This fall/winter I’m going to brave the California cold (Ha! Ha!). I’m going to plant a winter vegetable garden. Truth told, I’m not a fan of tending a garden in 50 degree or less weather. I’m not kidding when I say it’s a new challenge for me to plant a fall/winter garden.
Yet the idea of stepping a few feet out my door to pick fresh lettuce greens to use for our dinner salad makes me giddy! Yep, I’m a bit crazy. But to me there is nothing tastier than a salad made with fresh greens, a light pour of olive oil, balsamic with a dash of pepper.
As exciting as this is, growing this fall/winter crop comes with its challenges. These challenges come in the form of snails, cutworms, cabbage loopers, aphids and more. What is this timid winter gardener to do to fight off these slimy and flying pests? I’m going to enlist the help of plants.
Planting specific species of plants in and around your garden is a natural way to fight off pests. Go to Wikipedia and you will find this wonderful list of pest-repelling plants.
What is it in these plants that repel the pests? It’s the natural occurring chemical constituents in the essential oil of that plant. In Rosemary it’s the 1,8-cineole and camphor. They work together that fend off mosquitos, slugs snails and cabbage loopers.
I have a choice of using my limited space to grow these pest repelling plants. Or I can use that same area to grow more lettuce and spinach. I’ll opt for more greens! Since I still need to fight off these pests, instead I’ll use pure plant essential oils. Pure essential oils processed/distilled properly can be used on your or my winter garden to repel these pests.
The simplest way for me to use these oils is to make up an essential oil pest spray. Weekly or as I see the pests I’ll spray my plants with this custom spray.
My pest spray is going to take care of:
Cutworms = Orange Essential Oil Slugs and Snails and Cabbage Looper = Rosemary Essential Oil Aphids and Whiteflies= Peppermint Essential Oil Cabbage Looper, Moth & Maggot = Thyme Essential Oil (You’ll notice I have cabbage looper in there twice – that’s because I want to make doubly sure those buggers are GONE!)
My Recipe: Fill a 16 oz glass spray bottle with: 15 drops each Orange, Rosemary, Peppermint and Thyme essential oil. Add purified water to the top.
You may ask, so how do I go about knowing how and what to add to my special spray? Ask yourself:
- What vegetables and fruits does my family like to eat?
- Which ones will grow in my area?
- Research the pests that are know to plague your choice of veggies/fruits
- Use the handy Wikipedia chart for pest repelling plants
- Order your essential oils and get started.
Yes, gardening takes effort, but like anything else the end result is worth it. In a few weeks my seeds will have germinated. In a few weeks after that I’ll have fresh, pesticide free greens on my family’s plate.
I’d love to hear what you are planting in your fall/winter garden. 🌺Deb
P.S. Thank you for meeting me here. (The information above is based on using Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils)
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