We so love our garden, and unfortunately so do many pesky bugs and diseases that can be debilitating to our plants. Many people choose not to use chemical pesticides on their blooms and foliage and there are some great homemade alternatives that are easy to prepare as well as less expensive than store bought brands.
It is very common to see Aphids on new growth as rose buds begin to form. They are very small green bugs that reproduce rapidly. A spray made up of ½ teaspoon mild dish soap and 1 teaspoon of cooking oil in a 1 quart water bottle filled with water works very well when sprayed over the entire plant. A strong blast of water knocking them off the plant also does the trick quite well!
Ladybugs are great predators of aphids and can help keep them in check. You can actually buy ladybugs at many plant nurseries and they will stay on the plants as long as there are bugs to feed on.
Slugs and Snails
Did you know that beer is a great solution for eliminating slugs and snails in your garden? Place an empty tuna or cat food can filled with about an inch of beer in the areas where slugs and snails gather. They are attracted to the yeast in the beer and then when they inch their way into the can they actually drown in the alcohol.
The tomato hornworm and the related tobacco hornworm are pests of potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, tomatillos, tobacco, and petunias. Tomatoes are their favorites to attack, but they may also eat the other plants in this family. They won’t devastate a crop, but they can certainly do some damage. You can eliminate tomato worms naturally by mixing some liquid dish soap and water in a spray bottle. Saturate the tomato plant and then shake some Cayenne pepper on to the tomatoes and plants. The soap will kill the worms and the Cayenne pepper will help keep others away if the soap washes off. This method is inexpensive, non-toxic and will help keep them from coming back.
Black Spots, Rust and Powdery Mildew diseases
An effective way to eliminate these diseases is to make a baking soda spray using a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon cooking oil in 1 gallon of water. The solution can be poured into a spray bottle or tank sprayer and applied generously. Repeat as needed.
It’s important to keep watch over the pesky predators and stay vigilant. These simple homemade recipes will help your garden grow!