Gardening with Essential Oils
Growing your food can be a fun and rewarding experience that is great for our health as well as beneficial to the environment. When we decide to grow a garden full of plants that ourselves and our families will eat, we want to keep everything as healthy and natural as possible. Plants are living things and gardens are their own little environments that require a lot of maintenance and care to truly thrive. This means that there are some naturally occurring obstacles that we will have to face to make our gardens a success.
Some of the most common things we face while trying to keep our plants happy and growing are fungus, weeds, and insects. Fungus can attack the leaves of plants, killing the plant tissues. Widespread fungal infections can lead to a variety of other diseases in plants that ruin entire gardens. Weeds are a well-known nuisance in any garden. They can crowd our plants' roots and suck up the needed nutrients from the soil. Unwanted garden pests are another common issue we may face. Seemingly tiny bugs can wreak havoc on our plants and make it difficult to keep them healthy and get a good harvest. While we want to keep harmful pests away from our gardens, some insects are beneficial to have around. Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are very important to garden health and yielding a good crop.
The most readily available answer to these garden issues seems to be harsh chemical treatments and pesticides. But, plants and soil soak up everything which means they are soaking up those toxins and unknown ingredients. If we want to keep our gardens growing and thriving without the use of chemicals and pesticides, essential oils can be a great tool. Many oils contain different properties that can help to naturally care for and maintain our gardens.
Here are some of the best essential oils to use in the garden:
- Clove Essential Oil is the perfect multipurpose oil for use in the garden. It can be used to kill unwanted weeds, repel harmful insects, and help control mold and fungus on the soil and plants.
- Rosemary Essential Oil works to repel pest insects such as ants, aphids, bean beetles, and cabbage moths and can even repel the insect larvae as well. Rosemary can also help to attract pollinating butterflies to the garden.
- Cinnamon Essential Oil is a great natural way to get rid of weeds while also deterring common garden pests like ants, gnats, and snails.
- Peppermint Essential Oil has a scent that repels garden pests like aphids as well as many types of flies and beetles. Peppermint also tends to repel spiders, which is helpful for family gardens where we may have little helpers.
- Orange Essential Oil has a sweet aroma that can draw both bees and butterflies to the garden for natural pollination.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil is great for getting rid of fungus on plants and fungal diseases such as blight in tomato plants and powdery mildew on squash and cucumber leaves. Tea tree oil can make plants more sensitive to the sun and burning so be sure to treat in the morning or evenings and spray plants lightly.
- Lavender Essential Oil works well to attract important pollinators such as butterflies and bees to the garden.
- Oregano Essential Oil is well known for antifungal uses for our body and those benefits apply to the garden as well. It can combat fungus on plants while also repelling pests such as carrot flies, greenflies, and mosquitos.
Try some of the easy recipes below to help protect your garden:
Quick Killer Weed Spray
- 6 cups Distilled White Vinegar
- 3 cups Water
- 1 tablespoon Liquid Castile Soap
- 15 drops Clove Bud Essential Oil
- 15 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
Add castile soap and essential oils to a garden sprayer. Add water and vinegar and shake well to combine. Spray directly onto weeds and be sure to avoid other plants.
Pollination Boost Attractor Spray
- 8oz amber glass bottle with spray top
- 1 cup of Water
- 8 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 8 drops of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Add essential oils to an 8oz spray bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with water and shake well to combine. Spray the mixture on flowers and buds to attract pollinating insects.
Fungus Eliminator Plant Spray
- 1 gallon of Water
- 5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 1 drop of Oregano Essential Oil
- 3 tbsp of Baking Soda
- 1 tbsp of Liquid Castile Soap
Add ingredients to a one-gallon sprayer and shake well to combine. Spray the leaves of affected plants once a week, in the morning or evening.
Pest Be Gone Insect Repellent Spray
- 16oz amber glass bottle with spray top
- 2 cups of Water
- 2 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 1 drop of Oregano Essential Oil
Combine all ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well to combine. Spray around the garden to get rid of unwanted pests.