100% natural, garden friendly pest repellent for a healthy veggie garden
Have you planted any veggies in your back garden this year? Has this springtime energy inspired you to grow your own? I almost always manage to surprise myself around this time of year, springtime just makes me really enthusiastic! I lay in bed a night thinking about what I’m going to grow, how and where. Then of course dreaming about enjoying all those fruits of my labour.
This year I have planned ahead, since the summer hits hard and fast here in Andalucia, I have learnt to get many of the summer plants sown in early. Right about now I’m busy watering, pruning, controlling plagues and peeking into my neighbors’ veg plots at the local competition :D
Also right about now, the first flowers are showing on my Tomato plants and a gentle reminder that if I want my Toms to remain un-blemished, and without a little Bug/fly/worm making a home inside, well, I need to act fast! I´ve found it best to treat your plants as soon as the flowers show, to repel any “biters”… So that means right now for me… and maybe this post gives a little more time to prepare for those living in cooler climates.
We´ve been trying out variations on the following recipe for a few years now and recommended to family and friends who confirm positive results. Mostly on the Tomato plants as they seem to be affected by aphids, and a type of moth that has arrived to Europe, imported from South america, known as the “polilla Tuta” which is particularly resilient, big infestations regularly occur often around the Spanish peninsular. Although home gardeners on a small scale shouldn´t have too much of a problem. We also managed to save our patch of Chard that became infested with the Procession caterpillar. We had to physically remove them, but the spray helped as they began to fall off the plant from their hiding places and made it easy to remove them all.
Years ago when we first noticed little “biters” on our Veg garden, chewing their way through our juicy veg, we were disheartened, to our further dismay our neighbour exclaimed, ” no os vais a comer ni uno ” (you won’t eat a single one) He told us about a “product” to spray over them a strong and toxic, store bought spray. But I thought, what’s worse? A Tomato with a bug in it or a toxic Tomato? For me and my organic seeds, theres no doubt in my mind.
So lets say i was willing to experiment and to accept the loss of a few of my veg, it is impossible to remove all possible threats to your veg anyway, its just something we have to learn to live with and control the best we can. We can also help by planting a variety of plants, using methods such as companion planting has helped my garden greatly. Planting repellent herbs in and around your plot. and giving them lots of TLC every day. There is a huge amount of information and gardening communities on the internet, including our friends at the local seed bank SEEeD.
After searching I originally came up with a recipe for chili water, onion spray and grandmothers classic, soapy water. There are many recipes based on this idea and fairly easy to find out online. Here´s the recipe for one we make, but do feel free to experiment!
So without further ado I present to you an all natural alternative to shop bought pesticides, one we affectionately call “happy killer”. Happy killer isn´t really a killer, but it does make my garden happy. D
Plastic bottle 1.5 – 2ltr
Onion leftovers, skin and a few bits of the flesh
one clove of garlic
A couple of Chili peppers or cayenne peppers (Spicy ones)
3 tble spoons Natural soap / eco dish soap
1 tbl spoon Cinnamon
1 tbl spoon Neem powder (optional)
1. Add the pieces of onion, garlic, cinnamon, Neem and chili to the bottle
2. Fill with warm water
3. Add the soap (I had some off cuts from some natural soap that I made so I added those to the water but just a squeeze of eco dish soap is perfect too.)
I add Cinnamon to this mix as it is well known to inhibit the growth of mould, it can be used when sowing your seeds by sprinkling a little over the soil, to help stop seed rot. Neem is a well known anti fungal & antibacterial, many store bought products are based on this herb.
4. Now you must leave it overnight. In a safe place.
(I have left this recipe to stew for up to four days in the past. It just gets more potent. Its good to experiment, with a weaker version and get stronger if necessary)
5. Strain though a fine mesh to remove any matter
6. Add to your spray bottle and dilute to equal parts with water. Meaning I will add the same amount again, of tap water. That way I usually end up with about 3-4ltrs.
7. Spray over your plants in the evening
You can repeat this process after a week or so if you think you may need a stronger solution, It really is up to experimentation.
Wishing you many hours of joy in your healthy garden!