Herbs deliver a bigger bang for the buck than any other kind of plant. Not only do they require little maintenance, but they also decrease your work load by repelling pests, fending off diseases, and generally making your other plants grow stronger and more productive. Here are a few easy ways to put these superstars to work for you:
Make a hot and tangy insecticide. This fabulous formula is instant death to any kind of destructive insect—even hard-shelled beetles and weevils. Boil 3 quarts of water, and toss in a 1-inch piece of finely chopped fresh horseradish and 2 cups of finely chopped fresh cayenne pepper. Turn off the heat, and let the mixture steep for an hour or so. Wait until it’s cooled to room temperature, strain out the solids, pour the liquid into a handheld sprayer, and blast those bugs to you-know-where!
Keep mosquitoes away. Nothing spoils a barbecue faster than a bunch of hungry mosquitoes. But a couple of fresh herbs can help you and your guests dine in peace. What are these skeeter chasers? Sage and rosemary. Just toss a handful of either one of ’em onto the coals. You’ll keep the biters at bay and spice up your chow at the same time!
Turn away ants and mice. As unlikely as it may seem, these two little rascals have one thing in common: a strong aversion to mint. All you have to do is lay fresh sprigs around any area where you don’t want mice or ants roaming.
Heal a bruise. Every gardener picks up his or her fair share of bruises. But the next time an unexpected encounter with a stepladder or wheelbarrow leaves you with a sore and unsightly bruise, try this old-time remedy: Chill a handful of fresh parsley sprigs, crush them, apply them to the wound, and cover it with a bandage. Within 24 hours, those blues and purples will start to fade.
For more natural solutions to bust bugs, dash diseases, and eliminate environmental enemies, check out our bestselling book, Backyard Problem Solver. You can even try it FREE for 21 days with our Free Preview!