Repel Mosquitoes and enjoy the view!

hummingbird-beebalm-loRepelling mosquitoes can be done not only by coating yourself in bug spray, or carrying a ThermaCell Mosquito Repellent Dispenser, but also by planting some useful plants around your house or deck, or place strategically around the yard!There are many plants that help to reply mosquitoes since these pesky little bugs can not stand the smell, and this allow us to sit back and enjoy the view without getting bit. Ruralking has several of these plants already started for you to just put in a pot or in the ground, as well as packets of seeds for you to plant as you please!

To start off with most of these plants emit a fragrance that is usually pleasing to us, such as lemon, lavender, and mint. Some of the plants repel naturally, others can be processed (boiled or crushed, etc) into a spray to use. Here is a link that explains how to use each of the plants to help you repel these pesky bugs, make sure to check your planting zones and correlate it with your plants growing zones:

31 Plants That Repel Mosquitoes

citranella plant      Ageratum 003 lemon balm

 

Here are some of the plants: Ageratum (purple flow pictured above), Basil (I suggest to plant in a pot or it can overtake an area), Bee Balm (I love these beautiful perennials, it is the pink flower with the hummingbird, pictured above), Cadaga tree (Tagetes lucida), Catmint, Catnip (beware of attracting all the neighborhood cats), Cedar trees, Citronella Grass or plant (mosquito plant pictured above), Clove, Eucalyptus tree,  Floss flower, Garlic, Lavendar, Lemon balm (gives your yard a fresh scent), Lemon Grass (this grows like crazy), Lemon scented Geraniums (Pelargonium crispum), Lemon Thyme, Lemon Verbena, Marigolds (Tagetes lucida- works the best since it has the strongest smell, but the other breeds work well), Mint, Nodding Onion, Pineapple weed (Matricaria matricarioides), Pitcher plants (does not emit a smell, but it is a carnivorous plant that ingests the bugs), Rosemary, Snowbrush, Sweet Fern,  Sage, Tansy, Tea tree (oil extract has many other great qualities), Vanilla Leaf (usually needs to be crushed), Wild Bergamot (needs to be crushed and diluted with water, can cause irritation if applied directly), Wormwood , and Stone root (similar to mint).

I would suggest to reference that website to know how each plant can be used to help repel, some are naturally a repellent, some have to be crushed and boiled to release the plant oils, and some can be made into a natural spray or rubbed on the skin directly.

I love the fact that my herb garden around my house is helping to reduce the amount of pests around the porch, as well as having a use in my kitchen!

 

DIY Stump Removal

stump

In the new house my husband and I are moving into next Friday we have at least 1 tree growing too close to the house and we will unfortunately need to cut down. I was searching for a way to do this without using harsh chemicals and I feel I found a way that will work well for us! With the use of a simple power drill and Epsom salt we can get rid of the stump with very little physical labor at all.

What you will need:

-Power Drill

-Epsom Salt

-Water

-Mattock or grub hoe

What to do:

-Once the tree is removed you will be left with you stump, you will want to drill some holes in the stump with a 1 inch spade bit. The amount of holes will depend on how large your stump is. You will start your holes about 3 inches from the perimeter and continue with the holes being about 3-4 inches apart from each other until there is no space left on the top of the stump. You will want the holes to go at least 8 inches into the stump.

-At this time you will want to fill your holes with the 100 pure Epsom salt.

-Once the holes have been filled you will want to add water to moisten the salt.

-Now you will want to use the hoe to expose as much of the root structure as you can.

-Add a thick layer of your Epsom salt to the roots which will prevent the roots from carrying moisture and nutrients to the base of the tree.

How it all works:

The Epsom salt is hygroscopic which means it will absorb water. With the large amount of Epsom salt used in this process it will pull moisture from the wood which will in time kill the stump.  The benefit of using this over typical stump killers is that it will actually improve the soil around the stump. The Epsom salt will improve the soil by adding magnesium and sulfur which plants require for chlorophyll and production.

**This process can take up to 1-2 months to die and you will need to reapply the Epsom salt every 3 weeks. **

I localted this information from:  http://www.ehow.com/way_5720752_epsom-salt-formula-stump-removal.html 

Beginners Guide to Composting

In honor of Earth Day I was interested in finding an inexpensive way to do my part in conserving our Earth! I am coming to the finish line on purchasing my first home and I would like to start a small garden. I thought starting a compost pile would be beneficial for the Earth and myself. Turns out this will be easier than I thought and in the long run can save some money as well!

earth

What you will need to get started:

-Sealed bucket or container (for in the house)

Spade or pitch fork (depends on the size you want your pile to be)

Plastic garbage can

-bungee cords

-3 bricks/stones

-Power drill

-shovel (depends on what compost you use)

What you will need to do:

I found 2 great ways to do this 1 was a hole dug in the ground and 1 was with the plastic garbage can. For me personally I feel the garbage can would work best for me.

-You will want to drill holes into the garbage can. Drill holes on the bottom, sides, and lid to allow water and drainage.

-You will use the bungee cords to hold the lid onto the garbage can to keep animals out and provide a good seal. These will go in a crisscross pattern on the top of the lid.

-Now it can be placed on top of the bricks/stones you have set aside. This will allow air to come through and moisture to drain.

-You will use you spade/pitch fork for mixing everything together.

-To start the pile you will want to layer the bottom with plant material and then scoop a hefty amount of garden soil on top. From here on out you can continue to add to you pile with the small container you have in your house. You can add to the container inside your home until it is full then bring it out to the pile at that time. Doing this will keep you from running out to the pile every time you have a little something from cooking. 

garbage can holes

What can be composted:

-Leaves

-Newspaper, paper towels, and non-glossy cardboard

-Grass

-Flowers/plants

-Fruits and veggies

-Coffee grounds and filter

 

Do NOT compost:

-Meats

-Dairy Products

-Processed foods

-Plastic

-Man made substances

-Metals

I hope this will encourage you to do a little something to preserve our Earth for the future generation!

I found this information on 2 sites and they were both really helpful and interesting!!

http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/?s=compost

http://www.fullmeasureofhappiness.com/2011/07/10/diy-make-your-own-compost-bin/