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Bug-free BBQs - 07/29/13

By Jennifer Rose

July brings so many good things: sun, summer vacation, barbecues with friends and family, and lots of flowers!  Unfortunately, it also brings mosquitoes and other unwelcome bugs that like to stick to sunscreened arms and leave itchy bites!  If you want to keep your garden and yard a little more bug-free for your next outdoor get-together, try planting an herb garden on your deck containing mint, rosemary, and lemongrass.  Or try growing these other great mosquito-repelling plants, crushing a few leaves just before your guests arrive!

Citronella geranium (Pelargonium citrosum): 2 flowering annual, part to full sun.  Will not survive Rochester winters outside but can be taken indoors and kept as a houseplant during winter.

Beebalm (Monarda didyma): 2-3 flowering perennial, part sun, shade tolerant. Will also attract butterflies to your garden!

Marigold (Calendula officinalis): 6-24 flowering, upright annual (may reseed itself), full sun. Dont put in pots too close to your picnic table as the bright colors will attract bees.

Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum): 8-18 flowering, spreading annual, part to full sun.  Also great for rock gardens.

Catnip (Nepeta cateria): 3 perennial herb with small lavender flowers, full sun.  Grow in sandy soil for greater aroma, but youll want to be careful if you have a large population of neighborhood cats!

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