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

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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~

 

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How do you measure “Strength”

August 6th 2016 - 009

If only I had the same strength as this web….

This morning I was sitting out on my deck waiting for the sun to rise on this beautiful day. When I looked over to where my b.b.q sits and I noticed something magical in the sunlight that was just right for my eyes to focus on this spider web..

It always amazes me when I step outside each morning to be greeted with yet another spider web and wonder where is that spider who constructed this amazing feat just overnight…

Don’t you sleep you little spider? I wonder…

Usually there are webs going across the steps leading down into my garden and I take an old broom to cut through them so I don’t wind up with a face full of webs and probably spill my hot coffee all over me… I don’t mind these critters doing this, but rather not have them directly in my face….

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As I sat on the bench I wondered why they don’t just build them elsewhere…instead of in the very same location every day… My pup waits for me and is accustomed to my morning routines of clearing away spider webs with the broom in one hand and the coffee cup in the other… Then I begin to water the plants that are in containers and check on my newly planted second sowing of radishes…She patiently waits as I take one step at a time, waving this old tattered broom in the air ~ breaking the web lines along my path.. she also takes one step at a time following along with me.

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She knows me so well, and this minor detail always amazes me. I’ve always been a dog owner for as long as I can remember… Probably since I was four years old and I’ve never been very long without a four legged companion. I tend to adopt rescue dogs that have been abused or in need of health interventions… The pup before the one I own right now needed over 5 thousand dollars worth of vet interventions before all was said and done..

At the time I had the money to spend and this pup was a so called free to a good home dog.. She was already grown when I first laid eyes on her. The owner went out in their backyard to retrieve her and brought her to where I was standing just inside of their home..

This animal looked so sad walking through the room, until our eyes met … She hurried over to me and sat to my left,. resting her side against my leg… The owner said it was odd for her to behave in this manner, because she was always kept outside tied up and never really was around other people ~ except for the family members..

I said I’d take her and with my hand lightly on the top of her head I bent down to ask her if she wanted to go with me?  She licked my cheek looking into my eyes as much to say, “Get me the hell outta of here, please.” And, so I did just that.. She had been abused the vet said and was probably chained up with a thick chain that she tried to bite through to get away.. She needed dental and 4 operations and many other visits to the vet over the next two years..

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Why would I want to go through this and spend that amount of money when it comes to me in small amounts and is very dear to my survival and at the time my young children… Well…it’s simple ~ The dog had a heart of gold and I just had to give her the next seven years a life of love, companionship, courage, and above all time spent with a family who respects their animals…

She helped me in more ways than one after my husband passed away from a sudden heart attack at the young age of 46… Perhaps, my heart was so broken over this loss that I’d do anything to bring happiness to people around me and to a pet.. Perhaps, this was a moment in time that was meant to be, and this dog showed me how to survive and become a stronger person in the long run.. If, she could rally with all of the vet interventions and still remain a dog with a heart of gold.. I could be strong enough to give this beautiful animal the life she was suppose to have from the very beginning…

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In loving memory of a pup with a golden heart

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Until next time

Love your family & pets

~Laura~