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Greasing the Green with Horticultural Oil

If you’re eyeing the calendar and feeling the unexpected chill in the breeze that seems to have crept in of late, you’re likely becoming more aware of the fact that fall is drawing nigh. Try as you might to ignore it, the onset of autumn means it’s about time to get your head in the game on the green – and that has nothing to do with the fact that it’s football season. It does, however, have everything to do with the green on your side of the fence, and that greenery includes any type of shrub or bush you have within your property line.

Unfortunately, shrubs are hardly maintenance-free bits of garden greenery. They require a careful hand, not only in keeping them trim and tame, but also in keeping them pest-free and pretty. That said, if you’re eco-minded in the least, one of the best players you can have in your agricultural line-up is horticultural oil.

Control Issues

Unfamiliar with it as you might be, it’s hardly some new-fangled creation conjured up by crunchy-granola types in a think tank. Horticultural oil is something that’s been around for centuries, first as a safe and chemical-free way to eliminate parasitic bugs that feasted and ravaged fruit trees, then later finding wider use in the garden world at large.

Most horticultural oils are made from some type of mineral oil and are a refined petroleum product. Some, however, are vegetable oils like cottonseed and soybean oil, both of which are effective in safely killing off insects. They work simply enough. Basically, the thick oil blocks the insects breathing passages – or spiracles – and suffocates them. It also disrupts the metabolism of insect eggs and even inhibits some insects in their feeding frenzy. Bad news for bugs, good news for shrubs.

That said, there are some bugs like bees and butterflies that are harmless and even actually helpful to your shrubs that could be killed by the horticultural oil; so use it only when deemed necessary. The instructions on your product will give you better direction on how much to use and when, so do your reading before you get overly-enthusiastic with the application.

Horticultural oil shouldn’t be used in the high heat of summer, nor in the frigid framework of winter, so the earliest part of autumn when the thermometer reads a little more on the temperate end is the ideal time to apply it to plants that are showing signs of pesky pests.   

Make your shrubs look slick! Give the team of outdoor experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc., a call today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how our services can benefit you!