Gardeners know all too well that certain bugs just won’t leave the plants alone even when the commonly available pest sprays are applied.
That just goes to show that DIY projects (or do-it-yourself projects) always work the best for gardeners!
Importantly, this homemade pesticide will not harm your “garden pets” that is your hard grown plants.
It’s extremely easy to make it, and, at the same time, it is super effective to get rid of bothersome garden insects.
If you are preparing to create a glorious garden area this spring season, this spray will be of great help for you every single step of the way!
This home-brewed recipe was adapted from Keeper of the Home by Jami from An Oregon Cottage. Jami’s results (above) tell the story for themselves. This is definitely a recipe that you don’t want to misplace!
It is just perfect for all the gardeners with a mint patch. If yours has become enormous, you’ll find quite functional uses for the surplus of mint sprigs.
Garlic as a natural pesticide
Garlic makes an excellent economical, non-toxic pesticide for the garden. It has natural fungicidal and pesticidal properties that work effectively to control pests. For maximum efficacy in pest control, avoid using any chemical fertilizers. Artificial fertilizers diminish the capacity of the vital ingredients in garlic to fight pests. Aphids, ants, termites, white flies, beetles, borers, caterpillars, slugs and army worms are some of the pests that can be suitably controlled by using garlic.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor adds, “Healthy soil will draw beneficial insects and work along with garlic to repel the bad insects. Keep your soil healthy by using plenty of organic matter, allowing adequate drainage and keeping the garden weed free.”
Mint as a natural pesticide
One of the most popular of all herbs, mint — spearmint and peppermint — is known by its square stems, aromatic leaves and refreshing flavor. Mint grows from underground runners and thrives on abundant water. It’s not fussy about soil or light, but ample water is mandatory for success. Although mint may be grown from seed, it is a good idea to buy small plants of your choice to be sure of getting the variety you want.
No matter which variety you choose for planting around your veggies, you will reap benefits from its pest repelling ability.
Red cayenne pepper as a natural pesticide
Natural insecticides can be non-toxic to humans and pets and safe for the environment. One such natural insect deterrent is certainly the red cayenne pepper.
While bewildering numbers of organic products and homemade remedies exist to repel garden predators, a few “old stormy plants” are continually mentioned as insect and animal pests deterrents. Among them are red pepper sprays and powders, made from extracts of the hotter members of the Capsaicin family. Organic sprays and powders that use red pepper extracts are available at garden centers, but simple home methods may also deliver the power of red pepper to your organic garden.
Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening recommends either red pepper spray or ground red pepper as a broad-spectrum, organic treatment for a number of insect pests. Among those insects that may be repelled by red pepper are aphids, lace bugs, cabbage maggots and spider mites. Red pepper spray works best as protection against flying insects that feed on leaves, flowers and fruit, according to the Rodale encyclopedia.
Ground red pepper, also known as cayenne pepper, can be dusted around the base of plant stems to thwart crawling pests that feed on seedlings, including cabbage maggots and cutworms.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, red pepper is commonly marketed as a deterrent for a range of pests that eat or damage shrubs, trees and smaller plants, as well as those that break into outbuildings and garbage cans. Powder and spray formulas exist that address such common garden foes as rodents, rabbits, skunks, deer, raccoons, cats, dogs and even bears.
The red pepper appears to work in mammals by irritating lungs and skin. These irritants repel rather than harm or kill most animals, notes the NPIC, although some rodents did experience respiratory damage and even death at certain doses in laboratory testing.
All of the above-described plants can be used separately as pesticides, but when you combine the three of them – garlic, mint and cayenne pepper – what you get is a super strong pesticide!
HOME-BREWED GARDEN INSECT SPRAY
- 2 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 3 cups of mint leaves and stems
- 2 tsp. of dry red cayenne pepper
- 2 small squirts of eco-friendly dishwashing liquid
Directions step by step:
1. Pulse the pre-prepared garlic and mint in a food processor for several seconds.
2. Transfer the garlic-mint mix to a pot of 12 cups of water (2.8 liters) and add the cayenne peper.
3. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, then let it rest overnight
4. Strain into spray bottles (or garden sprayer) and add the 2 small jets of dish soap, then shake to mix in.
This is how you use it:
Shake the spray container well before each use. On a cloudy day or in the early morning or late evening (as to not burn the plants)spray all the leaves of the affected plants, both on their top and reverse side.
Wait for a couple of days to see the effect and then apply more (if needed of course). You may only need 1 single application to see that they are “shaking off” the bugs and disease.
So, after spraying your plants just once you should start to notice the difference in your garden’s health and progress. After about a month and 2 more applications of the spray (only if needed) the plants will be looking as good as new! This spray is safe for the whole garden, so don’t feel as if you’re going to hurt any of your lovely herbs and bushes!
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