You can make a number of organic pesticides yourself for the vegetable garden if you want to stay away from using harmful or toxic chemicals. Not only can you make your own pesticides for use in the garden, you can also plant repellent plants to prevent insects from destroying your crops. For example, aphids are a problem for most gardeners as they attack any type of new plant growth. However, you can bar them from annihilating your crops by planting cilantro, garlic, onions, petunias, anise, and radishes. Also, aphids will exit the garden patch if you place their squashed remains around the plants they’ve attacked. Organic pesticides such as bone meal or powdered charcoal will also keep aphids away. A spray of garlic oil is also helpful in destroying the pests as well as other similar insects. Making a tincture of rhubarb leaves can be effective too.
Cutworms can be eradicated with a sprinkling of cornmeal over your garden plot. Or you can thwart their efforts by inserting nails in the ground next to the stems of your plants which prevents the pests from wrapping around the stalks and destroying them. Although earwigs can present problems, they do control other garden pests such as snails, insect larvae and aphids. Nevertheless, they can wreak havoc on dahlias, delphiniums, chrysanthemums, pansies and marigolds.
If you want to get rid of aphids as well as caterpillars and other larvae, mixing a cup of tobacco in a gallon of water will do the trick. After combining the ingredients, let the mixture stand for about a day before using it as a spray. Just make sure you avoid using the substance on eggplants, tomatoes or peppers as doing so will kill them.
To get rid of slugs, incorporate a garlic bulb, an onion, 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper and a tablespoon of liquid soap into a quart of water and spray the mixture on infested plants. If you have a problem with spider mites, mix a couple tablespoons of salt in a gallon of water and spray.
Insecticidal soap is one of the safest ways to control insects and isn’t toxic to animals. It’s an excellent product to use on plants in the vegetable garden. The soap is made of fatty acids mixed with sodium. Just make sure you don’t use the substance in excessively high temperatures or in the full light of the sun as the product may stress or burn certain plants. Make sure too that you determine which plants are sensitive to the pesticide before using it.
One spray that kills a host of bugs in the vegetable garden is a spearmint, horseradish and hot pepper mix. Mix a half cup each of red hot peppers, spearmint, and horseradish and a couple tablespoons of liquid detergent into a half-gallon of water. The mixture kills most garden pests.
As you can see, there are a number of ways to control pests in your garden without the use of harmful chemicals. Many of the ingredients can be found in your kitchen cabinet at home.