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Can you make bug spray for your garden??

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Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/14/2012, 9:51 pm

Is there something we can make at home, that isn't toxic, to spray on our veggies to help stop the critters from nibbling the leaves of our veggies?? I have some nibbles and when I looked at one leaf, I found a tiny green catapillar thingy. But that is all I found.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  beth gatchell on 6/14/2012, 10:53 pm

You can try a soap solution. 3-6 Tbsp of dish washing soap in a gallon of water. Put in a spray bottle and spray on all surfaces of plants until plants drip. I've also heard of adding mashed garlic to water and spraying. Last year I used BT, a bacteria that kills caterpillars. You can buy it in garden centers. I only resorted to it when our kale and lettuce really took a hit. It was a memorial garden and I didn't want our food to get decimated. I love caterpillars and have raised many butterflies and moths, but those darn cabbage white butterflies were laying their eggs everywhere. You can also detect the tiny eggs/caterpillars on the undersides of leaves and pick them off or squash them.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/15/2012, 8:18 am

Thanks...I'll try the soap mix this morning. I was digging some weeds and found what looked like a freshly dug hole so started poking around and found the fattest Caterpillar under the soil. It wasn't alive...at least it wasn't moving...probably to full from eating all my leaves off the pea plant it was next too. Gonna douse everything, then go out tonight with a flashlight and see what I can see. I've flipped over all the leaves and don't see nuthing....what ever is in there...is eating all my baby chard and is loving some of the little beet sprouts too. Probably doesn't care what it eats...little bug-gers.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  mmathedrader on 6/15/2012, 8:29 am

When Ontario passed the law to ban chemicals for gardens and yards, the advice going around similar to above... but they also recommended that you only use soaps that don't say they are antibacterial.

I'll be trying this, this afternoon, since we've been invaded by caterpillars... love the butterflies, but don't love the dead plant they leave behind!!

I also saw the following on another string about pests on squash plants...

@FarmerValerie wrote:Unfortunately ALL squash is prone to the squash
bug and squash vine borer, and when they are don with your squash they
move on to your tomatoes, peas, and anything else nearby.

I hand
pick daily, misting with the hose, so they run to higher ground, and I
check for leaves. Since my spaghetti squash will be on trelis
(hopefully get that done this weekend, they are getting long-the vines
that is) I will trim leaves below fruit for less hiding places for them.
I was spraying with 1 1/2 c water, 1/2 c rubbing alchol, and 1-2 Tbsp
dish soap to kill them, and it works, but I now feed them to my
chickens.


Last edited by mmathedrader on 6/15/2012, 8:34 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/15/2012, 8:34 am

I have dawn dish soap....the original one. Gonna give that a try.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  rowena___. on 6/15/2012, 9:46 am

SOAP, not detergent. not antibacterial.

i make several different concoctions for different purposes.

#1: pressed garlic cloves steeped in water (like making a tea), strain and add to a spray bottle with some water and ONE DROP of liquid soap. the garlic repels, the soap helps disperse and also dissolves the protective coating on the exoskeleton, causing death by desiccation.

#2: tomato leaves chopped and steeped like a tea. strain and add to spray bottle with just a little water, ONE DROP of liquid soap, and a splash of cooking oil. the tomato leaf kills, the soap helps disperse, the oil keeps the solution in contact longer. THIS IS TOXIC. mark the bottle well and don't let your kids or pets play with it.

#3: chrysanthemum flowers and leaves in a solution as for tomato leaves. not as toxic as tomato leaf but still nasty.

other additives that can be used in cases of non-bug nibblers (squirrels, bunnies, etc.): crushed or powdered red pepper, or hot pepper sauce.

all of the above can be sprayed on the soil around the base of the plant.

be careful not to spray spiders or their webs--flowers that have not been pollinated--or any beneficial insects. i prefer to spray toward the end of the day, to avoid prime pollinator hours and to provide overnight protection when i'm not out there obsessively willing my plants to produce. Smile

WARNING: organic doesn't mean harmless. after all, if something were harmless it would be completely ineffective. use sparingly, test on a small portion of your plant first, and stop using it when the problem goes away.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Rob C on 6/15/2012, 12:58 pm

rowena,

Thanks for the recipes. I do have a few questions though.
1- Do you only spray these solutions on the ground around the plants, or do you also spray the plants?
2- How often do you spray?
3- How many garlic cloves/tomato leaves to how much water when steeping?
Thanks
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Pepper on 6/15/2012, 3:02 pm

Someone on the forum;I think; posted this homemade remedy link http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/homemade-organic-gardening-sprays.htm several are on rowena's list
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  webbee on 6/15/2012, 4:47 pm

I find that hydrogen peroxide works really well on many plant/soil
diseases. I also use Dr. Bronners Castile Soap if I need too.
Here is the linkage:

Ways to use Hydrogen Peroxide in the Garden

Mixing charts for gardening with hydrogen peroxide
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  rowena___. on 6/15/2012, 4:47 pm

@Rob C wrote:rowena,

Thanks for the recipes. I do have a few questions though.
1- Do you only spray these solutions on the ground around the plants, or do you also spray the plants?

on the plants as well as the soil. make sure to spray both sides of the leaves, and the stems. i spray until the plant drips.

2- How often do you spray?
daily, or twice daily if it seems to warrant it. there is more art to it than science. you can tell if you've sprayed enough or not by how the bugs are responding--if they are still there, keep spraying. if they are gone, quit. Smile


3- How many garlic cloves/tomato leaves to how much water when steeping?
Thanks

again, this is not a hard rule (which is what makes home remedies kind of a hit-and-miss proposition). i squeeze one clove of garlic and scrape it into a pint-size mason jar then add boiling water. the next day i pour some thru a strainer into the spray bottle--i leave the rest of the garlic tea and the garlic in the jar. i add water to the spray bottle and a drop of soap. oil if needed. with tomato leaves, just drop a handful into the blender and add water--take it all for a spin--then steep overnight. strain into a sprayer but leave the rest for another time. you can freeze these if you like but i just use them up and make fresh as needed.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Rob C on 6/15/2012, 5:09 pm

Thanks for the great info Very Happy
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Debora Cadene on 6/16/2012, 8:24 am

I don't think my basil liked the soap spray...it looks kinda brownish. I went out last night with the flashlight to see who was having lunch in my garden and picked off three big fat catapillar thingy's. Not the fuzzy ones, ....just ugly. I don't think I want them in my garden. Do you think I need to replace my basil?
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  camprn on 6/16/2012, 8:46 am

FYI, there are multiple previous threads about this subject with more recipes. Use the search feature at the bottom of the 'Latest Topics' list to the left.
<~~~ Very Happy

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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  mmathedrader on 6/18/2012, 9:06 am

Rowena__ thank you so much for the useful information - always enjoy reading your posts.
I will try one of your formulas tonight on my lettuce. I've decided to let the caterpillars get my fennel... hope the butterflies stick around a little in our yard after they've had their fill!

Deborah - The caterpillars in my garden seem to just kill the portion of the plant they are lying on (above and below have been alright). I'm too new to gardening to provide any input on what to do... I always vote to plant more basil though, since we use so much of it at home. I'm a little squeamish when it comes to handling caterpillars, but have found that just moving them is the best way to get rid of them. I put my hand in a plastic bag, pick them up, and drop them on a plant I don't mind them munching on. My avatar pic shows the caterpillars I'm dealing with... and I've been promised they will become really pretty butterflies.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  rowena___. on 6/18/2012, 10:23 am

we use chopsticks to pull caterpillars off the plants, then we put the caterpillars on the fence posts for the birds to find. we've been doing this for so long that the birds now swoop down to the fence to wait while i'm in the garden.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  beth gatchell on 6/19/2012, 10:17 pm

Love the caterpillar/fence/chopstick set-up. Will try it at the demo garden at my work. Catbird mama I see and hear daily should have babies soon. Thanks!
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  brenda g on 6/20/2012, 11:33 am

Rowena: Thank you for the recipes!!! I made the tomato leaf concoction, threw in some garlic and red pepper for good measure - it smelled pretty bad but I was overjoyed to see my all-time nemesis (small brown ants by the thousands that we've been battling all season) curl up and die with one spray! Twisted Evil Now this is really something because everything else we've tried on those buggers has failed miserably. Granted, the ants may not be what is eating my plants but they are a nuisance just the same. I'm looking forward to seeing how my plants fared last night and how many ants I will see crawling around today!
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Pepper on 6/20/2012, 3:50 pm

Just sprayed my pole beans. Don't see any more ants but the aphids are still moving. Recon how long they got?
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  greatgranny on 6/21/2012, 10:58 am

Thanks for the advice. I have good circulation so that won't be a problem. Will keep my eyes open for any little sign of the nasty critters. Oh, by the way, I found this:

http://organicgardening.about.com/od/pestcontrol/a/spraysforaphids.htm

What do you think?
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Pepper on 6/21/2012, 11:53 am

next day after spraying aphids with tomatoe leaf recipe; the aphids are still mooving. How long does it take to kill them??????
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  rowena___. on 6/21/2012, 12:05 pm

this might be the second wave. spray again.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Pepper on 6/21/2012, 12:06 pm

thanks will do .

I still have the chopped leaves I added more water to them. Do you think they have power still left enough to use again.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  rowena___. on 6/21/2012, 1:38 pm

probably. you can heat the jar again to try getting a little more oil out of the leaves.
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Re: Can you make bug spray for your garden??

Post  Pepper on 6/21/2012, 1:59 pm

If I was susposed to heat it the first time that is why they still live. I just let it sit over night. I did put a few drops of Dawn dish soap and used olive oil.
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Re: Curling tomato leaves

Post  happycamper on 6/21/2012, 2:14 pm

Greatgranny, you have hit upon one of the older homemade pest sprays. My own great-grandmother used it for years and she literally lived off her land. It has worked for me in past years when needed and should work for you also. Take care!
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