Monday, January 14, 2013

Organic Sprays
I have tried a few kinds of homemade remedies for organic sprays and they do seem to work.  Sometime I am just a lazy gardener and mixing up the sprays seems so time consuming.  I am going to try to have some mixed up in advance this year,
One thing I have found out is that you have to keep spraying.  The rain washes it off the leaves and then the bugs are right back.
I found that a mixture of soap about one tablespoon added to a gallon of water really helps keep squash bugs off the zucchini.  I heard some where that they breath though their backs and when the soapy want coats them they suffocate.  I sprayed the eggs with this as well but alas I didn’t want to wait to see if that worked because if it didn’t I would have a bigger problem.  I just scraped those off the leaves and into a soapy water solution.  I keep a mayonnaise jar of soapy water out in the garden so I have it handy for depositing the bugs I pick off the plant.

Do you use Organic Sprays?  Do you make your own?  What is YOUR recipe or secret weapon? CLICK HERE and whisper loudly!
This year I am going to try smells.  I will mix up some soap sprays but I am going to concentrate on smell.  Spraying with mints, marigold juice, onions, garlic etc.  I will primarily spray the ‘walking rows more than the plants themselves.  .All bugs are attracted to the smell of the flowers and maybe by spraying around my veggies I can deter the bugs that just plain don’t like that smell.  The beneficial bees don’t see to mind the stronger smells.  They like marigolds for instance when the bad bugs won’t bother these plants at all.
African Marigold.  I was wondering if your standard Marigold was the African Marigold or if there was a difference.  Most gardening sites refer to the African marigold, so I looked it up.  Apparently the marigold is native to the Americas but the Africans, Mexican, and other nation uses them in burial rituals and weddings.  I guess it is just so much more sophisticated to say African Marigold.  Bottom line: marigolds and marigolds, tall ones, thin one, thick ones, fat ones .- marigolds.
Ingredients for Organic Spray for the most part are common household products
  •   organic soaps,
  •  baking powder
  •  hot sauces
  • oil, corn, canola or soybean
  • mints in liquid form, peppermint, spearmint
  • oregano
  • marigolds
  • anise
  • garlic and onions
  • milk
Basically a tablespoon of the above ingredients per gallon of water.
Soaps kill just about anything and if used too much they will kill your garden as well.  A list of good soaps would be Safer Insecticidal soaps, Pure Castile soap, Vegetable glycerin soap, Pure Coconut oil soap, Pure Olive Oil soap, natural castile   soaps, Pure Herbal soaps, Boraxo Pure soap, Amway's LOC, Citrus Soap , Orange TKO

I am going to make a concentrated gallon of this liquid in the winter in preparation for the summer months.
Use 4 cups of soap
1 gallon water
and 20 drops of your favorite scent like peppermint.

This will make into 4 gallons of soap spray.  Just take a quart or 4 cups of this liquid and add 1 gallon of water in a 2 gallon container.

Changing the smell
According to what I am reading the smell of the flowering vegetable plants is what attracts the bugs., good and bad.  I don’t see information out about what happens if you change the smell around your garden.  That is if I spray heavily with say peppermint infused water will that deter many of the good as well as the bad bugs or will it just deter the bad bugs?
I don’t see any bad bugs bothering my marigolds so I am going to try some infused marigold oils and waters and spray around my plants.  Marigolds are supposed to discourage bad nematodes because the bad nematodes are not supposed to like the marigold root system.  I see many place where people are crushing up marigolds to make infusers for their garden.  Marigolds  are often used in companion planting for tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, tobacco and potato. Due to antibacterial thiophenes exuded by the roots, marigold should not be planted near any legume (bean) crop
Onions and garlic plants are supposed to help ward off bad bugs and last year I noticed I was not having any problems with bugs eating my onions so I am going to make some onion/garlic spray.  Bees however, came by to pollinate the flowers of some that had gotten away from me.
I want to avoid spraying to much soap or too much oil.  Oil can bake the leaves of your plants so if I use oil I will apply late in the day and only to the underside of the leaves.
 Oil mixture:
Soybean oil and onions/garlic
And then water and onions/garlic

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