Are you a gardener? I LOVE gardening at my home in Hudson, Wisconsin. Gardening is one of the things that brings me joy, both vegetable and flower gardening. In these uncertain time, I feel it is even more important to be able to grow and provide some of my family’s food. I am also learning how to can and preserve food to be better prepared.
Organic food is something I believe strongly in, so of course, my vegetable garden is organic. I make my own fertilizer from a recipe my step-dad passed down to me. The ingredients are: 1 Gallon water, 1 Tablespoon Epsom Salts, 1 Teaspoon salt and 1 Teaspoon baking powder. I use this as soon as my tomatoes and peppers begin to bloom. I also add organic compost to my soil in the spring when I prepare it. Occasionally, I throw crushed egg shells around my garden to add come calcium to my plants.
Essential Oil Bug Away Spray
One of the challenges of organic gardening is keeping pests away from your plants. I make my own “Bug Away” spray using essential oils. In a 4 oz glass spray bottle, I combine 10 drops TerraShield, 10 drops White Fir or Siberian Fir, 10 drops Peppermint and 10 drops Cedarwood and fill it to the top with water. I often add Epsom Salts or Witch Hazel to help the oils emulsify with the water. You do need to shake before each use.
I typically water my garden in the morning, pick whatever vegetables are ready and then spray the plants with my Bug Away Spray. If there is a specific pest I notice, I search the web to see what essential oil repels that particular insect. Then I apply a few drops of that oil to craft sticks and place around my garden. Essential oils remedies need to be applied more often, especially after rain or watering your garden.
In the past I have had an issue with slugs. A natural remedy for slugs is to put beer in a container with a few drops of dish soap. The slugs are attracted to the beer, and the dish soap kills them. I only use this method when absolutely necessary. I prefer to repel insects, and not kill them. The fir oils are good slug repellents, which is why I add Siberian Fir to my Bug Away mix.
I also used to have an issue with squash bugs on my zucchini and summer squash plants. I learned that if you inspect the leaves daily for the first few weeks after planting and remove any eggs you see, it keeps them away. Then the Bug Away spray has worked well.
Organic gardening is a hobby I hope to enjoy for years to come. Do you have a favorite bug-away or organic fertilizer recipe to share? If so, please leave it in the comments!
Hugs & Health – Michelle