This time of year, my mind begins to turn to spring. I start imagining all the wonderful things we can grow, and look forward to those first spring salads. I try to keep my garden as chemical free as possible, because I hate the idea that my boys are exposed to anything that could possibly harm them. Because my kids are known to go right out to the garden, pick something, and stand there and eat it…it worries me to use too many chemicals in that space. For me, essential oils came along as an answer to this issue. We already use them throughout our home and for our body products, so it was natural to try them in our garden space. Here are just a few of the uses of essential oils in our growing spaces!
- Help Discourage pests! There are a lot of essential oils that pests hate, and I harness those oils to discourage unwanted insect visitors in my garden. Though we still do get some pests, and I need to be constantly vigilant of them, the oils really help me keep on top of potential issues without spraying my plants with scary synthetics.
I use Rosemary oil to keep away flies, fleas, and mosquitoes. But, it is also great for discouraging more damaging pests like the Cabbage Looper Caterpillar. I spray all of my Brassicas with a diluted rosemary spray. The cabbage looper can be detrimental to entire crops, so I pay special attention to attempt to keep him out of my garden. I use peppermint oil, thyme, and clove oil as well to help keep away the aphids and squash bugs.
To make it easy on myself, we make up a simple recipe on a regular basis to spray around the garden. I take equal drops of each of the oils (Rosemary, peppermint, clove, and thyme: about 15 drops each) in a spray bottle of water. Be sure to shake this bottle up well, because the oils will rise to the top when it sits. Simply spray the plants and the surrounding area to discourage these unwanted visitors. I do this once a day, in the morning, so the sun does not burn the leaves when the oil sits on them. This seems to work very well for me!
2. Attract the good insects! There are some bugs I want to keep out of my garden, but there are also many that I want to come IN! These pollinators, like bees, increase my yield and keep my garden healthy. I encourage them by planting small blossomed flowers around the edge of my garden. I also use oils diluted in the same way as above to make my garden irresistible to them. Oils that I find attract my wanted pollinators are orange, lemongrass, helichrysum, and lavender.
3. Snail and Slug infestations! Oh, how I hate slugs and snails! They seriously give me the heebie-jeebies when I find them in my garden. I don’t know why they gross me out so much-but they do! I mix about 50 drops of cedarwood, hyssop, or pine (or any mix of them) in a spray bottle with water and spray a ring around plants that are experiencing damage from these pests. The snail or slug gets the clear message that those plants are off limits!
4. Keep out rodents and other vermin! In our area, we have a serious problem with ground squirrels. I really don’t want to poison them, for many reasons including that a cat or dog may find the carcass and get ill. One of the ways that I discourage them is to use lots of peppermint oil in areas that I don’t want them to be. If you find the holes to their home, you can even soak a cotton ball with peppermint oil and encourage them to pack up and move by sticking that cotton ball in the entrance. It’s not a 100% option, but for me it is much better than chemical use.
5. Keep Fungus at Bay! Fungus is the garden is a real pain, so it is something to watch out for and treat as quickly as possible. At the first sign of any fungus problem, I make a diluted mix of Tea Tree and Citronella oils in water. I spray the plants with this spray in the morning (or anytime when they won’t experience hot sun) until the problem clears. Other oils have also been associated with discouraging fungus, as well. You can try the same with Rosemary, Thyme, Peppermint, Clove, and Cinnamon oils.
These are just a few of the ways that we use essential oils in our garden spaces. I will be sharing more as the garden season begins here in the mountains. I am so excited to get started! I do believe that you want to use pure, unadulterated, essential oils in those areas. I hate not knowing what’s in any oil I buy, and that goes double when I am spraying it in an area where my kids will eat the produce!
I choose Young Living for my family and homestead, because after much research I fell in love with their agricultural processes, their philosophy, and how they handle their oils. As a “mini-farmer” myself, and as a farmer’s daughter, I love knowing that they are watching the process from the seed to the seal…it means the world to me.
But, I encourage you to do your own research. Dig deep and find an oil company that you love and trust. If you fall in love with Young Living (like me!) then shoot me a note and I can help you get started. You can also visit Young Living and enter my enroller number (2771983) to get on my great team and get an exclusive welcome gift from me! The premium starter kit is what you will want to order (since it is the BEST bargain). It comes with a diffuser and 11 great oils. After that, you will receive the wholesale prices (24% off retail!!) for LIFE with no yearly fee! A great deal!