How to Use Neem Oil for Plants as a Natural Pesticide

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How to Use Neem Oil as a Natural Non-Toxic Garden Pesticide

Do you need a non-toxic natural pesticide alternative for your home and garden? Learn how to use neem oil for plants as a natural non-toxic pesticide!

In addition to neem oil’s many medicinal uses – for which I’ve already created multiple recipes for soap, shampoo, salves and lip balm – you can also use neem oil for plants in your garden as a natural broad spectrum pesticide. Neem oil is extracted from the seed of the tropical neem tree and contains thee active ingredient, azadirachtin, which acts as an insecticide, fungicide, and miticide.

You can use neem oil for plants in the garden as a natural, non-toxic pesticide to help control slugs, snails, fruit flies, white flies, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, Mexican bean beetles, Japanese beetles, aphids small leaf eating caterpillars and other harmful insects.

In your home it works against fleas, ticks, ants, bed bugs, dust mites and cockroaches as well as scabies mites.

Simply combine between .5% and 2% of neem oil to warm water depending on severity of infestation. (So for every 16 oz. of water by weight, you’d want to use between .08 oz. and .32 oz. neem oil.) For the garden you can also include insecticidal soap or detergent at .01% – .02% of the water amount. Use the solution within a day or two and then make up a new solution to use as needed. If you have an existing infestation drench soil and leaves and apply once a week until infestation clears. As a preventative measure, use the neem oil at .5% dilution with warm water once a month.

Also be sure to check my natural homemade skin care recipes that contain neem oil: Natural Neem Oil & Rosemary Salve Recipe, Natural Homemade Neem Oil Cold Process Soap Recipe, Homemade Neem Cream Recipe, Natural Topical Anti-Fungal Toenail Treatment, Homemade Cold Sore Therapy Lip Balm Recipe, Natural Homemade Dog Shampoo and my Lanolin & Neem Salve Recipe.

For more home and garden tips and recipes like this one, follow my DIY Lifestyle Tips board on Pinterest. Or keep up with all of my new projects and recipes by following me on Blog Lovin, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram!

Homemade Garden Mint Soap Recipe

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DIY Handmade Garden Mint Soap Recipe - Great Homemade Gift Idea for Gardeners

I often find that when hunting for handmade Christmas gift ideas or customizing that perfect homemade Christmas gift for that special someone, it can really help to think outside of the holidays. After all, the two big winter gifting holidays – Christmas and Valentine’s Day – are just one short day each out of an entire year. So not everything needs to be red and white or smell like peppermints.

So here’s a homemade garden mint soap recipe that is perfect for a gardener regardless of the time of the year. Not only does it smell amazing but it’s rich, thick lather and combination of exfoliants really help to scrub and wash away caked on dirt and grime. It’s also great for messy artists and crafters – like myself on the days I’m not making soap – as well as mechanics! Plus you can customize the color to suit the recipient.

Homemade Garden Mint Soap Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen


12.8 oz. 76° melt point (refined) coconut oil
6.5 oz. sustainable palm oil
13.4 oz. pomace olive oil
2 oz. rice bran oil
1.5 oz. shea butter

5.1 oz. lye/sodium hydroxide
11 fluid ounces distilled water

At trace:

2 oz. Garden Mint fragrance oil (or similar)
2 Tablespoons pumice powder
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
2 Tablespoons apricot kernel meal
1/8-1/4 teaspoon chromium oxide green pigment powder, to suit


This homemade garden mint soap recipe is pretty straight forward. Simply follow your basic cold process soapmaking instructions adding the fragrance oil, exfoliants and color in at trace.

This batch will yield approximately 10 – 12 bars (or a 3lb. batch) and will fit inside one of my DIY wooden loaf soap molds.

Allow bars to cure for 3 – 6 weeks after unmolding and cutting into bars. Wrap your final bars as desired for gift giving with professional plastic food wrap film and a label, Kraft paper, or even fabric and a ribbon!

Looking for cute gift labels? Be sure to check out my homemade soap recipe for making a Ferocious & Fantastic Soap for Men! Not only is there another great recipe you can try, but there are also printable holiday deer soap labels and gift tags themed for both men and women!

My Memorial Day Weekend

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Scott Watering the GardenScott is watering the garden again today. He’s been faithfully watering the garden by buckets since there’s no hose or outside water faucet on the days the ground gets dry. Luckily we’ve had some good rain so far this spring and it’s supposed to be a rather wet summer since this can get a little tedious and I seem to keep having him add an extra row here and there. Right now we have tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and cucumbers planted. I also have a row of organic Summer Bibb Lettuce seeds from Cubits planted in the ground and in a large pot along with some Basil and Calendula. Scott still has one more row to sow so I can plant my mix of organic Heirloom carrot seeds from Cubits.

I spent a lot of time outdoors yesterday cleaning up both the front and back yards. We rent and this is only the start of our second year here – and our first with any sort of extra income – so we’re just now getting the yard to our liking. I don’t have hedge trimmers yet – I spent money on a weed eater and an a/c unit – so I trimmed trees with my hands and a pair of craft scissors – which was surprisingly effective. I also spent a lot of time pulling up Virginia creeper out of the ground and off the fence. While it looks a lot better, it did send my allergies into overdrive so I’m nursing a sore throat today.

If you’re allergies are giving you fits as well – even with medication like mine – there are some natural home remedies that can help. One of my favorites since I have a variety of herbs planted out front is to drink peppermint tea. The peppermint oil acts as a natural decongestant. Simply add 1/2 ounce of dried organic peppermint leaves to a one quart jar then fill two-thirds of the jar with boiling water. Steep for five minutes, sweeten if desired and enjoy.

And since we’re on the topic of gardens, dirt and mud, I am offering 50% off my new Rose Body & Facial Mud for Memorial Day weekend! Just enter coupon code: FLASHMUD at checkout and receive half off every jar of Rose Body & Facial Mud you purchase from Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen through Memorial Day. (Coupon code expires 5/27/13 at 11:59pm EST.)

I hope everyone enjoys the holiday weekend. Scott and I will be going out to buy a small charcoal grill today so we can enjoy some grilled bratwurst and burgers purchased on the market this weekend from a local farmer.

DIY Upcycled Washi Tape Planter

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DIY Easy Upcycled Planter - Made with Washi Tape and an Empty Vinegar ContainerI use so many gallon sized containers of vinegar every month – for everything from a homemade after shower spray to a natural and inexpensive laundry softener – that I wanted to  figure out something I could actually use these plastic containers for rather than just tossing them into the recycling bin. One of the quickest and easiest ways I thought of to upcycle these containers is to re-use them as pots for plants.

To make these pots, simply cut off the top of the container with sharp scissors – I used a knife to get started – wash thoroughly, then wrap with strips of your favorite washi tape. You can also make a small drain hole in the bottom if needed. Leave some of the plastic on your new pot exposed and you’ll be able to tell by how dark the soil is, whether or not it’s time to water.

I put one of my pepper plants in my pot while it’s waiting to be transplanted into the garden. However, these would be perfect for using container succulent gardens and for planting your favorite flowers and annual herbs.

Once I have three more of these vinegar containers emptied and ready for upcycing, I’m planning to use them with a dowel and eye hooks to create some new wall storage in my office.

Looking for more ways to re-use everyday containers? Be sure to check out my DIY Storage Box Organizer as well as my post on Creative Ways to Recycle Everyday Things. You can also follow me on Pinterest!

How do you recycle and upcycle everyday plastic containers?

DIY Container Succulent Garden – Last Minute Homemade Mother’s Day Gift Idea

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DIY Container Succulent Garden Project - Last Minute Homemade Mother's Day Gift IdeaNeed a last minute homemade Mother’s Day gift idea for mom? Skip the bouquet of flowers and instead gift her with a gorgeous DIY Succulent Container Garden Arrangement! Not only is it inexpensive to make – definitely less than a florist’s flower bouquet – but it will last and last even if Mom doesn’t have a green thumb!

Succulent Plants for a DIY Succulent Container GardenTo get started you’ll need to purchase an assortment of your favorite succulent plants. Our farmer’s market sells larger succulents for about $6 each, but I found these at our local Lowe’s stores. They offer four packs of smaller sized succulents for $3.98 each making it easy to mix and match and create multiple container succulent garden arrangements.

How to Make Your Own DIY Succulent Container Garden ArrangementI also bought some Miracle Grow for my container gardens, although you can use regular potting soil or dirt. For my containers I used some handmade pottery dishes I had purchased several years back from local artisans at our farmer’s market. I chose containers that I really liked, but didn’t really use. You can use existing containers you have on hand for this project, buy new containers, or check out thrift stores. Additionally, I found some rocks in various shapes, sizes and colors in my backyard to use within my arrangements. If your yard is rock free, take a walk through a local park to see what you discover.

DIY Succulent Container Garden Arrangement - Last Minute Homemade Gift IdeaCreating your succulent garden arrangements is easy. There’s nothing to mess up as it’s completely a matter of your own taste! Simply fill your container with dirt, then add succulents throughout the container using rocks to break up sections or fill in gaps. Once you have a look you like, water your finished arrangement thoroughly.

I chose to use a larger aloe plant for the center of this succulent container garden arrangement. It may seem a little sparse now, but remember to leave some space as these will grow!

Last Minute Homemade Gift Idea - DIY Succulent Container Garden ArrangementHere is my second, and somewhat smaller, succulent arrangement. Again I used an aloe plant in the center. What I love about these is it’s okay to forget to water them. I know I always do. As these grow, you can thin the the arrangement and use the new growth to make new container gardens or to gift to friends.

Indoor Container Gardening - DIY Succulent Arrangement Gardening ProjectAnd here is yet a third, even smaller succulent garden arrangement I made in a cereal sized handmade pottery bowl by another local artist. I had a lot of fun with these. In the end I purchased enough of these neat little plant to make my own mother a handmade succulent arrangement for Mother’s Day, one large multi-tiered arrangement, one medium arrangement and one smaller arrangement for my own home. If you want to be sure you don’t over buy like I did – oopsie – take your container or containers with you to the store when you go to purchase the plants.

I hope everyone has a lovely Mother’s Day. And be sure to share any handmade gifts you receive on your special day!