lemon balm, knowing that you are less likely to get bitten. These poly gliders are the perfect choice to relax in your garden. They are made in Ohio from 9O% recycled plastic sourced from used plastics such as bottles, milk and soap jugs, and other post-consumer containers. Opt for the ones that swivel so that you can get a complete view of your garden!
Happy Bug Free Gardening!
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