If you’re like me, you’re bursting with anticipation to get into your gardens. Be they flower gardens or vegetable gardens, there’s just something about getting our hands in the dirt, isn’t there?
We have a good North wind at our home so my flowers are always a bit behind the neighbours but my daffodils and tulips are starting to make an appearance. What’s blooming in your part of the world?
Over the past few years, I’ve tried to compost more and to use fewer chemicals in my garden. The beauty of composting never escapes me. It’s crazy really! We take all of these scraps and it turns into the most beautiful soil. What a win! I love watching the process. I guess that’s geeky but I find it amazing to watch it happen before my eyes.
I’ve also started to lean more towards essential oils for some of my gardening tools. Here are some of the things that I have found to work well.
For slugs, I’ve found that Cedarwood essential oil mixed with water works well as a deterrent. I mix it in a glass bottle and spray it in a ring around the plant.
If I’m having trouble with squirrels and rabbits digging in the garden, I’ll use Peppermint oil mixed with water just along the edges of the garden. You wouldn’t believe how good this smells (to me – not the varmints).
We have a lot of barn cats that seem to wander around our place from the neighboring farms. The one thing that I’ve found that works to deter them from defecating in the garden is Rosemary essential oil. I simply soak some rags in water with a few drops of Rosemary oil and set them around the garden. Rosemary won’t harm the cats but they don’t like the herb at all.
Companion gardening is the practice of planting certain plants together that help each other to grow. I’ve found a few essential oils that work just like companion plants when sprayed near the plants.
Potatoes, Roses, Asparagus, Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Broccoli all like Basil essential oil. Add a few drops to the watering can every week and watch them grow.
Green beans also love Lavender oil and Broccoli seems to like Thyme oil.
Cabbage loves Peppermint and Thyme and Peas love Geranium oil.
I’m sure that there are lots of “companion oils” that I’ve yet to discover but this is a good start. Of course, you can always plant the herbs next to the vegetables to encourage healthy growth. Essential oils make a good little short cut.
Remember that vinegar is a safe, natural weed killer.
If you’re looking to attract butterflies and bees (which you want to be!) look to essential oils like Wild Orange, Lavender, Helichrysum, Basil, Rosemary, and Coriander and watch them flock to your garden.
That should get you started. Watch for my next post on insect repellents, bites and stings, and other natural first aid.