What weather we’ve been having here in Vermont! Much warmer than normal. As a gardener I don’t mind because I love the chance to get outside and play in the dirt! Inside the house I have been focusing on making my own laundry soap, my own lip balm, my own hand lotion but now that I’m getting ready for the gardening season I decided I’d better focus on non-toxic and homemade remedies for the garden. Once you start looking on the Internet you can find numerous recipes. These homemade remedies are inexpensive and best of all; you know what is going into your garden. Many homemade sprays have been used with good results to control harmful insects. They usually involve noxious (but non-toxic) ingredients such as garlic, cayenne or stinging nettles, which are diluted in water and blended to be sprayed on the plants. Here are a few simple formulas.
Use vinegar instead of Roundup, same results and much better for the environment.
For lawn or garden grubs, there is a natural remedy called Milky Spore. The granules are spread on the soil and cause the grubs to contract a disease that kills them. This natural control affects only the grubs, leaving the beneficial organisms unharmed. Milky Spore multiplies over time and will sit inactive, waiting for grubs to infect. One treatment is said to last 40 years. The grubs are actually the larvae of Japanese beetles. So, when you kill the grubs you kill the beetle.
Soft bodied insects (mites, aphids, mealybugs)
Mix one tablespoon of canola oil and a few drops of ivory soap into a quart of water. Shake well and pour into a spray bottle. Spray plant from above down, and from below up to get the underside of the leaves. The oil smothers the insects.
Mites and other insects:
Mix two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper with a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Let stand overnight, then stir and pour into a spray bottle and apply as above. Shake container frequently during application.
Mix two tablespoons of baking soda into quart of water. Pour into a spray container and spray affected areas. Repeat this process every few days until problem ceases.
Mix equal parts milk and water and spray on infected plants. Three treatments a week apart should control the disease.
This is a good start for the gardening season. I definitely have problems with grubs in our lawn and will use the Milky Spore granules, and I will try the pepper spray on my potato bugs.