We try to keep our home safe for our kids and pets. We dream about summer days where the door never closes - where everyone is running back and forth, full of laughter. The fun comes to a screeching halt when someone finds a tick crawling on themselves, and it sends everyone into a spin making sure they are tick-free.
If you have never found a tick - you are lucky. The rest of us start thinking about Lyme Disease.
This doesn't mean you need to cut down all your trees and pave over your backyard! Between discouraging deer from visiting and planting tick-repellent plants, you can keep ticks out!
We LOVE planting herbs because not only do they help keep ticks away without chemicals, they give us extra benefits with their pleasing aromas and uses in cooking.
Chamomile - Calming tea comes to mind, and it only takes a few leaves steeped in hot water. Mosquitos and fleas also avoid chamomile.
Lavender- Cut down bundles to dry and line drawers, make bouquets for your guest bathroom, or make great flavors like lavender honey or lavender sorbet.
Lemon Grass - Newly popular in the kitchen in teas, marinades, and salads (https://www.finecooking.com/ingredient/lemongrass) it also gives a clean scent that repels ticks, flies, ants, and gnats!
Mint - be sure you love mint as this hardy plant can behave invasively. Luckily it smells great! Diversify your types of mints to delight folks at a backyard party - think chocolate mint, orange, pineapple, along with the traditional mints like peppermint and spearmint.
Rosemary - This bushlike herb is slow-growing, and for that reason, most gardeners keep it in containers that they can move indoors for the winter. Just rubbing on the leaves as you walk by transfers the sweet-smelling oils that ticks hate. Probably the most common herb in the kitchen for poultry, oily fish, pork, and beef meals.
Sage - A favorite for dog and cat owners because it is non-toxic; this hardy herb has flowers. It's excellent to have around if you eat pasta, potatoes, or poultry dishes.
Thyme - A little bit of thyme goes a long way in the kitchen - and it's easy to grow. Thyme butter on the grilled vegetables - yes, please.
The first colors of spring with edible flowers that can tolerate frost also repel ticks. They are lightly scented, and ticks don't like them at all. However, plant with caution as they can attract tick-carrying animals like deer.
A full sun-loving and wind tolerant blooming geranium repel deer and ticks!
A favorite to plant alongside tomato plants, marigolds also repel ticks. Deer do not like the taste or strong smell and will only eat them if nothing else is appealing in the area.
Your backyard can be the center of fun and relaxation - without ticks invading. Planning and including tick repelling plants helps everyone stay healthy AND gives more benefits through smells and flavorful extras. Plant a few of these plants and keep ticks out!