"Do it yourself" pest control / Homemade pesticides, fungicides, and fetilizers for the organic gardener.
"Do it yourself" pest control
Following are a few recipes for Do-it yourself- pest control for the home organic gardener. Yes, you can make natural pesticide, insecticide, insect repellant, organic pesticide, and fungicide from recipes used by generations of organic gardeners. While it is possible to repel everything from insects to rabbits, deer, and to kill mold, fungus or mildew, all with natural or organic pesticide alternatives to chemical pesticides, it is important keep in mind that organic chemical used for these purposes doesn’t always mean non toxic. Be smart - if a product is designed to kill a pest, it might be harmful to good insect such as honeybees, and to children and pets. Be Safe -Be Smart.
Some of the best treatments are often prevention.
- Plant Garlic, onions, and chrysanthemums around your garden and between plats to keep many insects away.
- Pyrethins are one of the most common pesticides in use for both the home and commercial gardener. These are also the main chemicals used in flee powders. These chemical are derived from chrysanthemums. Although the government has set use standards that are supposed to ensure the safe use of these chemicals, why not use the really fresh flowering plants instead?
- Onion and Mint are great to plant around areas where pets will be as they are natural flea repellents as well. Garlic (and all members of the onion family to varying degrees) are just repulsive to many pests. Honestly, they do have a strong smell, especially when you trim them back. As for the mint, the strong the smell the better… this will vary according to the variety and growing conditions. The upside is that they are very effective and you can enjoy them in the kitchen as well.
- Rotate crops. Don’t plant the same thing in the same plot season after season - mix it up a bit. Not only is crop rotation needed for good soil health, it helps to keep pests down. Not all pests like everything. By rotation, the gardener can prevent soil dwellers from getting to comfortable with certain variety of plant.
- Keep showering you plants. All plants would prefer a soft gently rain of a huge flood. The showering water cleanses the plants of insects, and environmental pollutants.
- Remember plants need to breathe… keep them clean if you can. However, if your area is very humid, or prone to mildew use caution. You do not want to prevent one pest and encourage another.
Onion, Mint, and Garlic Plants
Garlic: your garden's best friend
Garlic can be used as a natural pesticide and insect repellant.
- Plant garlic with tomatoes, to keep away red spider mites.
- Plant garlic around fruit trees, to repel borers.
- Spray garlic pesticide on broad leaf plants to repel rabbits.
- Spray ponds with garlic-based oil to kill mosquitoes.
Garlic Spray #1
Here is the recipe for a garlic spray that fights slugs too. Slugs must not like eating Italian. To make this smelly spray, use the following list of ingredients:
1 garlic bulb
1 quart of water
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Crush the garlic, mincing it fine. Add finely chopped onion to the mixture, while adding the rest of the ingredients except the soap. Wait an hour before adding the soap to the mixture. The spicy ingredients must sort of stew or steep, almost like tea. After an hour, add the soap and your non-toxic spray is ready to use! This can be stored in the fridge for a week.
Garlic Spray #2
Soak 3 to 4 ounces of chopped garlic bulbs in 2 tablespoons of mineral oil for one day. Dissolve 1 tsp of fish emulsion in a pint of water and add it to your solution. Stir. Strain liquid and store in a glass container - not metal! Dilute 1 part solution to every 20 parts of water. Acts as a repellent and feed plants. Do not use in direct hot sun. Kills aphids, mosquitoes, and onion flies.
If it is just too much for nose to handle the fish emulsion and garlic together, eliminate the fish emulsion.
Comfrey -The Miracle Plant
Other incecticide and fungicide sprays:
Tomato leaf spray
Add four or five pints of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to tomato leaves crushed in your vegetable juicer. Strain it. Keep the unused spray refrigerated. Good fro all kinds of plants, vegetable and roses.
Milk spray - a fungicide
Spraying diluted milk on cucumbers and other squash family plants kills powdery mildew.
This mixture is great for combating many different types of bugs, but especially caterpillars, aphids, and many types of those nasty worms.
What you need:
1 cup of tobacco
1 gallon of water
Put the tobacco into the container of water. Allow the mixture to set for approximately 24 hours. After it has stood for a day, check the color. It should be the shade of weak tea. If it is too dark, just dilute it with water until it looks right.(My grandma used to make this from the chewing tobacco her relatives spit out - different time - different world I guess)
*Warning: Don't use this solution on peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, or any other member of the solanaceous family. Tobacco chemicals can kill these types of plants! ALSO BE AWARE THAT THIS SOLUTION IS EXTREMELY HARMFUL TO ADULTS, CHILDREN AND PETS. USE GLOVE WHEN USING THIS!
This spray really is great for houseplants. This especially works on meal bugs.
1/2 cup of alcohol
2-3 tablespoons of dry laundry soap
1 quart of warm water
Mix all ingredients and spray immediately. You don't have to let this set, but you can't store it either. This solution must be made fresh for each use.
This solution is used for cabbage worms and spider mites.
2 tablespoons of salt
1 gallon of water
Just mix and spray!
Buttermilk and Flour Spray:
Garlic spray is great for getting rid of cutworms, wireworms, whiteflies, and slugs too.
What you need:
1 pint of water
1/4 cup of dish liquid
2 teaspoons of paraffin
6 tablespoons of chopped
Dead Bug Spray:
Another way to beat the bug problem is by taking some dead carcasses of the same insects and mixing them in water. Use one pint of water and 1/2 cup of slug carcasses. Although this is rather unpleasant, it works. Would you want to be picnicking in this situation? Most of us wouldn't. Here is how you make the insect carcass solution:
Blend the water and insects until mixed well and then put into a plastic container or glass jar. To use this, pout into a sprayer and squirt a few drops on the affected plants. You can freeze this mixture for storage.
*Beware: Do NOT use flies, ticks, fleas, or mosquitoes in this solution! These insects carry many communicable human diseases! (I PERSONALLY DON’T USE THIS ONE…BUT I HEAR IT IS GREAT Ugh…)
Spearmint-Hot Pepper-Horseradish Spray:
This works on many different kinds of bugs- too many to list!
1/2 cup of red peppers (hot)
water (read below)
1/2 cup of fresh spearmint
1/2 cup horseradish (root and leaves)
2 tablespoons of liquid detergent
1/2 cup green onion tops
Mix all of the spearmint leaves, horseradish, onion tops and peppers together with enough water to cover everything. Strain the solution. After mixing all of these, add a half-gallon of water and add the detergent also. To use this solution, mix 1/2 gallon of this solution with 1/2 gallon of water. You can use this to spray almost any plant safely. Store this mixture for a few days in a cool environment.
**use gloves on this one, and do not get onto your nose, eyes or lips.
Insecticidal Soap Spray
We all no about salt on slugs and snails, but, another way to stop the slugs is with soapy water. That's right, you can just use your old, dirty dishwater! Collect some of the water in a pan and pour it into a watering can or even use a pitcher to pour it over the plants. This works really well on hostas and mums, but also can be used on other hardy plants. Many bugs do not like their lunch spoiled by a soapy aftertaste! For a stronger solution, mix 3 Tablespoons of liquid detergent into a gallon of water, I prefer Dawn, but any will do. Use this weekly.
Has value against flea beetles, aphids, mealy-bugs, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies, sometimes caterpillars and leafhoppers. Combined with Rotenone, it is more effective. Insecticidal soap works only on direct contact; spray it right on the target. Combined with horticultural or botanical oils, insecticidal soap manages powdery mildew
For controlling insects in and near the house:
Boric Acid Powder
Kills ants, roaches, fleas, ticks, grasshoppers, termites and more! Just sprinkle a thin line near the junction of the floor and wall, especially under cabinets or alone door ways. When this gets wet it is useless, so you might need to repeat often. No smell or fumes and wont harm pets.
Easy Organic Fertilizers
This is another great use for your gray water form doing dishes and laundry. As long as it hasn’t been contaminated by any biohazards or bleach you can pour right on any plants. In fact, When I had a really large vegetable garden, we ran the drain hose form our washing machine right out to the veggie patch and watered this gray water from nearly every load. Use biodegradable detergents for best result.
Comfrey is often referred to as the 'miracle herb'. It is worth putting this herb in a corner of your garden for its myriad uses. It will grow in a wide variety of soil conditions and has a very deep root system. The deep root system allows it to bring minerals and nutrients up into its leaves that are unavailable to other plants. It is also the only plant that contains vitamin B12. Which makes it an excellent soil additive.
For use as fertilizer: chop up the leaves and work into the soil or compost; or as a liquid 'tea'. To make the tea: Fill your container halfway with large comfrey leaves. Fill the container with water and leave it for at least 3 weeks while the leaves rot down.
Mix 50/50 with water and pour around the roots of your plants.
1 12 oz can of beer (not light / the darker the better)
1/2 cup of ammonia
1 cup of epsom salt
2 cups of water
(Some recipes call for 1/2 cup of black strap molasses this adds sulfur and carbohydrates)
Mix it together well. Keep it in a plastic or glass container. Use one tablespoon of the solution per gallon of water and use it monthly. It's supposed to work on all types of houseplants. Succulents too.
Leftover coffee, tea, and soda:
Dilute 50/50 with water
Than k you for joining me in the series on Organic Gardening. I invite you to read through the other Hubs in this series and let me know what you think. As always, I welcome question, and comments. Happy gardening! To you Good Health........