Of course gardening begins with the Soil. Soil can provide the plant with everything it needs to thrive. It will have physical support for the root structure and provide an environment for air, water, and nutrients to be retained. A good Soil Structure also provides good drainage, which is important to ensure excess salts can be leached through the soil profile and out of the root zone. Drainage can be improved by adding organic matter, deep tilling, planting in raised beds, and installing drains in the soil.
Adding Organic Matter is the most important thing you can do to improve any soil. The benefits of adding organics are increased water holding capacity, reduced compaction, improved drainage, nutrients for plants, and lowered soil pH. Composts and manures are good sources, but may also contain salts and weed seeds. Apply a two to three inch layer of material if you are improving soil for the first time. Apply one inch per year for existing areas that have previously been amended. See Full Article
THE SCIENCE OF SOIL
“Soil is more than a medium to support plant life, it is the foundation for all life. Therefore, soil is critical to a
gardener’s success. Ideal soil must contain air, water, and nutrients for plants to thrive long term.”
Kevin Holyoak, Master Gardener
Next we may want to talk about weed control and some Natural Remedies. Corn Gluten, a by-product from corn milling, is an organic way to feed your lawn as well as take care of weeds. It works as a natural plant food because it delivers nitrogen, but it also prevents germination of weeds . This can help to rid your lawn and garden of dandelions and crabgrass. You can purchase it in a fine powder or in a granular form.
This is a great recipe for getting rid of unwanted lawn and garden dwellers, including poison ivy. It will kill any plants it comes in contact with so you need to be careful where you spray it. It’s great for those cracks in walkways and driveways.
2 cups white Vinegar
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup powdered citric acid
1/4 cup witch hazel extract
6 drops lavender oil
6 drops roman chamomile oil
1/4 cup wheat germ oil
Heat the vinegar in a medium saucepan until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add salt to dissolve and then dd all other ingredients except the essential oils. Let the ingredients cool slightly and then add the Essential Oils. Spray the solution directly on the weed, including the base near the roots.
All Natural Plant Protection
2 cups of water
10 drops Grapefruit seed extract
10 drops Melaleuca Oil (tea tree oil)
Combine all ingredients in a large plastic spray bottle. Shake well before using. This is great to spray on garden shears so that disease or mildews and fungi won’t be transferred from plant to plant. Let solution sit for a few minutes and then wipe with a clean cloth. Pg 200 The Naturally Clean Home
Essential Oils can be used for those pesky bugs that like to hang out in your Garden.
All Natural Aphid Spray
Aphids can quickly destroy plants and spread disease. This is a great recipe to send them packing!!
1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup salt
1/4 cup powdered citric acid
1/4 cup baking soda
2 tsp aloe vera juice
2 tsp sesame seed oil
15 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
Combine all ingredients into a large plastic spray bottle. Shake well before use and apply to the underside of the leaves.
Pg 200 The Naturally Clean Home
Insects and Ants Be Gone
1/2 cup flax seed oil
5-6 garlic cloves, smashed with skins on
2 cups water
1 tsp liquid Castile soap
Combine flax seed and garlic cloves in bowl. Cover and let sit overnight. Add the remaining ingredients to a large plastic spray bottle. Strain the garlic from the flax seed oil and then add the reserved oil to the bottle. Shake well before using. Spray along travel routes.
Classic Cayenne Pepper Spray
1 small onion
4-5 cloves of garlic, skins on
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups water
1 tsp liquid Castile Soap
Using a blender, make a pulp out of the onion and garlic cloves, spoon the pulp into bowl and add just enough olive oil to cover. Let it sit over night and strain off oil in the morning and add to the cayenne pepper. Keep this mixture in a glass jar for a few days. Use 1 tsp olive oil- cayenne blend to a large bottle of water and the castile soap. Shake well before applying. Great for soft bodied garden pests. Pg. 203 The Naturally Clean Home
dōTERRA’s Dr. David Hill explains the benefits of using TerraShield® as a safe and natural insect repellent.
doTERRA’s Dr. David Hill explains the best oils to use for bug bites.
Oils to Have on Hand when You are in the Outdoors
Bee Stings- Try Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Melaleuca, Peppermint, Purify, or Roman Chamomile. Tip: if the stinger remains in the skin, rub one drop of clove essential oil around the affected area for a numbing effect.
Mosquito Bites- Try Lavender, Helichrysum or Melaleuca
Snake Bites- Try Melaleuca or Purify
Spider Bites- Basil, Lavender, Lemongrass, Melaleuca, Purify or Roman Chamomile.
Ticks- Apply 2 drops of Oregano Essential Oil diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil over the embedded tick. The high phenol content of the oil will force the tick to let go. Remove the entire tick and apply 1-2 drops of Lavender or Melaleuca over the area 3-5 times per day until the irritation subsides.
Poisonous Plants- To help that Itch-1 TBSP sea salt, 1 TBSP Baking Soda, 1 TBSP Bentonite Clay, 4 drops each Geranium, Lavender, Melaleuca, and Roman Chamomile Essential Oil, add water to form a paste. Mix and transfer to a bottle with a lid and apply as needed.
Bruises- Try Soothing Blend, Fennel, Geranium, Helichrysum, Immortelle, Black Pepper or Lavender.
Burns and Blisters- Try Lavender, Helichrysum, Melaleuca, Peppermint (only for unbroken skin) or Roman Chamomile.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are intended for educational purposes only. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and are not a substitute for professional healthcare. All recommendations are based on third party research of essential oils and their effectiveness when used for the above listed ailments. See www.PubMed.com for references to some of those studies. Check out the research and make your own decisions based on complete information.