**Scroll down to see the recipe for this all natural organic insecticide**
Last year was our families very first garden. I remember being so excited during the Spring, all of our cold weather crops were ready to harvest and we hardly had a single pest to deal with. The weeds were minimal, and in my inexperience I couldn't help but wonder to myself why everyone made such a big deal about gardening - this was easy!
Fast forward to late June early July, ummmm hello Japanese Beetles (I tore ligaments in my foot avoiding a swarm of them - seriously), Tomato Horn Worms (I thought it was the cutest thing ever until a friend promptly told me to remove it immediately - by the time I got there, it had devoured three quarters of our banana peppers), Spider Mites (resulting in gross looking sickly tomato plants) and aphids - oh the aphids...
These garden pests knocked me off my proverbial garden
stool pedestal faster than I care to admit. I tried a few different natural things, but ended up succumbing to the idea that we just wouldn't have huge harvests and I would have to do a lot of the bug removal by hand.
Over the winter I did a lot of research and came across Neem oil. Neem oil will repel and manage over 200 different types of garden pests - that's a lot! It is also a fungicide and when applied correctly it will help with root rot, black spot and sooty mold. To read up on this more, click here.
Once the temperatures started to rise and I knew the bugs were on their way, I whipped up this super simple inexpensive Neem oil solution. I have been applying it about once every 5 days or so, very lightly and while there are still some bugs, for the most part, my plants are growing strong without any issues.
The best part of all, this is safe for both people and animals. Below you will find the recipe I use. If you click on the highlighted items, it will take you to the actual products I use. I make this in a half gallon mason jar and then use a funnel to transfer it to a spray bottle. This just reduces the amount of times I have to remake the solution.
Natural Organic Insecticide
1 Half Gallon Mason Jar
2 Tsp Cold Pressed Organic Neem Oil
2/3 Tsp Organic Castile Soap
Long spoon or something to stir the mixture in the mason jar
1) Fill the half gallon mason jar almost to the top with warm water (the warmth helps integrate the oil and soap).
2) Add the soap to the water first (this matters - otherwise you will end up with a clumpy mess) and mix.
3) Put the long spoon into the water and start stirring, while stirring quickly, add the oil and mix well. After this you can put the lid on the jar and give it a few more vigorous shakes.
4) Using a funnel, add the solution to the spray bottle and then you are good to go.
You will need to shake it up a bit before spaying quite a few times, but it's really easy. As a precaution, it is recommended to test out a section of each plant before applying to everything. In some rare cases, the solution may interact negatively with the plant. I have not had that happen yet, but it's always better to be safe.
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