Companion planting with essential oils? What the heck is that, right? It’s a super easy way to boost up your existing garden, even if you didn’t plant any companion plants in it.
First, let’s back up a bit.
What is Companion Planting?
For those of you that aren’t familiar with companion planting, it’s when you strategically plant your garden so that plants that are side by side have something to benefit the other. For example, one plant might repel insects that commonly like to flock to the other plant. Or one plant might give off certain nutrients through their soil that would benefit the other plant. It’s an awesome way to help your garden thrive in a natural way.
But what if you don’t want to plant all those other things that would be helpful? Or what if you don’t have enough space? Or what if it’s too late–you just heard about it and your garden is already planted? Well, you’re in luck. You can companion plant without planting anything! You can use essential oils instead. (Maybe I should call it companion oiling instead??)
Let me give you an example. Basil and tomatoes grow well together. Basil naturally repels white flies, mosquitoes, tomato hornworms and aphids. It gives the tomato plant nutrients the tomatoes need through its roots into the soil. It also improve pollination by attracting bees and it’s commonly thought that the tomatoes themselves improve in flavor when basil is planted nearby.
Why Use Essential Oils?
Besides all the good reason I gave above, here’s another good reason to use essential oils in the garden: If you’re using a good quality essential oil, all you’re getting is 40-70% stronger concentration of that exact plant. Nothing more. Nothing less. So, in the case of basil essential oil, you’re getting pure basil, concentrated up to 70% higher than what’s found in the plant. You don’t have to plant basil to get the same properties, and in greater concentrations. (These are the oils I use and at the best price.)
How Does it Work?
It’s easy to do your companion planting with essential oils. All you need to do is mix a few drops of the oil that works as a companion, into two gallons of warm water. Stir. Fill your watering can half full with this mixture and add cold water to the top. Stir. Water your plants with it twice a week.
Here’s a list of common companion plants and what essential oil to use. Pick the plant, the oil, and follow the above instructions of mixing it into your watering can water and you’re set to go!
If you’d like more helpful tips on non-toxic gardening with essential oils, check out this on pest control with essential oils.