Is your garden really green? Sure, the color of much of the plants in the garden is green, but are you keeping the chemicals out and making it truly “green”?
There are many alternatives to chemical garden sprays that are just as effective in reducing disease and pests. The great thing about these concoctions is that they are safer for pets and other creatures that are beneficial to your garden. Natural garden remedies do tend to take a little more elbow grease but they are worth this extra effort.
The following spray will help keep unwanted insects away from your garden. Try it on your vegetables as well as on your roses to control aphids. Just a small warning – it will make you crave Italian food!
1. Bug Spray Concentrate
- 3 unpeeled garlic heads (yes, that’s heads not cloves)
- 3 oz liquid paraffin found in craft and/or hardware stores
- 1 tablespoon grated oil-based soap (Ivory Snow is good)
- 2 cups hot water
Crush the garlic heads and add to the paraffin in a small bowl and let stand for 24 hours. Melt the soap in hot water (do this in a pan or bowl that you will never use for cooking as the residue will stay with the pan and make everything taste like soap). Allow this mixture to cool and add to the garlic mixture. Mix well and strain into a glass jar. Store this mixture in the refrigerator. When ready to use dilute 4 tablespoons of the concentrate in 4 pints of water. Spray every two weeks or after heavy rain. The concentrate will last in the refrigerator for about 4 to 5 weeks.
The next spray will deter and kill whiteflies, mites, aphids and scale.
2. Murphy’s Spray
- ¼ c Murphy’s Oil Soap
- 1 gallon of water
Combine in a large container and transfer into a spray bottle to spray both the top and bottom of leaves and stems, but make sure you do this when the sun is not shining brightly or the leaves will burn (the soap attracts the sun’s rays). A good time to do this is on an overcast day or during dusk. Apply weekly or after heavy rain while the infestation continues. You can store what you don’t use in a dark, dry area.
The following will get rid of slugs and snails in your garden.
3. Slug and Snail Remedy
Place crushed egg shells or construction sand around the base of plants that are being nibbled on by slugs or snails. They don’t like the abrasiveness of these materials and won’t go near the plants. Remember to replace the sand after heavy rain.
This spray will control fungal diseases:
4. Homemade Fungicide
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 quart of water
Combine and pour into a spray container. Spray affected areas every few days until the problem is gone.
Insects will attack sick plants. Therefore, any plant that is affected by a fungal disease is the prime game for insects. This next solution will control fungal diseases and deter insects:
5. Combination of Insect Repellant and Fungicide
- 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
- 2 Tablespoons baking soda
- 2 drops liquid Ivory Soap
- 1 quart water
Combine and pour into a spray container. Apply every few days until the problem is gone.
Your family might think you’re making a salad but instead, you are scaring deer and other animals out of your garden.
6. Red Pepper Spray
- 1 unpeeled onion
- 1 unpeeled head of garlic
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 3 pints of water
Chop the onion and garlic and combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes. This should give your kitchen an eye-watering scent (have tissues ready). Cool and strain into mason jars which can be kept in the refrigerator for about 6 weeks. To use dilute 1 tablespoon of this concentrate with 1 pint of water. You might want to add 1 teaspoon of Ivory Snow and spray every week or after heavy rain.
Give these natural garden remedies a try before reaching for the chemicals. They just might work and won’t harm birds, bees, and other creatures that live in your yard and garden that you want to have around.