Safe Garden Sprays You Can Make Yourself
I have to admit that my paternal Granny-- the "Master Gardener"-- used some very foul-smelling chemicals-- not safe garden sprays-- to keep down the larvae and what-not. I made a decision many years ago, when we "took our lawn off drugs" in Saskatoon, that we would not be purchasing or using any of the typical chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
We have been sitting at the feet of our 'neo-hippie' son to learn about the importance of changing some of my attitudes and practices in the garden. Good, healthy soil will generally be an advantage to whatever one plants. Healthy plants that are growing in healthy soil with the light and air and water and drainage requirements individual to them will frequently NOT be much bothered by occasional pests and diseases. Many of the "bugs" and creepy-crawlies that I formerly regarded as 'pests' are actually an important part of a healthy garden biosphere. Some of the plants I might have seen as noxious weeds are actually indigenous plants and make excellent ground covers.
For those situations where there are critters and diseases I don't want around my plants, essential oils can be combined with water and sprayed over the plant to provide the same sort of anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties that they would provide in the plant from which they were extracted. Fungi,molds, and mildews are also dealt with very naturally with safe garden sprays made with essential oils.
The really wonderful 'side effect' of using a natural and safe garden spray made of essential oils is that healthy plant growth will be encouraged.
Keeping Insects Off Your Precious Plants
~by Karen Haley - Woodstock, Ga
I don't know if this will work for everyone
, but I've tried it several times and it certainly works for me. I take one or two fresh garlic cloves, macerate them (really, REALLY crush them up), put them in a spray bottle with water and give it a good shake. Then I go out and spray, spray, spray. It doesn't seem to harm my plants but bugs certainly avoid them! Hope this helps!
How much do I use? Yes--pure essential oils are expensive. Well, in general, when watering your plants-- vegetables, fruits, or flowers-- use 4-8 drops of essential oils to a gallon of water. I invested in a pressurized spray container that I love to work with.
It makes perfect sense to me that a plant would thrive when sustained and protected by an "essential oil" vs. a product from another chemical element altogether. As is common knowledge among gardeners, vegetables and other edibles also like to grow near certain other "companion plants". If you spray with essential oils, practice good soil-maintenance (see COMPOST) and grow companion plants nearby, you can count on a fragrant, healthy and safe gardening experience!
Safe Garden Sprays and Companion Plants