If you’re keen to cut down on those chemical nasties in your veggie patch, while still protecting your precious crops – then keep on reading!
Petroleum Free White Oil
Off the shelf white oil stinks and to be honest it feels like a bad idea covering your edible citrus crops with it. If you have problems with insect pests such as scale, white fly, leaf miner and aphids, then take five minutes to whip up this concentrate. It will last for ages.
1 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of dishwashing detergent (I used Eco brand)
Mix this together by shaking in a jar or bottle. This makes the concentrate – you only need to add 2 tablespoons of this concentrate to your spray bottle for every litre of water and away you go!
Caterpillar Soap Spray
Caterpillars are pretty harmless…until you find those beautifully camouflaged green buggers hiding in your home grown broccoli. You only need to eat one before changing to blanching or other cooking methods…yuk.
Anyhow, they unfortunately go with the territory when trying to grow cabbage family crops anytime other than the middle of winter. Try this soap spray to reclaim your greens:
1 Litre of warm water
2 tablespoons of Lux soap flakes (you’ll find it in the cleaning section of your supermarket near a bunch of other stuff you haven’t seen for 20 years)
Add the soap flakes to the water and stir until dissolved. This is ready to use and as well as dealing with your caterpillars, it will also help with aphids.
Short Black Spray
Yes, even snails and slugs are learning to embrace our cafe culture. With a bit of luck they won’t be embracing much at all after this great home made remedy…
1 cup of water
1 shot of espresso (or brewed stove top coffee from a mocha pot etc)
Mix together and spray this over the soil, around and onto the leaves that snails and slugs can’t resist. Great for delicate seedlings.
Although these are less nasty than your standard chemical pesticides, always remember to keep them in properly marked spray bottles and jars WAY out of reach of little people and pets. You’ll find they don’t hang around as long as commercial sprays so be prepared to spray after rainfall etc.