We put so much effort into our beloved gardens so we can enjoy our surroundings and the tastes and fragrances they yield. To have a host of life-suckers trespassing and taking up residence cannot be allowed! Yet neither do we want to render our precious babies inedible or untouchable by dousing them with pesticides and herbicides.
Here is a list of tried and to-be-found-true remedies you can implement to make sure those illiterate bugs do not cross the line!
Homemade Pepper Spray
aphids, mites, whiteflies, even critters
Pests don’t like burning hot substances on the ‘skin’ any more than you do! In this solution, the cayenne pepper in hot sauce produces the heat while the detergent keeps it on.
Mix 4 tablespoons of hot pepper sauce (Tabasco) with one teaspoon biodegradable dish soap and one quart of water. Let it sit overnight then spray infested plants. Reapply as needed, but watch you don’t overdue it. Tender plants may incur foliage burn.
This solution is also good for keeping rabbits, ground hogs, and other critters at bay since a burning mouth will not be what they expected!
Beer Brew for Slugs
Slugs are attracted to the brewers yeast in beer and will ‘dive’ in (bet you didn’t know slugs dive)! Place a shallow tin can or other container in the ground, rim even with the surface. Fill about half full so the slug has to jump in (more like mosey in) to get the brew. After his short stint of fun, he’ll be incapable of escaping and will be no more…..party’s over, buddy– forever.
Garlic Oil Spray
whiteflies, aphids, beetles, cabbage loopers, leafhoppers
The oil in this mixture will keep it on the plant and the compounds found in garlic will repel or even kill may insects.
Finely chop three cloves of garlic and place in two teaspoons of mineral or vegetable oil overnight. Strain out the garlic then add one and one half cups water and one teaspoon of biodegradable dish soap. Add two tablespoons of this mixture to a pint of water when you are ready to spray. Apply this spray on a not-so-sunny day to avoid foliage burn. Store in a glass jar.
Simple Soap Spray
aphids, scale, mites, thrips, more
Many pests can be effectively deterred with this simple solution. It works by dissolving the outer shell of the insect which eventually kills them. Just add one tablespoon of biodegradable dishwashing soap to a half gallon of water and spray the mixture on the pests.
Baking Soda Spray
Though powdery mildew is not an insect, but a fungal disease caused by many different species of fungi, it infects many plants with white powdery spots on the leaves and stems. The lower leaves are the most affected, but the mildew can appear on any above-ground part of the plant. As the disease progresses, the spots get larger and denser. Powdery mildew thrives in high humidity and moderate temperatures – could that be Northeast Ohio?
By applying this simple solution weekly, you can prevent it. Combine one tablespoon of baking soda, one tablespoon of vegetable oil, one tablespoon of biodegradable dish soap in one gallon of water and spray it on the foliage of susceptible plants. Baking soda spray works because the baking soda disrupts fungal spores, preventing them from germinating. The oil and soap help the mixture stick to plant leaves.
Have you found some tried and true remedies that work for you? Please share them with us in the comments below!
If you need some expert advice about your garden, need companion planting ideas for insect control, or want the help of a professional to bring your gardens under control or even to redesign them, contact Avalon Gardens in Chardon. Mary Slingluff farms, nurtures, and maintains over 500 varieties of perennials and shrubs. The plants are grown in sustainable conditions, with natural fertilizers and fungicides. Pests are eliminated only when absolutely necessary and with organics. She knows her plants! Give her a call at 440.286.2126.