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Garlic Oil Spray Target insects: Aphids, cabbage loopers, grasshoppers, June bugs, leafhoppers, mites, squash bugs, slugs and whiteflies. May also help to repel rabbits! Never use oils sprays on Blue Spruce as it will remove the blue waxy coating on the needles! Because garlic contains naturally occurring sulfur it also acts as an antibacterial agent and fungus preventative.
To make: Combine 3 ounces of minced garlic cloves with 1 ounce of mineral oil. Let soak for 24 hours or longer. Strain. Next mix 1 teaspoon of fish emulsion with 16 ounces of water. Add 1 tablespoon of castille soap to this. Now slowly combine the fish emulsion water with the garlic oil. Kept in a sealed glass container this mixture will stay viable for several months. To use: Mix 2 tablespoons of garlic oil with 1 pint of water and spray.
When working with oil sprays you want to monitor the climate conditions so your plants won’t get phytotoxic burn. Use this simple equation: Take the current outdoor Fahrenheit temperature then add to this the percentage of humidity, if the total is more than 140 don’t spray.
Example: Temperature of 80 degrees plus humidity of 67 percent equals 147, don’t spray. You also do not want to spray when temps are above 80F.
How about some alternative uses for this invasive plant?
Target insects: Aphids, blister beetles, caterpillars, Colorado beetles, whiteflies and soft-bodied insects. Maybe even slugs.
To make: Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add 2 cups of cayenne peppers, a 1 inch piece of chopped horseradish root, and 2 cups of packed scented geranium leaves, any kind. Let mixture steep for 1 hour, cool, strain and spray. Note: this can be made without the scented geranium leaves if you don’t have them to spare.
NOTE: Penn State University announced in 1995 that minced horseradish holds promise in decontaminating wastewater and now says it may clean contaminated soils as well! Penn State’s center for Bioremediation and Detoxification reports that minced horseradish combined with hydrogen peroxide can completely remove chlorinated phenols and other contaminants found in industrial wastes. Experiments involve applying the mixture directly to tainted soils or growing horseradish in contaminated soil and rototilling the roots just before applying hydrogen peroxide!
The cleansing properties of horseradish have been known for more than a decade, however treating a purified form has been far too expensive. This method has proved to be just as effective, but at a fraction of the cost!
Target insects: Cucumber beetles, mites and general purpose.
To make: Mix 1 ounce of hydrated lime, 32 ounces of water and 1 teaspoon of castille soap. Use up to twice a week.
Marigold Spray (use pot marigold: Calendula officinalis)
Target insects: Repels asparagus beetles, tomato hornworms, leaf cutting and chewing insects, like leaf cutting bees on your roses and lilacs.
To make: Mash 1 cup of marigold leaves and flowers. Mix with 1 pint of water. Let soak for 24 hours. Strain through cheesecloth. Dilute further with 1 1/2 quarts of water then add 1/4 teaspoon of castille soap. Spray target areas.
Orange Peel Spray
Oranges and other citrus fruit contain natural ocurring pesticide compounds called limonene and linalool. These compounds can be used as a treatment for soft bodied pests such as aphids, fungus gnats, mealy bugs and as an ant repellant.
To Make: Pour 2 cups of boiling water over peelings of one orange. Let this steep for about 24 hours. Strain the mixture into a glass jar and toss the peels into the compost. Use this liquid as a spray mixing in a few drops of castille soap on target insects or on ants and their nests. Smells nice too!
Pepper and Herb Dusts
Target Insects: General
Peppers and certain herbs contain the compound “capasaicin” which will irritate and repel many insects. Cayenne, chili, dill, paprika, red and black peppers can be used as dusts. Purchase the cheapest you can find, or grow hot peppers and dill in your garden. Dry them and pulverize them in a food processor. Sprinkle on moist plant foliage and the surrounding soil.
Target insects: All-purpose
Just like the pepper dusts a spray made from hot peppers will release the capasaicin compound to repel insects.
To make: Mix 1/2 cup of finely chopped or ground hot peppers with 1 pint of water. Let this sit for 24 hours. Use as is for a soil drench application or strain the mixture through cheesecloth until you have a clear liquid. Add a few drops of castille soap and use as a foliar application. Keep away from your eyes and skin when using.
Tomato or Potato Leaf Spray
Target insects: Repels asparagus beetles and flea beetles.This will kill earworms and maggots and acts as an antifeedent for other insects.