Create Your Own Homemade Organic Pesticides.
Rather than have a cupboard full of dangerous, toxic and expensive chemical insecticides why not make your own? These recipes are quick easy and much safer than the commercial alternatives. Do your bit for your wallet and the environment by making your own.
Basic Soap DeBug Spray
Mix one part soft or liquid soap with 100 parts water. Put into a plant sprayer and use liberally. This is the key ingredient in the gardeners fight against aphids and other insect pests. The spray action will dislodge insects while the soap smothers them preventing them from breathing or eating. The soapy residue left on plants will further discourage other pests from moving onto the plant. Even slugs and snails will avoid eating soapy vegetation.
If your garden is suffering from a severe infestation you may wish to up the ante by really putting off those leaf destroyers with a Garlic or Chilli DeBug Spray.
It is quite possible to make your own soft soap too. This is much cheaper than buying liquid soap and you can more easily control how natural the end product is. Simply grate a bar of Castille soap (or some other vegetable based soap) into warm water (four litres should be about right for a 150g bar). Simmer this, stirring for about ten minutes and decant. The soft soap can be used around the home in the laundry or for washing the dishes (adding some lemon juice to cut through grease). In fact making your own soft soap means you need never buy liquid soap again. Simply refill your old liquid soap dispensers with your homemade soft soap.
Garlic or Chilli DeBug Spray
Simply steep a few crushed garlic cloves and / or chillies (fresh/dried/powdered or even Tobasco sauce will be effective) in your basic soap spray. Filter out any lumps before filling a plant spray (to prevent the nozzle getting blocked). The aroma of garlic and the heat of chilli are distasteful to most insect pests so a regular mist with this smelly spray will prevent reinfestation in the long term.
However remember chilli heat could burn foliage if applied too liberally so keep an eye on plant reactions, and do not use unless absolutely necessary. Garlic Spray used weekly during the growing period of fruit trees will keep down aphids and other insect infestations. As ants do not like chilli or garlic this spray will prevent them herding aphids onto plants such as broad beans too.
These sprays can also be used in the home to deter ants from entering - simply spray regularly where ants are coming over the threshold.
The Chilli Spray is a good way to deter dogs chewing things you dont want them to chew and may even deter deer, rabbits and other grazing mammals in the garden. Admittedly the quantities will be large and reapplication will need to be very regular particularly in wet weather.
There are lots more sprays you can produce at home. A homemade nicotine spray is a strong way to get rid of serious infestations. Even caterpillars cannot survive the treatment.
Once you start making your own garden pesticides, perhaps youd like to move on to making your own fertilisers. A manure tea fertiliser is simple to make and very effective in boosting plants performance. It is very useful as a tonic for plants that have suffered disease or insect attack.
We have lots more tips for organic gardening on the cheap.
The Catalan Gardener.