Natural Insect Repellants & Remedies
There are many natural plants that you can use to repel insects. One herb plant that works especially well for mosquitoes when I am gardening is basil. I pinch some leaves off and rub it on my skin and clothes. I also stick a few sprigs in my pockets and in my hair. I probably look like I should be on funniest home videos but while I’m protected, my husband is spraying himself for a second time while he’s “relaxing” in the backyard. Plantain a broad-leaf lawn weed can be used to stop the itch or sting of a insect bite. Rub the leaves together until you can get some juice out or chew it well (do not swallow it) then place it on the bite. You should feel relief in just a few minutes. My brother was stung at a picnic and no one had anything to relieve the swelling or pain. I had him use plantain ( he chewed it) then place it on his injury. He couldn't believe how quickly it worked for him. For your pet beds– use mints like pennyroyal in their bedding area, this will keep fleas and ticks away. Have ants ruining your picnic? Try sprinkling powdered cinnamon around or on your picnic cloths. My grandmother always used cinnamon in her kitchen cupboards to deter tiny sugar ants. Yarrow works for not only keeping insects away, it's fresh crushed leaves can stop a cut or nose bleed from bleeding. Just hold the leaves against the cut for a few minutes.
We’ve always heard the phrase “ Planting by the Light of the Moon”. There are many people that believe the best time to plant depends on what cycle our moon is in. But is there a phrase about harvesting and weeding during our moons cycles? There should be. During the later growing season with each of the moons phases we have some gardening work to do that may make our herbs taste better, root crops store better and weeds discouraged from growing, really? Why not give this gardening wisdom a try. See if it works for you. Who knows you may never harvest or weed the same way again.
During a full moon, it is said to be a favorable time for harvesting above ground plants. Herb leaves can be gathered during the full moon just before the plants begin into flower. Vegetables and herbs will be much more flavorful. In the new moon phase, herbal and vegetable roots can be dug out of the ground. By harvesting roots during this dark phase of the moon in the fall it will ensure that the roots are at their most potent and will store better. The waning moon is when the moon appears to be decreasing in size, from the full moon to the new moon.This is said to be the best time to pull out weeds from the garden as the influence of the waning moon is supposed to discourage the weeds from re-growing.
For cleaning your hands up after gardening without gloves , try these solutions:
Cut an unripe tomato in half and rub the juice on your fingers before washing to remove stubborn green stains. Mix a teaspoon of sugar with the lather from your soap for cleaning dirty hands. Rubbing your hands with the end of a rhubarb stem before washing will remove stains too. But carefully wash your hands after that since rhubarb leaves are toxic.
Fun gardening facts, believe or not ?
Squishy, overripe tomatoes can be rescued by placing them in a bowl of salt water for about 20 minutes.
If there were no bees in the world 100,000 plant species would cease to exist.
A snail can sleep for 3 years and ants don’t sleep at all.
There are more insects in one square mile of rural land than there are humans on the this earth.
Each year, insects eat one-third of the earth’s crops.
In one hour the average sprinkler uses the equivalent of two days’ water consumption by a family of four. On average, Americans use approx. 75 gallons of water per person per day.
Worms castings contain high levels of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus and are wonderful for keeping your plants healthy. This one in most definitely true. I wouldn't plant anything without adding worm castings to my soil.
There are so many more gardening wisdoms, folklore, advice that I could go on forever. Perhaps you recognize some of these as your own family traditions passed down to you. Continue pasting whatever works for you down to the next generation so they may continue for many more years to come. Happy Gardening!