Keeping Mosquitoes at Bay!

According to a study in Japan, mosquitoes are attracted to people with blood type “0” mosquitoe2more than any other blood types. They also discovered mosquitoes identify blood types though skin secretions before they pierce the skin. No matter what blood type you are, mosquitoes are a nuisance to everyone this time of year.  Below are a few suggestions which may help you keep mosquitoes at bay.

Eliminate standing water throughout your property! Look for standing water in strange places like a hole in a tree, clogged gutters, empty pots & saucers, wheelbarrows,  gardening buckets,  tarps covering lawn furniture & mowers,  plastic bags,  old tires, discarded bottle tops,  low places in your yard where water can pool.

Feverfew

Feverfew

Plant Repellents: These plants reportedly repel mosquitoes: Citronella, Lavender, Feverfew, Catnip, Rosemary, and Pennyroyal Mint. So, plant them in containers on your deck & patio and throughout your flowerbeds.

Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal

Essential Oils: Apply a combo of these essential oils to your skin: Lavender, Tree Tea oil, Citronella, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Clove, Peppermint, Rose Geranium, and Pennyroyal Mint.

Tip: Try tossing some Rosemary stems, or Lavender on your grill while barbecuing, it not only flavors your food, but it could keep away mosquitoes, too.

Mosquito Dunks: Dunks are bacterial insecticide, which kills mosquitoes, but is not harmful to birds, or other wildlife. Put them in pot saucers, fountains, and birdbaths to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in them.

Predators: Conserve healthy habitats for natural predators like bats, dragonflies, spiders and fish. Place a Bat house in your yard and…leave those spiders alone!  Mosquitoes are Arachnids’ favorite food; they eat hundreds every night like Bats.

Birdbaths: To prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your birdbath, change the water regularly, and/or buy an agitator to keep the water moving. You can put Mosquito Dunks in birdbaths, too; it is not harmful to birds

Make a Trap: Fill a small container with water, add soda pop or fruit juice, then some drops of liquid soap. This will trap fruit flies, too

Use Fans: Mosquitoes are weak flyers! Place a fan in your outside sitting area to blow mosquitoes away.

Cover up! Wearing lightweight long sleeves, pants, and shoes makes it harder for mosquitoes to bite you.  Also choose light colored clothes, like whites, pastels, and tans, because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.

Good Luck! ~Carlotta Lucas

USDA Planting Zones

To success in gardening, it’s important to know YOUR garden’s  USDA planting zone.
Every region has micro-climates, so they have different zones, for example:

Medford, Oregon is USDA Zone 8a, 10°F to 15°F
Ashland, Oregon is USDA Zone 7b, 5°F to 10°F

You can check your area with this interactive map, click on your city and the zone pops up.

http://www.plantmaps.com/interactive-oregon-usda-plant-zone-hardiness-map.php

Always check USDA Zone on plants at the nursery, before you buy.

April in the garden

In Ashland, Oregon the last frost date is approximately May 15th.

Sow seeds in your greenhouse, or indoors,  for transplanting  after May 15th.
Basil, Cabbage, Peppers, Summer Squash, Winter Squash, Pumpkin, Tomato, etc.
Flowers;  Sunflowers, Cosmos, Marigolds , Zinnia, etc.

If the soil is not too wet, you can sow the following vegetables seeds directly into the garden. Once seedlings emerge protect them from spring frost.  Lettuces, Cauliflower, Spinach, Chinese Cabbage, Broccoli, Peas, Chard, Carrots, Turnips, Parsnips, Leeks, Kohlrabi, Beets, Radishes.

You can plant onion sets up until 4/15. And, you can still plant raspberries and strawberries plants.
Fertile flowerbeds, shrubs, trees and grass.
Start baiting for slugs, snails and earwigs.
Watch out for spittle bugs and aphids on your existing strawberry plants.
Watch out for aphids on all plants in the landscape.

  • Home remedy for Aphid Control: Mix a teaspoon of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid and a cup of water. Or, mix three tablespoons of liquid soap and a gallon of water. Spray to wet the entire plant thoroughly, particularly the undersides of leaves, because aphids must come into contact with the soap solution to be affected. After a few hours, wash off the oil and soap with a garden hose to protect sensitive plants. Repeat the application every few days as necessary.
  • Control spittle bugs by blasting spittle bug foam off plants with water. Repeat as necessary.

Pruning shrubs & trees should be completed by now!