Spring is almost here; in fact it is just weeks away! What better time to revolutionize the landscape of your Soleil Association Management Las Vegas HOA community? Did you know that in addition to providing greenery and flowers, many plants can serve as pest deterrents? This concept was well known in old English gardens before the use of pesticides. Plants with strong scents, such as rosemary, basil, and lavender, were used to provide a protective wall around the vegetable garden or outdoor living spaces. These natural plant barriers served to repel a myriad of pests, such as mosquitoes, ants, whiteflies, worms, and even field mice.
Two of the most common plant options for our climate are lavender and rosemary, both already used extensively in Southern Nevada. Plant a border around your vegetables or outdoor dining area, or inter-plant within existing shrub beds, in full sun for best results. Both attract bees.
Mint as repellent
Plants in the mint family (Lamiaceae) repel flies, mosquitoes, and moths. Catnip repels just about everything, except for cats! Use it to keep away flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants, and weevils. You can also use sachets of dried catnip to deter ants in the kitchen. Be aware some mints can become invasive and without some form of root barrier, will creep into and take over areas of the garden.
More natural insect repellents
Several annual plants naturally serving as pest repellents in Soleil Association Management’s Las Vegas HOA communities are marigolds, nasturtiums and petunias. The natural oils of marigolds help deter aphids and moths; especially when planted with squash and tomatoes. Nasturtiums are a good companion to fruit trees (plant in their shade), repelling beetles, white flies and squash bugs. Petunias when planted near tomatoes will inhibit tomato hornworms, aphids, squash bugs and leafhoppers. Lesser known borage is a real workhorse in the garden of your Las Vegas HOA community. It repels tomato hornworms and cabbage worms and attracts beneficial bees and wasps. Borage also adds trace elements to the soil. This is an annual but readily comes back each year from seed.
Bees love basil
Consider basil as a repellent to mosquitoes, whiteflies, certain beetles, as well as adult moths. In our Southern Nevada climate, basil is not cold hardy and will need winter protection. Bring small plants into a bright sunny kitchen window, which protects and makes harvesting much easier for culinary use. Basil also has an attractive bloom (bees love it) but will not produce as many leaves once it goes into flowering mode. Pinch the flowers off and place in a potpourri bowl.
Be sure to check out the gardens at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas and local nurseries and gardens at the county extension agency for more information on which plants will be best suited to enhance your Soleil Association Management Las Vegas community association landscape. It’s a simple way to add to your outdoor enjoyment in your Las Vegas HOA.