7 Must-Have Herb Plants to Give You a Bug-Free Backyard

After a long spring, there’s nothing better than enjoying the outdoors.  We can’t wait to get outside to do yard work, ride bikes, garden, grill out or to enjoy Smores around a campfire.  However, it’s not long before the pesky bugs arrive to drive us all crazy!

How often have you and your family wanted to eat outside but you all go back inside because of the bugs?  Swatting away bugs and getting bitten can ruin a perfect summer night!  Our quick fix is to pull out the bottles of bug spray.  But not only does using bug spray get expensive but who wants to spray DEET on themselves and their kids intentionally?

Here’s the good news.  We don’t have to hide inside to avoid these annoying bugs.  There are natural ways to combat them instead.  So this summer, try a natural way to have a bug-free backyard this year with these seven must-have plants!

  1. Catnip:  Need a long-term stink bug repellent?  Catnip is the herb of choice!  Also repels ants, cockroaches, and squash beetles.
  1. Rosemary:  A great herb to have around to repel mosquitoes.  Plant in pots to decorate your outdoor living areas.   In addition to repelling bugs, you can use rosemary to enhance your meat dishes, add to homemade bread or to garnish a plate!
  1. Chives:  Chives is a perennial that will not only provide you with a beautiful border and endless kitchen possibilities but will keep the mites, aphids, and beetles away too!
  1. Lavender:  Though lavender is a favored scent to freshen up our homes, bugs such as fleas, mosquitoes, and flies hate it!  Lavender is a perennial, providing you with beautiful bluish-purple flowers year after year.  Not only will you keep the unwanted bugs away but you can dry your lavender bouquets to keep around the house.
  1. Basil:  Plant in pots around your deck or favorite area to spend as a family.  Basil repels two annoying pests, mosquitoes and flies.  Another benefit of having basil around is you can use it to spruce up your culinary dishes as well!
  1. Mint:  Another great mosquito repelling herb to grow in pots.  Plus, while enjoying a bug-free patio, you can pick a few mint leaves and use them to freshen up a guests tea or Mojito.
  1. Lemon Balm:  Not only does lemon balm keep biting insects away but snakes as well!  Another herb that can be planted in pots and placed around the areas that you hang out the most.  As with most herbs, you can add it to your culinary dishes or enjoy in a cup of tea.
Don’t let the bugs deter you from enjoying summer with your family.  If you are new to gardening, start small.  Buy a few pots, potting mix and herbs at your local greenhouse.  Get the kids involved too!

Roasted Rose Finn Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Parsnips

What’s better than a cast iron pan full of delicious homegrown vegetables?  Check out this recipe for your next family dinner!


10-20 Rose Finn Potatoes

1/2 – 1 LB Brussels Sprouts

2 Parsnips

6-8 Strips of bacon

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper


  1.  Heat oven to 420 degrees.
  2. Rinse all of your vegetables.
  3. Slice the parsnips into bite-size pieces.
  4. Put the vegetables and bacon into a cast iron pan.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil.
  6. Roast for 40 minutes.  (Make sure you stir about half way through)
  7.  Salt & Pepper to taste.
  8. Enjoy!

How To Grow Lettuce

A generation ago, few gardeners grew lettuce. Iceberg lettuce was all the rage, and while it keeps forever in the fridge and ships beautifully, it is a humdinger to grow at home. These finicky plants take up to ninety-five days to mature, and they tend to bolt, or turn to seed, when temperatures rise above 70 degrees F – a challenging situation for almost any gardener.

Today, though, leaf and Romaine lettuces have made a big comeback. They are lauded for their lovely colors and textures; they also have more nutrition and flavor than most crisp head types. Best of all, they’re a cinch to grow in the backyard garden. They mature quickly, tolerate light frosts, and bear more heat before bolting. If you’ve never grown lettuce before, try these versatile, appealing crops.

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