DIY Pesticides and Herbicides

Organic control.  What is it?  There are many companies who try to sell their chemicals to give you “complete” control of the supposed situation.  One may say that, the more the chemicals that are put into the ground, the more resistant that weeds and insects become.  What is this doing to the plant?  Manipulating its cells into something that may end up Triffod like.

There are proven Organic alternatives to use.  Whether it be a certified Organic brand; planting plants which will attract predatory “natural” pesticides or DIY sprays which have proven themselves over and over again.  Instead of adding problems to your garden as in adding harsh chemicals which could harm the environment and yourselves, why not go the alternative.

Herbicides:

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There are simple ways to make your own weed spray which will be better than using glysophate which is a very harsh chemical for the environment and for humans and the wild life.  It should have been banned years ago.  There are many variations to DIY weed sprays.  Depending on the area where the weeds grow – salt can only be use minimally as it can cause salinity and contamination of water tables if used consistently.  If you have pesky weeds in your paths at home, douse them with salt.  Or boiling water.  Or vinegar.

There is a combination weed spray which is very useful:

1 cup vinegar

1 cup salt

1-2 tablespoons if dish soap

Make sure the salt is dissolved.  It then can be placed in an air-tight container for a few months.

To use:

100mls to 1 L water and spray – dependent on the severity of the weeds.  You may have to increase the ratios.  

Fungal Spray

fungus

There are two main DIY sprays for fungal problems.  The first, is a milky spray, which is used on the cucumber family, tomatoes and begonia, and vines.

1 part (organic)  milk to 10 parts water.

To use:

Cover all the plant with the spray. It is used more as a preventative. 

The second is to use on any other plants.  A good broad spectrum fungal spray.

3.5 L Water

0.5 teaspoon (mild) liquid soap

1 tablespoon baking soda.

With both sprays, they have to be used straight away as they cannot be kept.

Don’t spray in the heat of the day and make sure the plants have been watered a few days before application.

Pesticides

  1. White Oil

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White oil is used to coat your plants and suffocate any residual pests that might be there; including aphids, mites and scale.  Its been used in varying forms for years 100s of years.  So it is tested true.

Take an empty jar or plastic bottle, pour in a cup of ordinary cooking oil and ¼ cup of Liquid soap. Give it a good shake – you’ll see it turn white. That’s your white oil concentrate.

Label the container with the correct dilution rate – ‘one tablespoon per litre of water’.

2. Herbicides for Caterpillars

Some caterpillars are fine for the garden.  Make sure you understand what you are trying to get rid of before you use this.  This is actually good for a all-rounder herbicide, not just for caterpillars.

Remember that some of those caterpillars that you want to get rid of will turn into very beneficial butterflies.  Or native butterflies.  Some, however are just sucking monsters which need to be destroyed.

Chilli Spray:

pexels-photo-216566.jpegMake sure to wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling peppers.  They can be incredibly painful to sensitive parts to your body. 

1/2 cup hot chillies (cut finely to fill 1/2 cup)

6 garlic cloves (crushed)

2 cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon liquid soap

Blend all ingredients together.  Pour into a transparent glass jar and seal the lid.  Place in the sun for 2 days.  Strain though a very fine sieve into a spray bottle.  Spray insects generously.

Don’t spray in the heat of the day and make sure the plants have been watered a few days before application.

3. Beer traps for Slugs and Snails

summer-sunshine-alcohol-drink.jpgSnails and slugs eat their way through your vegetables and other plants.  They leave a slimy path of destruction.  So what can we do to get rid of them.  If you have spare beer in the fridge (stop laughing), you may have an ideal way of ridding the garden from those gastropods. Don’t fear though, beer is not the only thing that can work – although proven to work better.

Beer trap

You can use any kind of container.  It works better if you are able to bury it half in the soil.  Fill it with EITHER beer or soapy water.  If using beer, check weekly and top up if needed.  If using soapy water, check daily for the first week and then change it to weekly. Any beer can be used.  Probably not your partner’s favourite ale.  Perhaps ask your household first before you use the last bottle for your slug/snail problem.