Hey everybody thanks for checking us out! Recently, I have had some questions posed regarding dealing with pests in the yard and garden. Most of us want to avoid harmful chemicals, especially around food. I. Have three ideas to present here.
First, the most basic pest control is manual. Pick bugs off of plants and put them in some soapy dishwater. You can also put this in a spray bottle or yard sprayer and it will deter pest for a short time. It needs to be reapplied every couple days and/or after rain. It works but it’s time consuming. Start with ratio of 5T soap to 1 gallon of water. Or 1 heaping T to 1 qt water. There are dither things you can add to this solution to make it more useful. Diluted Solution: If the spray causes damage or burns your plant foliage, cut the amount of soap in half and try a 1% solution. This is the concentration usually found in commercial sprays. The lighter solution might be less effective but is gentler on plants.
Cooking Oil: To help the solution stick a little longer, add two tablespoons of light cooking oil (such as corn, canola, olive, or safflower) per gallon of water to the mix.
Vinegar: To make a spray that also targets powdery mildew, add a teaspoon of cider vinegar per gallon of water to the mix.
Garlic or Pepper: To help repel chewing insects, add a teaspoon of ground red pepper and/or garlic per gallon of water to the mix.
Companies like Safer Brand and Bayer make commercial organic insecticidal soaps that are usually less than 10 dollars for a standard bottle.
Finally, I recently saw a “This Old House” episode where they used a compost tea to help build up the immune system of trees. This is from an experiment at Harvard that is regarded with mixed feelings. It makes sense to me and we will give it s try this year. Essentially, you are soaking 2 parts dried carbon material, 1 part green nitrogen materials, a bit of molasses and maybe fish fertilizer. This steeps for 12-24 hours while being aerated with a fish tank pump or similar device. Then you take out your huge teabag and spray the liquid. I will document and share as we walk down this road!
Thanks for reading. Remember to follow and send your questions to @appletreeshow on Twitter and Under the Apple Tree on YouTube! Amy and I will be with Nourish at the Sheboygan Farmer’s Market from 9-1 on Saturday June 20. Stop by and say “Hi”. See you all soon!