Natural Gardening Tips

Solve your gardening problems without harsh chemicals - your plants will thank you!

So, you’re a gardener...or maybe a startup gardener! Wherever you land, there are some basic things that seem to apply to everyone during the stages of their gardening journey.
Things like weeds, pests, and bad harvests show up in every garden, every year. This page is going to be your ticket to tackling even the hardest of seasons. You’ll have tricks up your sleeve that will help you succeed from the day the seed goes in the ground ‘til the day you harvest it. 
Using essential oils in the gardening process helps us garden in a way that results in fruits and veggies (flowers, too) that have been lovingly cared for in the most organic way. You can even achieve that affordably, sustainably, and without the use of harsh chemicals, friend!  I only use Young Living essential oils, because I know the source!  I've been to the farms, helped with the harvesting and the distillation.  I know their standards are the highest in the industry.  I work hard in my garden and don't want to take chances on cheaper oils that may be adulterated or manipulated to achieve some chemical profile (it happens all the time in the industry).  I want the natural real deal!

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What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the chemical compounds that make up the lifeblood of a plant. They’ve even been referred to as the ‘immune system’ of the plant. 
We are able to use them through the process of distillation after harvesting. The part of the plant with the beneficial chemicals (stems, leaves, bark, etc.) is harvested and sent through a very meticulous distillation process. Every plant needs a very specific distillation time and Young Living has over 25 years of experience in that art.
After the plant is distilled a concentrated oil is the result. It is potent and loaded with amazing benefits for your overall health and wellness. It is bottled, shipped to you, and then can be used topically, aromatically, or internally*!
The beneficial chemicals in the oils can be absorbed by your body (and the plants in your garden) to maintain optimal overall health and wellness. Because they are so concentrated, one little drop goes a long way! Wait until we get into the canning section of class - your mind will be blown!
*Young Living has an entire line of oils dedicated to ingestion called the Vitality line.

Quality Matters!
Seed to Seal 
This is hugely important. Why? The FDA has almost no regulations and safety measures on the essential oil industry. The oils found in drug and big box stores, online, and even from other oil companies have been tested to find harsh synthetic fillers and chemicals. A cheap perfume grade oil is distilled at high pressure and high temps and usually with chemical solvents. This yields an adulterated oil that can still be labeled “100% pure”... which, in my opinion, is a scary thing! 
Young Living decided to rise above that and create their own strict guidelines to ensure purity. It is called the Seed to Seal Quality Commitment. They abide by very strict guidelines to fulfill their promise in sending only the best products to your home. 
  • plant material that is grown on corporately-owned farms or carefully vetted partner farms (that you CAN visit!)
  • sustainable farming and sourcing practices, providing the purest oil.
  • great care taken to preserve and protect natural resources
  • hand-weeded fields and ZERO use of pesticides
  • oils that retain all their natural constituents and therapeutic properties
  • use of food-grade distillers with state-of-the-art design and distillation methods
  • low pressure and low temperature distillation, without the use of solvents or synthetic chemicals
  • rigorous testing on each batch by internal labs and third-party facilities
  • oils that are carefully reviewed through every step of production in order to meet or exceed industry safety and purity standards (beyond organic!)

    And the best part… if the oils do not meet these high standards they are rejected and will not be bottled as a Young Living product. Now you can sleep tonight knowing you are getting the absolute best. 
    Check out more info on their Seed to Seal promise at 

How to Handle Annoying Pests
Ready to Tackle the Outdoors
It’s no secret that bugs can totally ruin your garden plans. From eating your plants to taking a bite out of you, they can really dampen any gardening dreams!
You could use insecticides or sprays made from harsh chemicals, but certainly at a cost to you and the environment. They can lead to bioaccumulation of toxins in your body (and even in your plants) that are linked to chronic illness and disease! 
First let's talk about the pests that come after YOU! Young Living has an Insect Repellent that has been tested to repel mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas using 100% naturally derived, plant-based ingredients. Pure sesame oil and a carefully selected blend of essential oils traditionally used for their bug-repellent properties come together to make up all 99% of the active ingredients in this formula. The other 1%? Vitamin E. That means you can use it on your little ones and not worry about the synthetic chemicals used in many traditional repellents. You’ll also love the pleasant, citrusy aroma and smooth, non-sticky application.

If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, try this easy Outdoor Spray recipe! It can be used on you OR your plants! 

Outdoor Spray
  • 2 oz. Witch Hazel
  • 2 oz. distilled water
  • 20 drops Thieves 
  • 20 drops Lemon 
  • 20 drops Rosemary 
  • 20 drops Citronella 
Mix together in a 4 oz. glass spray bottle. Shake before each use. 
Keep in mind, you should spritz this on your plants once at night. Doing it in the morning may burn the leaves as the sun rises. We want to keep those plants safe and protected as much as possible! 

Keep the Pets Out of Your Garden!
Pets & Your Garden 
Now, what about the pets we love and adore but can’t seem to keep out of our gardens? As much as we love them, let’s face it, they can get into the garden and cause quite a mess.
A simple and safe way to encourage them to stay away is by using scents. Dogs dislike the smell of Black Pepper and cats dislike the smell of Rosemary. Therefore, they’ll choose to stay away from areas with that scent. And if you didn’t know already, those essential oils exist! Perfect! 
DIY Pets-Be-Gone
Drop 5-10 drops of essential oil in a shallow pan of warm water. Whisk until oil is spread throughout the water. Take old washcloths or scraps of clothing and tear into long, skinny strips. Soak the strips in the water for about 30 minutes to absorb the oils. Dry them out, then tie them around stakes or plants to keep those animals at bay. Now your beloved fuzzball won’t ruin your garden!

Keep the Weeds Out!
Unwanted + Unpleasant Growth
You can waste SO many hours on weeds. Summer is short enough, let’s not spend unnecessary time dealing with weed overgrowth!
If you’re trying to get rid of unwanted plant growth that doesn’t involve harmful chemicals (linked to so many neurological, hormone, and overall health imbalances) just know there are some safe alternatives. Weeds HATE Cinnamon so try your hand at this easy DIY. 
‘Wither the Unwanteds’ Spray
Add 25-50 drops of Cinnamon Bark in a 4 oz. glass spray bottle. Top it off with distilled water. Shake and spray at offenders. Douse roots and leaves as needed.
Sometimes ‘unwanted friends’ begin to grow on our beloved plants. That can cause poor growth, bad harvests, or even plant death. They can block the pores of the plant responsible for breathing and eventually choke out the plant completely. They can also steal vital nutrients from the plants which significantly decreases the amount of your harvest! We don’t want that! 
‘Plant Love’ Spray
Add 10 drops each of Tea Tree, Peppermint, and Citronella to a 4 oz. glass spray bottle. Top off with distilled water. Shake and spray along affected parts of the plant during your gardening chores!

Companion Plants!
Companion Plants
If you’ve been around the garden scene a while you’ve heard of companion planting. And if you haven’t heard, let me enlighten you!
Some plants play well together; others do not. This is because every plant has certain nutrients that it uses from the soil for growth and fruit production. Also, plants excrete certain byproducts back into the soil that can either help or hinder your harvest!
If you grow two types of plants next to each other that both rely strongly on nitrogen for growth, they will compete and overuse the nitrogen in the soil and starve each other out! Corn and tomatoes are an example of plants that don’t play nice.
Conversely, if you plant two types of plants next to each other that eat different nutrients they will work together to promote each other’s growth. A good example of this is tomatoes and carrots. They work together in the soil. Therefore, plant them next to each other and it will result in a more bountiful harvest. 
So what does this have to do with essential oils? Well, essential oils are made from plants so consider using oils in place of your companion plants. For example, if you are looking to plant Lavender next to Green Beans, grab your Lavender essential oil instead. Create a “Companion Spray” to use on the soil and leaves of the plant using this guide. Add 10-15 drops of the corresponding essential oil to a 4 oz. glass spray bottle. Top with distilled water; shake before each use. So easy! 
PLANT                     COMPANION PLANTS 
Green Beans          Lavender, Basil
Broccoli                   Basil, Thyme
Carrots                     Sage
Cucumber              Sage
Onion                      German Chamomile
Potatoes                 Basil, Sage
Tomatoes               Basil
Attract the Pollinators!
Pollinator Party
Did you know that some plants self-pollinate? Fruits like peppers can stand alone and produce fruit. Not every plant does that. Lots of them need the help of cross-pollination between male and female plants!
Know who helps with that?! POLLINATORS!
Bees and butterflies are some of the friendliest insects you can get into your garden! Without them you’ll have measly harvests and be disappointed that all your hard work didn’t result in the delicious produce you wanted!
Pollinators are attracted to the smell of flowers and luckily some of our wonderful essential oils are distilled from flowers… so convenient! 
Create a spray using essential oils to spritz on the flowering buds of your garden to encourage pollinators to come in and get the job done!
‘Pollinator Party’ Spray
Add 6-8 drops of Lavender and Orange essential to a 4 oz. glass spray bottle and top with distilled water. Shake, spray, and party with the pollinators!

Tending the Harvest!
Tending the Harvest
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… HARVEST SEASON! All your hard work and patience has paid off and you get to pluck delicious fresh food from the earth and eat to your heart’s content!
If you’re like me, sometimes I find that fresh produce goes bad before I can eat it. That’s because bacteria rests on your fruit and without the support of a plant, the fruits and veggies break down and can grow nasty spots on them.
As you can see, it’s important to always wash your fruits and veggies! It keeps you and your family from ingesting yucky things the produce may have tagging along.
Young Living has an exclusive Thieves Fruit and Veggie Soak (and a spray!) that you can use for this very reason. Soaking the food loosens the dirt and other crud and rinses it right down the drain.
You can even make your very own “produce soak’ with a sink full of water and several drops of Thieves and Lemon essential oils. Super simple! 
And has anyone ever noticed that once the fruits and veggies get in the house those pesky winged creatures magically appear?! Try out this simple diffuser recipe, using your essential oils, to keep yourself sane.
‘Don’t Bother Me’ Diffuser Recipe 
  • 2 drops Basil 
  • 2 drops Peppermint 
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Clove 
  • 2 drops Eucalyptus Radiata
The last tip I have for keeping your harvest fresher for longer is to clean your storage containers! The amazing Thieves Dish Soap contains no sulfates, dyes, formaldehyde, phosphates, or synthetic perfumes and has a delightful citrus scent.

Canning Season!
Canning Season
In order to can 30 quarts of spaghetti sauce you will need lots of oregano. LOTS. Buying dried organic oregano adds up very fast in order to achieve the flavor you want in your recipes.
Remember when we talked about how essential oils are concentrated liquid forms of a plant?! You better believe that means they pack a big flavor punch for each drop you use! For one LARGE pot of spaghetti sauce I use 2-3 drops of Oregano Vitality essential oil as opposed to much larger amounts of dried oregano. That’s it! It goes so far and has such a rich and pure flavor. Save money AND use a high quality ingredient. #WinWin  (If you're cooking a small batch, use the toothpick method ~ dip the end of a toothpick in the oil and stir into recipe - taste test and repeat if you need more)
Young Living has an entire line of Vitality oils, not just Oregano. There is a great selection of herbs and spices (and even citruses). PLUS they are all Non-GMO certified. That’s huge! 

Taking Care of the Gardener!
Love for the Gardener
You know we love our plants when we are willing to break our backs, scrape up our fingers, and endure biting bugs in order to give them the best chance they’ve got!
Young Living knows you’re just as important as your precious plants and has a whole host of products to help you care for yourself, too!
Muscle Love
Stiffness can be a thing of the past when you use a Deep Relief Roll-On or Panaway on sore muscles. Simply roll or drop the oil on the area that is giving you grief. Use as needed! Include a personal story of how you’ve used these oils. 
Skin Love
Lavender is an oil no gardener should ever be without! It may help cleanse and soothe minor skin irritations so keep it on hand. It also can be soothing to the skin after a day in the sun.
If you forget to apply your outdoor spray, don’t worry. This roller recipe will be just what you need!  
DIY Soothing Stick
  • 5 drops Lavender
  • 5 drops Purification 
  • 3 drops Peppermint 
  • Carrier of your choice 
Add essential oils to a 10 ml roller and fill the rest with Young Living’s V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex or your favorite carrier oil. Apply as often as you need it. 

Gardener's Hands!
Here's a downloadable gift - Recipes for the Gardener's Hands:   Gardeners Hands.pdf 
Thanks for coming to my website to learn more about natural gardening with essential oils!  
If you'd like to learn more about how to incorporate "Plant-Based" living into your daily life, I have tons of resources.  Just Contact me, and let me know what you're interested in.


Copyright Jacqueline McLaughlin