Thursday, May 17, 2012

School Garden Pest Control

Home-made remedies to control pests in the garden have become popular again. Once they were only something grandpa would mix up on the cheap, but it has now come full circle and we have found a new respect for the 'old' methods. Not only are they cheap and easy but beneficial to the environment, the plants' and our healthy.

Even though 'home-made' sounds cleaner and greener, they should still not be ingested. When storing these solutions please keep them out of reach of children and never store them in soft drink bottles to avoid confusion.

These home-made pest control sprays are great for using in the school gardens too.
There are maths, chemistry and environment lessons all rolled into one spray!

Here are a few of my favourites:

1 Litre Sprayer
Aphids, Caterpillars and Other Insects: Add 2 tablespoons of soap flakes, dish washing liquid, or liquid hand soap to 1 Litre of water. Stir thoroughly (do not shake). Use warm water to help dissolve quicker, use when cooled. Spray.

Scale and Mealybugs: Oil suffocates these bugs, so we use 4 tablespoons of dish washing liquid put into 1 cup of vegetable oil. Mix ratio 1:20 = 1 part oil mix/20 parts water. Spray.

Ants (1): Add 10-15 drops of peppermint oil to a small hand sprayer. They won't cross the path.

Ants (2): Vinegar drops or small squirts from a sauce bottle across their path. They won't cross the path.

Grasshopper, Caterpillar and Possum Deterrent: Mix 1 cup of molasses with 1 Litre of water and spray over the foliage.

Possum Deterrent (Fence Line or Planter Box): Combine Vaseline and Vicks Vapour Rub together (petroleum based). Smear along the top of the fence or around the edges of the planter box. The slipperiness and smell does deter them. Lasts a long time.

Fungicide ~ Milk Spray: To control Black Spot and Powdery Mildew
Mix ratio 1:10. 1 part full cream milk to 10 parts water.
Spray young growth as it appears which is around every 7-10 days.

Black Spot Fungicide:  Add 3 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda to 1 Litre of water. (Do not use too much bi-carb as it will become too strong.) Add a few drops of dish washing liquid or fish emulsion to help the solution stay on the leaves.

Herbicide (Weed Killer): 1 cup of salt to 1 Litre of vinegar. Dissolve and brush directly onto weeds. It is not selective! So be careful how you use it.

If you have tried any of these, tell us how they went for you.

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