Essential Oils for Gardening

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Essential oils for gardening
Essential oils bottles

Gardening is a wonderful way of spending time outdoors. Some people do it as a hobby, while others are genuinely concerned about the surge of GMO infused vegetables and would rather grow their own produce. Now, if you are someone who wants to grow their own organic vegetables and fruits, then you will have to make a few adjustments in the way you garden. You will need to adopt organic gardening. Let us see the essential oils for gardening.

Organic gardening is the type of gardening where you don’t use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Instead, you make use of different natural ways of providing nutrients to your plants. Think of your garden as a community. Everything has to conjoin together for the whole ecosystem to work properly. The heart of the garden’s ecosystem is the soil.

Soil is a very important element of your garden. If your soil is healthy, your plants will be happy and give you bountiful and plentiful vegetables and fruits. For your soil to be healthy, it should be full of nutrients, has a fine drainage system, and filled with organic matter. Your garden needs to be protected by pests and need a regular dose of fertilizer to thrive. Now, using store-bought pesticides defeats the purpose of organic gardening. Therefore, several experts recommend using essential oils for gardening.

Using essential oils for gardening is a great, holistic, and organic way of repelling insects that harm your plants, attract pollinators, and get rid of garden pests.  There are a number of different essential oils that have varying properties to help curb different issues.

Best Essential Oils for Gardening

Let us check the best essential oils for gardening.

Best Essential oils for gardening
Essential oils

Basil Oil

Essential oils aren’t just used for eliminating pests and disease. They can also be used in place of companion plants for the surrounding flowers and trees to grow healthy. Just like humans, plants also require companionship to thrive; that’s why it is recommended to grow companion plants all over your garden to help it grow healthy.

Basil plant is commonly used for that purpose; however, if you don’t have it in your garden, you can use basil essential oil. Use it for plants such as beans, broccoli, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.

Tea Tree Oil

You must have heard raving reviews about tree tea oil. It is considered the king of essential oils because it helps cure every ailment and problem on humans, animals, and plants. It has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. It is one of the best fungal eliminating essential oil for gardening.

Add it into a bottle and spray it on your garden to prevent the fungus from attacking your precious plants. Since tea tree oil is strong and tends to burn the plants, mix it with a little bit of water and then spray it onto your plants.

Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil is excellent as a pest repellent. It helps with repelling pests and insects such as gnats, snails, ants, and so on, yet it shines as a weed-eliminator. Gardeners use cinnamon oil to help get rid of weed in the garden while also treating fungus attacks on the plants.

Rosemary Oil

Rosemary oil is a great oil for pest control. It is used for pests such as beetles, aphids, ants, flea beetles, cabbage butterfly, and many more. It is also used as an essential oil tea for crops like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.

Clove Oil

Clove oil is another game-changer when it comes to using essential oil for gardening. It can kill insects, weed and control fungus, mold, and mildew attacks on the plants and soil.

Peppermint Oil

Ah! The veteran peppermint oil perhaps one of the most diverse oils in the history of essential oils, used in food, mouth wash, toothpaste, beauty products, and medicines — you name it.

It helps fight pests like aphids, bean beetles, ants, and so on. The unique ability of this oil is to deter large pests like moles, squirrels, and mice. Simply place a few peppermint infused cotton balls in the garden or the mole tunnels.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil not only repels pests, but it also attracts many important pollinators. It attracts both butterflies and bees, which are great for your flowers and plants. If it is difficult for you to grow lavender plants, you can plan a few cotton balls infused with a couple of drops of lavender oil all over your garden. You can also lightly spray your plants with the oil.

Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is potent oil and has been used for thousands of years to cure problems like a ringworm or athlete’s foot. So, unsurprisingly it is used in the garden to control fungus. It is also great for repelling flying pests like mosquitoes, flies, greenfly and carrot fly.

Orange Oil

Orange oil attracts many beneficial pollinators to the garden. You can mix it in a spray bottle with lavender oil and a little bit of water. Spritz it on your garden and plants to make it smell enticing for all the pollinators.

Important Uses of Essential Oils for Gardening

Now, let us see the uses of oils in gardening.

Important uses of essential oil for gardening
Essential oil bottle with rose

There is a large variety of essential oils in the market. You have so many oils with different properties that it can become challenging to choose single oil for your garden. Therefore, you must first determine the purpose of using the oils. Here are a few vital uses of essential oils for gardening.

Fungal Suppressant

Garden fungus is the main culprit of killing 85% of the plants and crops. If left untreated, it can wreak havoc in your precious garden and leave your garden looking like something of a post-apocalyptic scene from a movie, utterly destroyed.

Fungi of the parasitic kind steal the nutrients from your plants. It poisons them by blocking their breathing pores (stomata), ultimately rendering them lifeless. If you catch any signs of fungus or disease in the garden, take action immediately. Create a home-made anti-fungal spray with the essential oils. Take an empty spray bottle, add 10 drops of any anti-fungal potent essential oil and mix it with water. Spray on your plants frequently until you see that the fungus has been cleared out. Always shake before each use.

Insect Repellant

There are several essential oils consistently used as insect repellants for the garden.

To make your all-natural pest and insect repellent, add equal parts of peppermint, clove, and rosemary and thyme oil in a bottle with water. Shake well for all the ingredients to get adequately incorporated and then spray anywhere you see creepy, crawly or flying insects.

In case things are really bad, use Neem oil. Neem oil is considered a natural insecticide and has been used in south Asian countries for centuries. They used this oil for their crops in ancient times and still swear by its capability to fully eliminated insects. It works by dissolving a coating of parasites by dehydrating and then killing them. It works on eggs and larvae as well, making it a super-effective essential oil for gardening.

Snails and Slugs

Pine, Cedarwood, and Hyssop essential oils are best used for keeping gastropods away from the plants. Mix a few drops of any essential oils in a spray bottle of water and then apply it around the ring of your plants where snails and slugs usually like to spend time.

Deter Vermin

Rodents like raccoons and mice have an aversion to the fresh, clean scent of the peppermint essential oil. Infuse the cotton balls with a couple of drops of peppermint oil and then place them near the squirrel nests, mouse holes, and other burrows to discourage them from entering your territory. They will be so repulsed by the smell of the oil that they will likely relocate and never bother your plants again.

Discourage Pets

Did you know cats are one of the biggest invasive species in some regions of the world? Also, they hate the smell of rosemary. If you find yourself stuck with a neighborhood tomcat leaving your plants and herbs little presents, spray your garden with rosemary-infused water to ensure the cats stay away.

An alternate solution would be to take a shallow container and adding water and a few drops of rosemary oil into it. Then whisk it thoroughly so that the oil and water are somewhat combined. Douse a few pieces of cloth in it, let them soak the oil, and then tie the cloth around the perimeter of the garden. Hang the pieces of clothes around the plants, between rows anywhere you feel like the cat likes to hang out or dig.

Black pepper essential oil is another popular choice for discouraging large mammals like dogs from making your garden their hotspot. Dogs have extremely sensitive noses, so the strong pepper oil will make them stay away from your plants. Remember to lightly spray your garden with oil-infused water. You don’t want humans to be repulsed by the strong odors.

Attracting Pollinators

Essential oils aren’t only used for curbing unwanted problems, but they also attract natural pollinators. The smell of orange blossom oil is hard for bees to resist. Many blossomed flower oils such as hyssop, lavender, marjoram, sage, rosemary, basil, and helichrysum are great for attracting different pollinators. Also, Yarrow, lavender, sage, and catmint are great for attracting butterflies.

Mood Enhancer

Your plants and herbs make your garden, but maybe it is the space where you want to relax. Maybe you like to make the garden area your private sanctuary where you want to relax after a long tiresome day? Or read a book on a cold winter night with a cup of hot cocoa.

Why not place a few aromatherapy oil diffusers in your garden to uplift your mood, make your garden area smell divine, and enhance the calming effects? Mix a few essential oils in a diffuser and switch on for a couple of minutes before sitting in your garden. 

How to Use Essential Oils for Gardening

Here are different methods to use essential oils for gardening.

Essential Oil Tea

Ever heard of compost tea for the garden? Well, this is similar to that.  Compost is a liquid fertilizer used in the garden without using a shovel to dig the soil. You can make tea with essential oil and use that to water the garden.

Cotton Balls

Cotton balls are used for large-sized pests that are at ground level. Place infused cotton balls near the burros and rodent nests. Replace as needed. Due to the nature of some of the essential oils, infused cotton balls can also attract pollinators.

Strips and Strings

Soak a string or a strip of cotton or cloth in essential oil-infused water and hang it in your garden. Hang it over the tree branch for the scent to travel far and wide. You will no longer have a problem dealing with insects and pests in the area.

Recipes for Essential Oils

Insect Repellent Spray

  • A large spray bottle filled with one cup of water.
  • 1 drop of thyme oil
  • 1 drop of peppermint oil
  • 1 drop of rosemary oil
  • Shake well before use and spray the mixture in the evenings and early mornings

Anti-Fungal Spray

  • Take a spray bottle with a gallon capacity
  • Add water into it
  • 1 drop of oregano oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • A few drops of castile soap
  • Shake the spray bottle properly and then spray it on the infected plants per week every morning and evening.

Weed-killer Spray

  • One large spray bottle
  • 1 cup white vinegar, distilled
  • A few drops of castile soap
  • 10 drops of cinnamon oil
  • 15 drops of clove oil
  • Mix the ingredients and shake thoroughly before use. Spray the mixture only on the weeds, not other plants in your garden.

Essential Oil Tea

  • This is a recipe for a basic essential oil tea. You can use any oil of your liking or whichever one solves your garden-related problem.
  • Take 2 cups of hot water and add 8 drops of essential oil of your choice. Allow the mixture to cool.
  • Dilute ¼ cup of the mixture into a gallon of water.
  • Shake before use and water your plants and garden with this tea.

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We hope the tips for using essential oils for gardening come in handy. Using organic ways to prevent pests and fungus attacks and other organic materials in your garden will help it thrive and grow healthy.

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