Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Go away, bugs!

As the heat of summer continues to rise, bugs, whether pest or not, look for a cool place to escape the sun. Growing a healthy, pest-free garden is a goal that many gardeners have, but it can be a difficult goal to accomplish. What is more disappointing then picking a strawberry only to find a small hole in
the side or cutting into a squash just to discover it is infested with mites?

In our garden, we have discovered our plants may be healthy, but lately, the bugs of summer have decided to take up residence in our precious garden. Not wanting to resort to chemicals to get rid of our new neighbors, we immediately began to research chemical free alternatives to pest control.

For each pest, there is a natural way to get rid of it. One pest that continually has turned up are mites. By mixing a simple concoction of soap and cayenne pepper with water, a perfect chemical free pesticide is made. Here is how to create it:
  • 1/2 cup hot pepper or 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 tsp liquid dish detergent 
  • Cheesecloth
Heat water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add peppers and let steep (if using cayenne, no need to bring water to a boil). Strain with a cheesecloth and mix in soap.

Another great pest controller is this simple recipe of dish soap and vegetable oil. 
  • 1 cup Sunlight dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container. When you are ready to use it, take 1-2 teaspoons of mix and add it to a quart of water in a spray bottle. When applying, make sure to spray underneath the leaves. During hot weather, apply every third day.

Bugs also hate onions and garlic. Making a pesticide involving these can also be a great alternative. For more information about homemade pesticides, check out these websites. 
Tipnut: Natural Pesticides

Check out these sites and discover how you can have a healthy, pest-free garden without the chemicals.

Happy gardening to all! 

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