Fact or Fiction? ~ Citrosa, Mosquito Plants

When strolling the isles of my outdoor gardening center around the end of June I noticed something I didn’t know existed…

Citrosa ~ The Mosquito Fighting Plant

Bug fighting plant on background

After laughing out loud all by myself I looked around to see if anyone was near by. I do that a lot I’m afraid to say, but if I find something hilarious I don’t care and I laugh…

The closer I came to this plant after squinting to read the label I grabbed two of the sad looking plants that were starving for water. Actually, by mid-June most of the plants are marked down and rarely given any water. Probably, in hopes they would all just die so they could close that section of the center.

The plants smelled just like citronella candles minus the smoke from the wick burning. I was sad to learn that these plants were annuals and not perennials because I thought it might be nice to have these come back each year.

I won’t be bringing these indoors when the frost arrives, because the aroma is very strong and they would have me choking like I do when following someone in the grocery store who sprayed half of their bottle of perfume all over their bodies.

So, I thought I would research these plants to see if the claims were any where near true. Given my detective nature I was off on yet another journey over the inter-webs…

I found out that you must crush the leaves to release the essential oils from the plant and rub this over a small section of your arm for the first time just in case you get a reaction you don’t want from the oils. They said there was a short-term mosquito repelling qualities 30 to 40 percent that of DEET.

But, there are plants with better numbers compared to DEET out there such as:

Lemon Thyme

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Crushed Lemon Thyme will give you 62 percent the protection of DEET.

Lemon Balm

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Crushed Lemon Balm offers a much greater quantity of citronella, 400 times as much as the Citrosa plant.

These two plants are less expensive and easier to grow it also stated.

Here are a number of other plants that can be beneficial for you as bug repellent and good also for your garden plants as a deterrent to those nasty bugs and slugs that eat away our growing vegetables..

Alliums

Take that you cabbage worms, carrot flies, aphids, and the dreaded slugs… I will be planting these flowers next year and they are really tall and beautiful in the garden…

Dill

Run for your life you nasty Tomato hornworms, squash bugs,cabbage loopers, spider mites, and aphids…

Basil

Get outta here! You mosquitoes and house flies!

Chives

Move on out! You Japanese beetles, aphids, and carrot flies…

Fennel

Slugs you better slime away, along with the aphids and snails…

mint

Mosquitoes don’t think I’ve forgotten about you, run for the hills!

Rosemary

Be gone! Vegetable plant bugs, mosquitoes and flies…

Petunia

This beautiful flower packs a big punch! Wham.. you asparagus beetle, tomato hornworms,squash bugs, leafhoppers, and aphids…

Parsley

oregano

Last but not least is the Oregano …

There are many more if you want to research it, but this has been a good start for me and I’ve made a nice list of new plants and old ones to grow next year and the proper placement for them in my garden to try and have a bigger harvest, instead of the bounty I’ve been feeding to the slugs, and other bugs… I want harmony in my garden and food for my belly… wink 🙂

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Until next time,

~Laura~

 

A beautiful Gift from Nature

I’ve noticed that the Zinnias will begin to form a flower bud, then the day before the flower opens it will bow half way and stay there, until it opens. I’ve yet to catch it rising back upright and opening since I’d need a time lapse camera. But, what a beautiful gift nature gave me yesterday morning.

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Have a beautiful day

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Until next time

~Laura~

Just Call Me Chicken Little

I was hoping my eyes were playing tricks on me from afar, but once the camera captured this picture of a nest on the neighbors house I became very concerned.

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I’m not sure if it’s a wasp or a hornet, but I did see this below today landing on my deck railing and fly off in the direction of this nest.

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(I’m not certain if it had the white markings)

Just call me chicken little

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I hurried inside as I’ve read that hornet stings are so much worse than the honey bee or the wasp sting. Oh my goodness, how can that be worse! The wasp can sting you over 5 times in succession and doesn’t die after either. They don’t lose their stingers after stinging you.. How is that FAIR?

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I know they eat the bad bugs in our gardens and pollinate our beautiful flowers, but if we are not trying to swat them why can’t they just fly on by without feeling threatened by us? I ask you that…Well, actually that is exactly what this bug did, flew on its way…Alright, I am Chicken Little in the worst way..

Today marks the day for my container potatoes to be ready. The 80 days have expired and the plant has been turning yellow for the past week and a half. I want to wait until all of the leaves turn yellow, since the first frost is a long way off (I think anyway as it’s bloody hot out there today, feeling like 36 c. with the humidity)

My second container with the potatoes should be ready on August 30th, but there is no sign at all of yellowing leaves, so they will remain until such time.. We’re suppose to get thunderstorms for this evening, overnight and into the next day as well, so I’ll wait for a nice sunny, dry day and then dump out the container to see what my bounty will be. I just hope the scary black insects who lives in that hive are not around for the harvest….

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Until next time

~Laura~

A little stroll by the Lake ~ Part One

It was just one of those days…I woke around 5 this morning and felt the approaching rain off in the distance. Last nights beautiful sunset was a sign that rain was in our future. We still need the rain so it’s a welcome sight to see. But, my knees know as well when it’s going to rain or snow and they are not in the least bashful about showing me who’s boss.

I thought I’d go for a little walk early this morning down by the lake on the boardwalk. Since, I was going to feel pains in the knees I might as well earn it a little because there was going to be no gardening for me today.

I checked the weather forecast before heading out and hoped that the estimated time for the arrival of the showers was correct. Just to be safe I grabbed my handy dandy umbrella and placed my digital camera in my little ice cooler because it keeps the rain off and when the camera is in the car it’s hidden from others and it won’t be damaged by any heat in the car. Works like a charm… Just a helpful hint… So, come on and follow along with me on my walk this morning…

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As you can see the whole of the morning was going to be hues of gray with a few scattered sprinkles here and there.

As I looked down the boardwalk I noticed the volunteers hard at work this early morning. Pulling out brown bits of plants and pulling any weeds that have appeared just overnight from the past two days of rain.

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I walked pass the Hostas with their varied markings. There is really something special about these hardy plants. They can withstand drought, as proven in my own garden this year as long as there is shade for them like underneath this pine tree.

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I came upon this beauty with a visitor resting on top of the flower. So, I must stop to take a shot before it notices I’m there and flies away.

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I pretty much had the entire boardwalk to myself this morning, except for the occasional person walking their dogs. This newly mulched path looked appealing to me and wondered if I’d see a tiny critter running through the bushes. I wasn’t disappointed because two chipmunks took off running in the other direction.

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This is where small celebrations are held. It’s amazing how your voice can travel when standing underneath this structure. Kids of all ages love to stand in the middle and call to each other while a slight echo happens like magic…

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I walked around by the beach area that is roped off for the safety of swimmers of all ages and where the summertime lifeguards can keep a watchful eye on everyone.

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Although, it’s abandoned at the moment as soon as the weather clears folks will be out on the beach playing and swimming. Under the careful eye of the wonderful people who sit up on this lifeguard chair.

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It may have been too early for young children with their parents to play at this playground, but this single little duck found it just right and had the beach all to themselves.

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I found myself giggling when looking through the camera and noticed these rocks looked more like a loch nest monster then just being low tide…

or is it???

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  or perhaps  060309_loch_ness

You can see I have quite the imagination while doing most things each day…So join me tomorrow for Part Two of the stroll along the boardwalk…

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Until next time

~Laura~

My Beauty Has Siblings…

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There are 8 flowers heads on these two Sunflower plants.

Three have opened, I wonder if all 8 open what will they look like?

I can’t wait…

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August 6th 2016 - 002 - Eastern Carpenter Bee

Eastern Carpenter Bee

or at least I think ….after looking on the inter-webs…

If, anyone knows for sure please leave in the comments..

Thanking you kindly……

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Until next time

~Laura~