Category Archives: Garden

The Mosquito Repelling Plant Arrangement

Finsihed product... marigolds and basil with a little mulch to help prevent soil from splashing over in heavy rain

Finished product… marigolds and basil with a little mulch to help prevent soil from splashing over in heavy rain

So you want to relax and enjoy a good book, some good company, or even watch the kiddos splash around in the pool or sprinkler but you are sick and tired of getting eaten alive my mosquitoes… Never fear, the Mosquito Repelling Pot is here! Anyone can easily make these pots full of all sorts of plants that naturally and EFFECTIVELY keep mosquitoes at bay. I tried these last year and they WORKED!!I will list several plants and feel free to mix and match according to what you like and what you can find. For many variety pots I like the “thrill, spill, fill” potting method. The folks at One Kings Lane describe it well when they say “It’s nice to feature a tall plant (this is your “thrill”), fronted by both an abundant midsize plant (your “fill”) and a lower-growing plant that creeps so it “spills” over the edge.” I planted a couple pots now with plants bought at a local nursery and Lowes and plan to start some more pots from seed to enjoy midway through the season and beyond. Some plants will continue to grow throughout the whole season while others (such as marigolds) will lose their blooms after a while and become less effective… enough talking about it, let’s get started!

I’m a big fan of planting things I will use as well which is why you will see basil in almost every one of my mosquito repelling pots!

Basil: Great mosquito repelling plant and absolutely divine to eat! Nothing is better than a little bruschetta with a nice wheat cracker or some fresh soft mozzarella, chopped basil and kalamata olives on olive oil toasted baguette…YUMMMM! Please make sure to put some basil in your pots! It can be a tall growing plant if you don’t prune and eat it so think about that when “placing” in your arrangement. Prune basil by snipping off the new bigger leaves (leave those huge lower leaves as they are the “solar panels” for the plant).

Cascading Geranium: Prett bug repelling plant, will cascade over its pot and add a delicate floral scent to your potagerie.

Cascading geranium
Cascading geranium



Pot of marigolds by our front door... makes a barrier mosquitoes don't want to pass!
Pot of marigolds by our front door… makes a barrier mosquitoes don’t want to pass!


Marigolds:  Hardy annual (replant each year) plants which have a distinctive smell which mosquitoes, and some gardeners, find particularly offensive. Marigolds contain pyrethrum, a compound used in many insect repellents. I love incorporating these in almost all of my mosquito repelling pots as well as throughout my garden (see gardening tips on our Simple Hobby Homesteading Facebook Page).





Citronella: The star of mosquito repelling this plant can get to almost bush like

Potted citronella... more "manageable"

Potted citronella… more “manageable”

proportions (great if you have the room) if not potted. Can be hard to find though Lowes and Home Depot often carry them as well as many nurseries and green houses.

Citronella planting in ground... bushy and beautiful!
Citronella planting in ground… bushy and beautiful!

Citronella geranium is a drought resistant, tender perennial. It also makes a great container plant. You can rub this plant on your clothes to repel mosquitoes


citronella grass

citronella grass

Citronella grass is a coarse, clump-forming tropical grass that can grow 5-6 ft (1.5-1.8 m) tall. The stems are canelike and the leaves are grayish green, flat, about 3 ft (0.9 m) long and 1 in (2.5 cm) or so wide. It does not spread by runners, as some grasses do, but the clump increases in size as the plant matures.horsemint

Flossflowers (aka Ageratum)

Flossflowers (aka Ageratum)

Flossflowers (aka Ageratum): Emits a smell which mosquitos find particularly offensive (score one for the humans!). Ageratum secretes coumarin, which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents (fun science fact for the day). I have had trouble finding this plant and am still searching. I think I may try to grow from seed!

Catnip: Ugh this one has caused me problems. Yes, it’s an AMZING deterrent for mosquitoes but our cats will not leave the plants alone (go figure!). Soooooo… though I love this one for its properties until I can grow it i some sort of cat proof cage I will have to leave it out of my pots for now.However, I do really love catnip because it is very easy to grow. This perennial (will come back year after year) herb is related to mint, and grows readily both as a weed and a commercially cultivated plant in most areas of the US. It grows especially well in southern Indiana 😉

While catnip will repel mosquitoes in close proximity to the plant, some people apply crushed catnip leaves or catnip oil for more robust protection (you daredevils you!). With that being said I must provide a WARNING… see note about cats above… if you crush these leaves on yourself and come out to my house (or within ten feet of any other cat) you will be molested! I’m not condoning the cat’s behavior, it is wrong wrong wrong and

Catnip... excuse for cats to invade personal space and act crazy!

Catnip… excuse for cats to invade personal space and act crazy!

probably punishable under some law somewhere… but they seem to get away with it which is an injustice to all humans everywhere who have ever been subjected to a cat under the allure of catnip!In August 2010, entomologists at Iowa State University reported to the American Chemical Society that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET, the chemical found in most commercial insect repellents (another win for humans with the war against mosquites).


Rosemary: Another great culinary herb that has been shown to deter mosquitoes. Ooh how I love rosemary! It is a hardy plant but like basiul it needs full sun. Rosemary can be

potted rosemary

potted rosemary

tough to grow from seed but does great in pots and grows quickly. Plant it in a pot with some basil and other great herbs and keep it in a sunny spot by your front door for instant culinary masterpieces!

Nice big rosemary probably about 3 or 4 years old

Nice big rosemary probably about 3 or 4 years old

All righty, I’ve given you a few to get started with 🙂 Anyone else have any that they know are great mosquito deterrents? I love to get many of these in pots so I can move them about as I want… some days I want to read by the garden while others I want to head out and do some fishing at the pond. Have mosquito pot, will travel! I keep thinking it sounds like I’m carrying around marijuana… I am not (unless you count the catnip as kitty marijuana…). I really like to get a couple pots by where the dogs rest and relax to provide some relief for them.Here’s a couple I did in about 20 minutes yesterday with some plants I happened to have on hand… it really does not take very long at all!

Katja says Hi :)

Katja says Hi 🙂

10 may 2014 077 10 may 2014 070

Seinfeld Gardening Post

Is anyone else irresistibly pulled to the vegetable plants at every single store they enter? No? Ok, me neither then…

Go ahead Wal-Mart, put them on the far end of the store (I’m a creature of habit and always park in the same place…opposite end of greenhouse area), I’ll still find them, pick through them, and bring a few home every single trip! Yes Robin’s Nest, taunt me with your “Tomato plants ready!” sign… I may stop to just “look around” and in turn tell me kids they may need to walk home so I can fit my pallet of produce plants into the minivan. Rural King… your chicks no longer hold their allure… you’ve got cabbage and strawberries that beckon to me now (who am I kidding, I still go and check out the chicks and usually come home with a few).

The nice thing about growing your own produce us that it really does taste so much better… maybe it’s the work and sweat equity in planting and tending or perhaps the delayed gratification in watching something grow for weeks or months and then being rewarded with a treasure of produce that you raised up but growing your own food just makes it taste better!

It’s easier than you may think to grow your own veggies. I have gotten quite creative over the years. From Aerogardens to pallet gardening I have tried almost everything and still employ several interesting methods of planting and growing. We are in southern Indiana so cole crops (your cool weather loving stuff like broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, etc.) should really be in the ground already. If not, that’s ok, get them in the ground as soon as you can or wait for that grouping to plant late summer, early fall,

Here at The Shepherd Hobby Farm we do some pallet gardening, regular in the ground gardening, raised beds and container gardening. I think I’ll tackle each one on a different blog day to keep this post relatively short.

Every couple of days I will also be tackling new gardening projects so feel free to tag along and give suggestions, ideas, advice, whatever! I’ll link the blog post to each project listed below as they are accomplished… Let’s do it, get those hands dirty! Feel free to post your creative gardening ideas for everyone to see and shamelessly copy. Sorry for the post really about nothing (maybe I should call it my Seinfeld post?) but I wanted to check in and let you all know I’m still here even though I haven’t written much lately.


  1. Lettuce bowlsimages[9]
  2. Cucumber trellis over lettuce I main garden
  3. Chicken chunnels and hen house around garden
  4. Trim and weed black berries
  5. Trim and weed black raspberries
  6. Plant mint garden
  7. Plant pallets
  8. Tomatoes
  9. Peppers
  10. Transplant asparagus
  11. Mosquito repellent bowls – Ready to be read! (click on “Mosquito repellent bowls”)
  12. Raised  beds (4)
  13. Add another compost bin

untitled imagesCA1KT3J6

Ok, I actually feel kinda guilty that absolutely no gardening wisdom was imparted to you all so let me share a tidbit of one of my projects so you all can get the stuff and do it with me tomorrow… Mosquito repellent baskets! I’m doing it, I’m making more of them this year! I like to get a large shallow round planter or those shallow round hanging ones (and large planting pot will do… by large I mean 2 to 3 gallon size. In this planter I will be planting various plants that not only grow well together (companion planting) but also repel mosquitoes and can be used by me in the kitchen or with soaps…


I will be planting basil, marigolds, catnip, rosemary and lemon scented geraniums in my pots around doorways, windows, and where my dogs and cats like to rest! If you can find citronella grass snap it up in a heartbeat… it’s hard to find around here… it is the star mosquito repelling plant!