3 Essential Oils To Protect your ENTIRE Garden

9 comments by Halley -Author at MIGardener

Written by - Luke from MIgardener 

Everyone knows that to have an organic garden, you make a sacrifice for a beautiful pest-free garden in exchange for higher quality, healthier vegetables. This was a common thought until I discovered this super simple spray that is safe, cheap, quick, and, most of all, EFFECTIVE. This recipe is my own, and while I cannot guarantee a 100% pest-free garden, it will allow you to have at least a 90% pest-free garden 100% organically too! Here is how:

STEP 1: Get your oils
The higher the quality of the oil does not matter. Just get the cheapest PURE essential oil you can find. The more expensive stuff comes with promises of faster hair growth, purer extract, and maybe a chance of winning the lotto. All we are concerned about is the scent. The three most effective oils I go for are:

1. Marigold Oil marigoldoil
2. Rosemary Oil Rosemary_oil
3. Peppermint Oil  peppermint_oil

Step 2: Mix Your Oils 

Mixing your oils is 1:1:1 is what you want. No rocket science here, folks! Just a 1/2 ounce of each oil will go a very long way. The oils will do many things,
Marigold oil - has been proven to deter pests like aphids, whitefly, flea beetles, and nematodes.
Peppermint oil - has been proven to prevent ants, spider mites, and squash vine borer.
Rosemary Oil - has been proven to deter aphids, cabbage moth, and several types of mites.

Tip: If you are trying to rid your garden of squash vine borer, we made this specifically for them.

     How it works:    

Essential oils are condensed versions of their origin. This makes them highly fragrant and also oil-based. They are oils that allow them to stick to the leaves and not wash off like other pesticides and deterrents. This will last for a couple of weeks. It is not only oil-based, but it is highly fragrant. When pests look for victims, they do not randomly choose any plant; they choose it based on specific chemical signals coming from the plant. These signals are called pheromones. These pheromones are like a road map right to your plant, and it can be caused by anything from drought to nutrient deficiency, to even you harvesting from it! The highly fragrant oils will mask the smell of the pheromones and confuse insects. They will go elsewhere because your plants are not an easily recognizable target. 

Step 3: Apply Your Oils 

In a 1-gallon pump sprayer mix:

  • 20 drops (about 1 teaspoon) of your Essential Oil MIX 
  • 5 drops of dish soap (to help mix the water and oil) 
  • 1 gallon of water

Spray in EARLY MORNING, and BEFORE pests have found your plants. This is a great preventative and will also make your garden smell great! Instead of some of those pesticides and preventatives that smell foul or so potent that your neighbor thinks your garden is a chemistry experiment gone horribly wrong. 

NOTE: It will fade, so re-apply every 2 weeks or as needed. It cannot hurt, so do not feel bad if you must re-apply it every week! 

Tip: Soak Q-tips in the oil solution and rub down posts, cages, and other items in the garden to handle the concentrate. It will be stronger and last longer!

Did you enjoy this post? MIgardener is passionate about sharing free gardening tips and information! If you are looking for inspiration in the garden, make sure to check out our Pinterest page. New ideas and inspiration can be found there at any time. Check us out at MIgardener.com or on youtubeInstagram, and Facebook.


  • Bryon Alexander

    I have been using the peppermint oil mixture for 3 weeks (this evening was the 3rd spray – I have had to did our a few borers, but there is literally NO BORER eggs on my stems and leaves! I even checked my 2 Blue Hubbard squash, which I planted as my “victim” plants – even they are growing quite happily! After being at war with the borers for 10 years, I am sooo optimistic that MIgardener has provided an answer! Thanks, guys!

  • Ann T

    Alternative to dish soap ? allergic chemical sensitive and toxins in dish soap. ,peppermint tho I have pets? Fleas issue as well.

  • Tammy

    Can you provide for us where to purchase marigold essential oil please

  • Tengiz Jaliashvili PhD

    Thanks for the clever advice, please explain if you have tested tea seed oil.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for this post! I love growing zucchini and I get stressed just thinking about vine borers. Is this mix okay for the pollinators while deterring pests? Also, do you have a preferred source for the marigold oil? My search results are littered with “marigold oil” that is actually calendula (or will that also work?).

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published