Castor oil is extracted from castor seeds. There are many properties to the oil and the modern world still uses the oil as a lubricant in most engines. The FDA also included the oil among the GRASE category, otherwise known as “generally recognized as safe and effective” especially in the treatment of constipation. Aside from the mentioned uses, castor is used as an ingredient in creams, lotions, hair loss products, cosmetic merchandizes, foodstuffs and other applications. On top of all the benefits and uses of castor, the lesser known function is its application in agriculture.
Different Castor Oil Benefits for Agriculture:
- Fungicide—plants have a likelihood to develop fungal growth. Castor oil can help in deterring fungal development in many plants. What you can do is to combine a small amount of oil along with liquid soap. The leaves of the plants should be sprayed with the solution so that the growth of the fungi will be prevented. There are also cases wherein mold growth and rotting can be impeded.
- Pesticide—gophers and moles are useful in gardens but they can also destroy roots of plants. Through the application of castor oil granules, these land burrowers will tend to avoid the areas with castor since they get irritated by the oil. Just make sure to reapply the granules and water them so that the effectiveness is maintained. The granules are said to be effective for a month and can reach up to 3 months. The tunnels made by these subterranean creatures can also be covered by the granules for full effect. This will avoid problems with the pests and you can maintain the health of your soil and plants.
- Other Agricultural Uses—squirrels can also be pests. If you think you have too many squirrels trampling over your perfect lawn, you can get rid of them through spraying your plants with a mixture of castor oil and water. When the squirrels sense the oil mixture, they will also tend to avoid the plants and will no longer trample over your grass and eat your flora. Prevent insects with castor oil as well. Make sure to spray your growing plants with a mixture of castor oil and water before they begin to flower or bud so that insects will not be attracted.
Indeed, the mentioned uses are not the usual ones advertised for castor oil. These are earth-friendly, cheap and effective methods of taking care of your plants without worrying too much about the possible threats to their survival and aesthetics.