The Q&A Archives: Organic Pesticides

Question: I am interested in "recipes" for home made organic garden pesticides. I have heard of concoctions containing things like chili peppers, soap, and epsom salts. These were usualy made into a weak liquid and sprayed on plants to control pests. Ifyou could help with a source for these "recipes" I would appreciate it greatly. Great catalogue this year!

Answer: Here are a few gardening "recipes":<br><br>The first is a homemade bug spray: 1 gallon water, 1/2 tsp. eucalyptus oil, 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 tbsp. dishwashing liquid. Combine all ingredients and shake well. Pour liquid into a spray bottle. When applying shake often to keep components evenly distributed. This "potion" works well on ants and aphids in particular (cats don't like it much either).<br><br>To keep dogs and cats out of the garden: Mix a tablespoon or two of Lysol disinfectant with a gallon of water, and sprinkle this on the ground around your plants. Keep it off the plants, since it can burn the leaves. <br><br>For powdery mildew: Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda per quart of water; add 1/4 tsp mild soap to help it stick to the leaves. Apply this once a week, and hose down plants between sprayings. <br><br>For aphids: There are many homemade remedies that can work to kill or repel aphids. With any of these remedies, test the spray first on a portion of the plant to make surethe plant doesn't suffer damage. Some suggestions are: soapy water sprays; a spray made from 1 part mint to 4 parts water, steeped and filtered; a spray made from garlic or green onions steeped in water and filtered. <br>I like the book "The Gardener's Bug Book: Earth-Safe Insect Control", by Barbara Pleasant (Storey Communications, Inc., Pownal, VT), 1994. It has great information for identifying pests and choosing the best sprays and deterrents.

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