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Readers Respond: Garden Pesticides and Controls You Can Make Yourself

Responses: 30


fungus control

Really strong camomile tea (cold of course) makes a reasonably good fungucide (it contains sulfur naturally)
—Guest CtheBear

Homemade Insecticidal Soap/Oil

1 gal of water, 1 tbls each of dish soap, baking soda, & veggie oil. This takes care of aphids & black spot on roses.

Eggs shells

We have found that crushed up eggs shells are a great calcium feed for tomato plants. Also mashed up banana skins make a potassium feed. You just have to dig them lightly in around the base of the plant.
—Guest the make it an mend it team

ecofriendly paper wasp/hornet control

Tips for getting rid of paper nests ranged from the downright dangerous, such as setting fire to it or prising it off into a garbage bag through all kinds of chemical treatments. I hapened to be watering the plants in my greenhouse one day when I accidently sprayed water on the nest. An interesting thing happened. The nest began to disintegrate. I concentrated the water on it from a safe distance and destroyed the nest entirely within a few minutes. The next day, the insects began to rebuild so I sprayed it again. They left..this time for good.
—Guest stpady

Another one for aphids

Puree banana peels with enough water to make a pourable liquid. I also threw in a few cloves of garlic, just in case = P

marigolds in garden

SDgardener beat me to the punch about planting marigolds. We have a 10 x 10 veg. garden and I plant marigolds about 5 or 6" apart all along the outside of the garden NO WORMS at all, not the first one of thoes awful green worms!! I have done this for the past 4 years. I would like some suggestions on keeping the birds out of my tomatoes. They pecked them just before time to pick last year. Thanks!
—Guest marzeitz

aphids don't like tobacco and turmeric

We first bathe the aphid-affected plant in turmeric solution. This may need a couple of repeats in a week. If that doesn't help, soak tobacco from a couple of cigarettes in water overnight. Douse the plant with the water. we've had reasonable success.
—Guest Benita Sen

Stop cat facing on tomatoes

When I plant my tomatoes, I place finely crushed egg shells in the bottom of the hole. It adds calcium to the soil which helps preent cat facing. Also bury the entire plant minus the top whorl of leaves, tomatoes root all along the stem.

No ants in my house

In the spring if I sprinkle paprika at each doorway entrance to my house. No ants all summer long.
—Guest Rhoda

Aphid Control

I mix liquid dish soap, like Dawn or Palmolive, with water in a spray bottle (about 1 tea. to 1 c. water) and spray directly on plants. Soap doesn't hurt plants but gets rid of aphids. I will also work on spider mites, but takes a little more soap. I have also mixed up large quantities to use in my 2 gal. yard sprayer and use it to control catepilliars and web worms that infest my pecan and sweet gum trees in summer.

Some Ideas

baking soda works really well in the cracks between the sidewalk slabs as a weed killer. it also works well sprinkled in the yard to minimize snails. plain powdered laundry detergent sprinkled and watered into the grass works really well to keep mosquitoes away, remember to reapply after rains. coffee works well to keep ants away. and of course, mega mulch to make pulling any weeds in the beds easy.

Weed Killer and Insecticide

Mix about a cup of regular table salt with warm water in a regular size spray bottle. The warm water helps dissolve the salt. Leave enough room to add about 1 tblsp of liquid dish detergent, preferably one that is a biodegradable/natural cleanser. Shake the bottle to blend well. Spray this on weeds and plants you don't want. However, be careful not to get on plants you do want. Let plant dry then repeat. The soap helps the salt to adhere to the plant which then causes the plant to dry out. I also have had luck using this same mixture on ant hills and nests. Replacing the salt with apple cider vinegar makes a good bug spray. Again, the soap helps the vinegar adhere to the plants which causes the bugs to "burn". They may not die immediately but when the sun works with the vinegar I have found they're pretty helpless to survive.For real tough bug issues add cayenne pepper to the vinegar mixture..
—Guest Daisey

Aphid Defense

Boil rhubarb leaves in water for 30 minutes, then use as a spray for aphids. Works good on my roses, although you do have to re-apply often :)
—Guest Amber

Garden Pest Controls

I thought this was an old wives tale but I planted marigolds all around my tomatoes last year and had virtually no worm or bug damage. I didn't have one rabbit bite either but that may be because I have a dog (though he's inside most of the time). The marigolds look pretty too!

Egg Shells & Coffee for Slugs

ground egg shells mixed with used coffee grounds and small amount of wood ash from fireplace to prevent slugs from munching on my seedlings

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