This year many “victory gardens” were planted due to having to stay at home and closures of school and many businesses. Historically victory gardens were started during WWI and carried on through WWII. They served as a successful means to boost morale, express patriotism, safeguard against food shortages on the home front, and ease the burden on commercial farmers to feed troops and civilians overseas. So whether you are a seasoned gardener or a novice, having a healthy garden means you will be healthy too as you eat the produce and surround yourself with nontoxic ways of caring for your plants.
Many gardeners regularly pull out the bug spray or weed killer when they encounter an unknown insect or want to clear out some weeds. Everyone should know that using pesticides can potentially expose us to immediate and long term health risks. For instance, recent studies have linked pesticide exposure to increased risk of Parkinson’s disease and a connection between endometriosis risk. And the inert ingredient, glyphosate, in weed killer is deadly to human cells.
So what to use instead? Melaleuca’s products are not only healthy to use inside the home but outside as well. From ants to zinnias, Melaleuca’s household cleaning products work to rid your garden of unwanted pests:
- Ants can be killed with PreSpot, Sol-U-Mel or Tough & Tender. If ants are making a little trail into your home, sometimes just dusting them with clove spice or dropping mint leaves on their trail will cause them to decide your home is not so attractive after all. In the yard, repeatedly spraying water on them can make them decide to move to another part of the yard. If you have fire ants, kill them with the following mix. In a two gallon bucket of water: 1 capful of Tough & Tender, 1 capful of MelaMagic, 1 capful of Sol-U-Mel, 1 capful of Tub & Tile, and 10 drops of Lemon Brite. Stir and pour half of the bucket on the fire ant bed. Wait 30 minutes and pour on the other half. This kills them “dead” and they won’t come back.
- Bagworms can be eradicated by spraying the nest with diluted Lemon-Brite. It may take several sprayings.
- Black spot, rust, or powdery mildew on flowers or vegetable leaves can be prevented by spraying with diluted 1:5 mixture of Sol-U-Mel. This solution also is very effective to spray on fruit trees, shrubs, plants, and grass to wipe out aphids, ants, and other bugs that are detrimental to fruit growing.
- Aphids are soft body insects that suck plant juices. You will usually find them on new growth. Spray with diluted Tough & Tender and rinse off with water.
- To prevent bugs infesting your apples as they grow, spray apple trees with one bottle of Renew Bath Oil into 5 gallons of warm water.
- Mix 1 cup of Tough & Tender in a lawn sprayer and fill with water. Spray onto plants thoroughly to get rid of spider mites that may infiltrate some growing vegetables.
- Mix 1/8 cup of Tough & Tender to 5 gallons of water and water around the base of tomato plants. This will help rid of blight and insects that crawl up the stems.
- To rid your garden of slugs and other bugs, spray diluted Sol-U-Mel around the base of your plants. It won’t work as fast as salt, but it is safer for your plants.
- Zinnias are prone to powdery white patches caused by powdery mildew. Give zinnias good air circulation and avoid watering them from above. If affected by powdery mildew, spray diluted Sol-U-Mel directly on the leaves of your zinnias. They will usually show improvement in one day.
- Don’t forget to disinfect your garden tools with Sol-U-Guard Botanical to keep mold spores from spreading.
A spray bottle of Tough & Tender and Sol-U-Mel along with common sense and a bit of patience can result in a healthy productive garden.