Sunday, January 10, 2016

Homemade natural pest repellent spray

I typically only garden with plants that are quite hardy and suitable for my local environment, but every now and then pests still pose a challenge.

Last year we had such a mild winter that it was a very bad year for bugs, at least bad for us gardeners but good for the bugs.  My hardy Rugosa Rose bushes got infested with aphids in what appeared to be an overnight explosion of them.  I couldn't just pick them off or hose them off like I usually do.  I had previously had good luck with a homemade garlic dish detergent spray and decided to try it again.  Needless to say, even though I know it works, I was completely and pleasantly surprised when the aphids totally disappeared.

Check out this cool photo diagramming the aphids and ants on this rose bud:

The way this winter is progressing I don't think we will have a repeat of last years bug explosion but that doesn't mean we won't have any bugs.  I found this super cool recipe for a stellar bug spray and wanted to share it with all of you: Rodale's Organic Pest Spray.  Rodale's Organic Life is such a great site for so much helpful information, I am constantly checking for new articles.  Here is their recipe for homemade pest spray:

The ingredients can cause painful skin and eye irritation. When preparing and applying, wear rubber gloves and keep the mixture well away from your eyes and nose.

1 garlic bulb
1 small onion
1 teaspoon of powdered cayenne pepper
1 quart of water
1 tablespoon liquid dish soap
Chop, grind, or liquefy garlic and onion. Add cayenne pepper and mix with water. Steep 1 hour, strain through cheesecloth, then add liquid dish soa. Mix well. Spray your plants thoroughly, including the undersides of the leafs. Store the mixture for up to a week in a labeled, covered container in the refrigerator.

One thing to remember before your each for that bug spray, how bad is the infestation?  Is it just a few bugs that you can wipe off or live with?  Any pest spray will work on all pests, good or bad and most bugs in the garden are actually beneficial.  Make it a habit to walk through your garden on a regular basis and check the health of your plants and if there are any bugs you can deal with them easily before they get out of hand.  Happy Gardening!

One of my favorite plants for the High Desert of Central Oregon, the Hardy Rugosa Rose:

Plus they are deliciously fragrant!  Enjoy!

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