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Plant a Beneficial Garden This Year

Ahh...Spring is in Full Swing.

Which means it's garden time! This month we are here to tell you about all kinds of beneficial plants for the garden. Some are bug repelling, some are medicinal, and all attract beneficial insects!

Herbs:

Your favorite herbs like lemon balm, mint, thyme, chives, basil, rosemary, sage, lavender, catnip, lemongrass, and so many more repel and/or kill unwanted pests. Lemon balm is a favorite of Autumn's. She has a bunch of it growing around her house. She loves to pull a couple of leaves off and rub them on exposed skin to repel bugs. Lemon balm is a prolific grower so you don't even notice the leaves missing. Basil really stands out too! The essential oil found in this herb is toxic to mosquito larvae and will kill them, according to a 2009 study! Many of these herbs make for fantastic first aid as well. Rosemary reduces pain, kills germs, and promotes healing. Lemongrass is really good for controlling bleeding. All herbs are great for aromatherapy and each have their own unique properties.Take one whiff and you will instantly feel uplifted.
BONUS: Many of these herbs also produce their own flowers too! Quite a few herbs do well in partial shade, but some prefer full sun to really grow. Autumn grows lemon balm, thyme, and sage in mostly shade while she grows rosemary in full sun. Depending on what zone you live in, many of these herbs will come back year after year!

Petunias:
A great option to plant near the vegetable garden.These repel aphids, tomato hornworms, leafhoppers, squash bugs, and asparagus beetles. They are very easy to grow and come in many bright colors and patterns. They can be annuals or perennials depending on your zone and prefer full sun.

Marigolds & Calendula:
Marigolds & calendula emit a very strong smell that deters pests so they are really great to plant in your vegetable garden. The roots release alpha-terthienyl that kills and repels nematods that destroy your crops. They may deter harmful bugs, but they attract lots of bees and butterflies. Calendula also has wonderful medicinal properties. It's excellent for taming inflamed itchy skin, killing germs, and speeding the healing process. It has even been shown to be effective against candida albicans. Marigolds and calendula are self seeding annuals and are very easy to grow. You can basically plant and forget about them. Produces bright medium to large flowers. They come in shades of yellow, orange, red, and even white. Plant in full sun to get the most flower production.

Geraniums:
Don't stop and smell the roses. Stop and smell the geraniums! They lower stress levels and repel bugs, which lowers stress even more! Geraniums are also great to make into a salve and apply to the skin. They reduce inflammation and speed healing. These are grown as annuals or perennials depending on your zone and prefer full sun. They love hot weather and don't mind dry conditions. You can find geranium flowers in purple, red, orange, white, and pink!

Sunflowers:
Sunflowers are super gorgeous and attract lots of bees. Sunflower seeds are extremely healthy to eat and the oil is very beneficial to the skin. Both are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients. Sunflower oil is a great moisturizer, helps with acne, and can help reduce signs of aging. These flowers don't just come in standard yellow! They come in lots of colors and patterns! These are self seeding annuals and prefer full sun.

Zinnias:
These are super gorgeous! They easily attract beneficial insects and hummingbirds. Hummingbirds love to eat mosquitoes! They consume mostly nectar, but do enjoy having an insect snack now and again. Zinnias come in almost every color imaginable, giant and small. They are self seeding annuals and prefer full sun.

Fuchsias:
These bright beautiful flowers readily attract hummingbirds and are completely edible. Towards the end of summer dark purple berries arrive that make a tasty jam too. You can get fuchsias in purple, red, orange, white, and pink combos. They like some full sun, but not too harsh. Too much sun will just burn the plant and make them quit producing flowers. They are an annual or perennial depending on where you live.  

Bachelor Buttons:
Also known as cornflower because it was grown in cornfields in Europe. They attract beneficial pollinators and produce lots of seeds that attract small birds like finches. The flowers are edible and make a great tea. They are rich in calcium, folate, and antioxidants which help to fight inflammation. These plants are also really good for controlling bleeding, detoxing the liver, and helping the digestive system. Flower colors come in blue, pink, purple, and white. The plants are self seeding annuals that prefer full sun to part shade and are extremely drought tolerant.

Nasturtiums:
Another great one to put near the vegetable garden. Nasturtiums release an airborne chemical that repel predatory insects such as whiteflies, squash bugs, beetles, and aphids. They produce bright red, orange, or yellow flowers that come in many patterns. These flowers are also edible and have a nice peppery flavor. Makes for a beautiful salad topper. It likes full sun and is a perennial if you live in a warm climate. Otherwise, it's a self seeding annual.

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Plant some of these in beds around your house or in pots near your door to reap all the benefits of these beautiful plants. All of these make for wonderful floral arrangements that can be put in the house to brighten things up or can be given to friends and family.

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We use some of these herbs and flowers in our aromatherapy products, first aid salves, bug repellent, and more. Shop Now!