Spring is officially here, and I don’t know about you, but I am itching to get outside and get my hands in some dirt. I am a plant lover, in fact I have over 100 houseplants in my home who are all pest free and thriving. I grow edible plants (think herbs, veggies, and some fruits) indoors year-round using a type of gardening called hydroponic gardening. This type of gardening allows plants to grow without soil. I currently have 32 plants in my hydro-garden.
All that to say, while I do consider myself to be an experienced indoor plant lady, my experience outdoor gardening is much more limited. In this article I will mainly be sharing tips on how to use essential oils in your organic, outdoor garden. The outdoor tips I will be sharing with you are tips that I have crowd sourced from experts who have had many years of outdoor gardening and essential oil experience.
More specifically I will be sharing tips on what you can use to repel insects and pests when outdoors, how you can improve your plants health, and what you can use on your body as a gardener when you are spending a ton of time outside in the sun and dirt.
I have said it many times in the past, but one of my favorite things about doTERRA essential oils is that they are multi-purpose. Some of the essential oils we are going to discuss in this article you might already have in your cabinet and be using them for better sleep, improved digestion, or more energy and now I am going to show you how you can also use them in your garden.
Reasons Why You Would Want to Use Essential Oils in Your Organic Garden
- Essential Oils are extracted from plant parts and carefully curated to preserve the potent properties of the oil.
- Avoid the synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and contamination of the soil.
- When used properly essential oils provide a safe option to alternatives that have dangerous synthetic chemicals.
- Only a small amount is needed in contrast to other products.
Let’s get started with how to use essential oils to keep garden pests away. The best part about using essential oils to deter garden pests is that the essential oils are not going to kill the insects but will repel them.
To repel each of the types of pests listed below, add 5-10 drops of the essential oils, listed beside each pest, to a 16oz spray bottle and top with water. Spray liberally on plants or areas where insects frequent.
Spiders: Peppermint, Basil, Cinnamon Bark, Cedarwood, and Wild Orange
Aphids: Rosemary, Cedarwood, Basil, Peppermint, and Clove
Beatles: Rosemary, Cedarwood, Thyme, and Peppermint
Slugs: Cedarwood and Rosemary
Caterpillars: Cedarwood, Peppermint, and Wild Orange
Mosquitoes: Lemongrass, Cedarwood, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Geranium, and Lemon Eucalyptus
Ants: Rosemary, Wild Orange, Peppermint, and Clove
The Many Uses of Peppermint Oil
Peppermint Essential Oil is a must have for every home. There are a plethora of different ways Peppermint oil can be used, but for the sake of brevity in this article I'll discuss how to use it for outdoor gardening purposes.
Repel Rodents: Add a few drops of Peppermint oil to a cotton ball and place the cotton ball near the burrows of rodents and around your garden to keep rodents away. The Peppermint oil will not kill the rodents but will deter them from chomping their way through your garden.
Cool Down Spray: Feeling over heated in the sun or just want a refreshing way to cool down? Add Peppermint oil to spray bottle and top with water for a refreshing spray to use when out in the hot sun. If you’re not a DIY person you can also just add a few drops of Peppermint oil to the back of your neck to cool down as well.
Repel Ants: Use Peppermint indoors to repel pesky ants in your house that like to infiltrate all the sweet sugary items in your kitchen.
All-Purpose Plant Spray
This spray will help to improve the health of your plants and keep pests away naturally. The recipe below is what I use on my indoor plants. This spray is best used as a preventative for keeping plants healthy. In a perfect world, I spray this on my plants every day, but if I forget I do make sure I am doing it at least once a week.
Recipe for Indoor Plant Spray
- Rosemary 5-10 drops
- Clove 5-10 drops
- Peppermint 5-10 drops
Add to 16oz spray bottle and top with water.
Recipe for Outdoor Plants
- Rosemary 5-10 Drops
- Clove 5-10 Drops
- Peppermint 5-10 Drops
- Tea Tree 5-10 Drops
- Lavender 5-10 Drops
Add to 16oz spray bottle and top with water.
The addition of Lavender in the outdoor spray attracts natural pollinators and Tea Tree is a natural anti-fungal which will keep the fungus off your plant leaves, especially those tomato plants.
Insect Repellant and Bug Bite Remedy
doTERRA makes a simple solution for natural bug spray: TerraShield. TerraShield is doTERRA’s Repellent Blend.
Ingredients: Citronella, Lemongrass, Thyme, Cedarwood, Geranium, and Peppermint essential oils in a base of Sesame Seed Oil.
TerraShield comes in a spray application and an oil application. Both applications are already pre-diluted in sesame seed oil and ready to go. Spray a little bit on your exposed skin or on your clothes, if you have the oil application just add a few drops to your skin and rub in. A little goes a long way, so don’t feel like you must use a lot. There are 250 drops in the oil application, so this will last you a long time. TerraShield is safe for children, adults, and animals. doTERRA has a veterinary advisory board with practicing veterinarians and TerraShield has been shown to be safe to use on and around animals.
Oh, and unlike many other bug sprays and insect repellants, TerraShield actually smells really good.
For a boost to add to your TerraShield try Citronella, Lemongrass, or Purify.
When bug bites do occur, add a drop of Purify Essential Oil right on top of that bug bite. Purify is specifically designed for cleansing, so it will cleanse the itch right out of those pesky bug bites. Use a drop of Lavender and Purify for a soothing anti-itch application to any bug bite. You can apply the oils directly or even make an anti-itch roller bottle with equal drops Lavender and Purify topped with fractionated coconut oil.
Outdoor Gardening Oil Tips
- Ladybugs eat small garden pests such as aphids and spider mites. Make a ladybug attractor spray using Dill Essential Oil. doTERRA does not carry Dill Essential Oil all the time, so if you see it for sale from doTERRA make sure you grab a bottle.
- Find out what the “companion plant” is for your vegetables and use that essential oil instead of the actual plant if you don’t have space to plant more. For example, tomatoes and basil work well together to create vigor for growth and plant resistance. Water the tomato plant with Basil Essential Oil in the water for similar results. If you want to learn more about companion planting plants, there are lots of charts online that will give you more guidance on this topic, but there is also a quick reference guide below.
- Animals don’t like the smell of Rosemary. Spray plants with rosemary to deter them.
- Attract bees and other pollinators to your garden by spraying plants with a combination of Lavender and Wild Orange water. Side note, if you don’t want pollinators following you around while you are outdoor gardening, do not wear these essential oils on your body when you know you will be gardening.
After a long day of having your hands in the dirt, you will want to clean them up. Try the recipe below to create your own DIY Gardener’s Hand Soap. This will help you get all that grit from your hands and out from under your nails, while also gently exfoliating your hands.
Gardener’s Hand Soap
- ½ cup White Sugar
- ½ cup Castile Soap
- 2 tablespoons Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Vitamin E
- 15 drops Geranium Essential Oil
Combine all ingredients and mix before using.
Afterwards you can give yourself a nail bed treatment with doTERRA’s CorrectX. CorrectX is designed as an all-natural healing ointment that can be applied to scrapes, cuts, and bruises. I really like using it on my nail beds though.
Long days in the sun can be drying to our skin and sometimes we just need a little skin refresher. Make the Soothing After Sun Spray recipe below and keep it in your refrigerator all spring and summer to use after a long day of gardening, outdoor activities, or a spending time at the beach or pool.
doTERRA Soothing After Sun Spray
- 1 cup of Aloe Vera Juice
- ¼ cup of Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp of Vitamin E Oil
- 8 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 8 drops Roman Chamomile
- 8 drops Tea Tree Oil
SHOP doTERRA OILS Oils: doTERRA peppermint, lavender, roman chamomile, & fractionated coconut oil.
- Glass bottle
- Spray nozzle
I use an up-cycled Kombucha bottle to store my sun spray in and use the spray nozzles listed above from Amazon to turn it into a spray bottle.
- Use after sun exposure
- Place bottle in the refrigerator for best results
- You don’t need to be sunburned to use this
BIG NEWS! If you are not a DIY person, doTERRA is releasing a brand-new sun care line on June 1st, 2022. It will have 4 different products including an after-sun spray, mineral based face sunscreen, mineral based stick sunscreen applicator, and mineral based spray sunscreen. These sunscreens will be non-toxic and extra nourishing for the skin.
Gardner’s Survival Kit Cheat Sheet
Peppermint – Too Much Heat
Lavender – Too Much Sun
TerraShield – Too Many Bugs
Purify – Too Many Bug Bites
CorrectX – Too Many Skin Irritations
Deep Blue Rub – Too Many Muscle Aches
One product that you might notice above, that I have not mentioned, is the Deep Blue Rub. Deep Blue is doTERRA’s Soothing Blend and is great to use for all things discomfort. It doesn’t overload liver and doesn’t build up toxins in your system. Deep Blue Essential Oil is another proprietary blend of Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus. Deep Blue products are the among doTERRA's top selling products. You can rub Deep Blue on to the back of your neck after a long day of sitting at your computer or looking at your phone. Deep Blue will soothe and cool those tense muscles in the neck and shoulders.
It comes in oil form, a stick form, and lotion form. This is the perfect product to rub on sore tired muscles after bending and squatting all day in the sun.
I hope this article helps you keep your garden organic, toxin free, pest free, and thriving.
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