Soda, Soap and Beer Tonics - Knowledgebase Question

new lenox, IL
Question by qase1
March 24, 1999
I'll start my first garden this year and reading the FAQ's here make insects and diseases look hard to beat. How well do those Household product tonics I've seen promoted on Public Television actually work? They seem like they're really easy and work against everything.

Answer from NGA
March 24, 1999


While gardens sometimes fall prey to insects and diseases, you can ensure a healthy garden by preparing the soil well prior to planting, providing adequate sunlight, air circulation, food and water to your plants. Healthy plants are less prone to insect and disease problems. If you monitor the plants in your garden, pinching off diseased-looking plant parts as soon as you see them and removing insects by hand, you shouldn't have any major problems. The household products that are mixed together and applied to prevent or control insects and diseases are not all that efficient, and they can be quite expensive. I think the plan is to prey upon people's concern about using chemicals, substituting familiar products that they have on hand instead. The manufacturers of these products (such as baby shampoo and cola drinks) never intended them to be mixed together and used in the garden. The companies are not liable for the results when products are used in a manner inconsistent with the label directions. You'd be better off choosing the right plant for the conditions in your garden, giving your plants proper care, rotating your crops, and monitoring for problems so you can nip them in the bud. It's a much healthier and less expensive way to garden than mixing concoctions based upon some unproven theory.

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