Thanks to the World Wide Web, todays gardener has access to far more information thangardeners of 50 years ago. I believe todays gardener is also more aware, when it comes togarden chemicals.We have choices. And if you choose to try some alternatives when it comes to tackling pestand disease problems, here are some simple solutions. Keep in mind that these solutionsprobably wont work as fast as their chemical equivalent and may need several applicationsrather than one dose. It also does not imply that these recipes are safe just because theyare home made. Treat them with respect.
are frequently used for soft bodied insects like aphids. They should only beapplied with low pressure because under high pressure, with an atomiser, they can be ahealth hazard.Soap sprays can also damage plants and soil when used in excess. Regular use on plants canbreak down the protective waxy coating on plant leaves, a bit like breaking down the skin onour bodies or the paintwork on cars not a good practice. Do a test spray first. Try one ortwo leaves and leave it for a few days to observe the results before spraying the wholeplant.Choose a soap that is made from caustic potash and not caustic soda or use a Pure soap.Grate about 60 grams of the soap (with a cheese or vegetable grater), into a nine litrebucket of water, then swish the water until it is frothy. Pour into a watering can and sprayon to affected plants.
SOAP and BAKING SODA (BiCarb Soda)
can be used as an anti-fungal spray. Try using itagainst downy mildew, black spot and fungal rusts. Again, be mindful of human and plantprotection. Do a spot test (on the plant, not yourself) and cover up, especially the eyes,when using the mixture. Also, do not use on a hot day.Dissolve about 150 grams of baking soda in the 9 litre bucket of water, and then add thesoap (60 grams). Use as described above.
is often used to make a white oil solution to treat scale insects. Never use thisspray if the temperature rises above 24°C (75°F) and stays there for three or four days afterspraying. For some gardeners, that will mean NO spraying during the summer months.Add one cup of water and two cups of cooking oil to a blender and mix until you get a milkywhite solution. This is the concentrate, which is then diluted with more water at the rate of 20 to 70 ml of concentrate per litre of water. This mixture separates out quite quickly somust be used strait away. Do not make any more than you need for an application.