It’s only natural
Gardening expert Jeffrey Hodges, author of Natural Gardening in Australia, swears by his onion, garlic and chilli spray used as an all-purpose pesticide.
“The detergent becomes the active ingredient which sticks to the insect’s exoskeleton and dries the insect out, ” Mr Hodges said. “Its shell literally falls off.”
• Finely chop three medium-sized onions, six crushed garlic cloves and two teaspoons of hot chilli powder.
• Mix them together in a bowl of water, 2cm high.
• Allow to steep for 24 hours and then mix with five litres of water and a small amount of dishwashing liquid or pure soap flakes.
• Pour into spray gun as needed.
Martin Surendorff, co-owner of Drovers Garden and Lifestyle Centre in Wanneroo, says whole cream milk diluted in water in the proportion of one-part milk to 10 parts water has curative properties for mildew diseases on grapes and roses.
Phil Williams, from the Department of Agriculture and Food’s pests and diseases information service, also uses garlic in his pesticide concentrate.
“Remember to dilute the mixture and to not spray it on a very warm, dry day as it will burn your plants, ” he said.
Instructions (to make a concentrate):
• Mix 90g of crushed or finely chopped garlic with two teaspoons of paraffin oil.
• Soak for 24 hours.
• Add half a litre of water and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.
• Strain and refrigerate.
• Mix three teaspoons of the concentrate with one litre of water and pour into spray container for each use.
To keep aphids from destroying roses, Garden Deva’s Cherise Haslam uses bicarbonate of soda or full-cream milk mixed with water in a 20 per cent ratio. Ms Haslam said the solution also worked with ants, while a seaweed brew would also keep pests at bay, at the same time building up your roses’ strength.
Whole cream milk diluted with water in the proportion of one-part milk to 10 parts water has curative properties for mildew diseases on grapes and roses.
“If spraying is necessary, get advice on the lowest-toxicity chemicals you can use as well as the safest way to apply them, ” Drovers’ Martin Surendorff said.
© The West Australian
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