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Organic pesticides are just that – organic and natural. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that because they are organic that they are any less ‘potent’ or poisonous than your artificially brewed concoctions off the supermarket shelves. Some of these so called ‘organic’ pesticides are pretty deadly to pests and humans alike so take all the necessary precautions ie gloves, masks when you do spray or use them just to be on the safe side and if you are using these pesticides on your edible vegetables or fruit, wash them carefully before you eat them!

Organic pesticide 1 – good old garlic spray

The garlic spray is a good all round insect repellent and it works well against aphids. Some gardeners plant garlic bulbs under their roses to act as deterrents. I must say that planting them under the roses haven’t worked as well for me as the full on spray. You make it by finely chopping up about 100g of garlic cloves and adding this to about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Leave the mixture to stand overnight then dissolve about 30g of soap flakes in 500ml of water and stir in the garlic mix. The soap in the mixture helps make the garlic mixture stick onto the leaves and petals of the plants. Strain the mixture to take out the lumpy bits of garlic then take out about 10-20ml and dilute it with 1 litre of water – this you then add to your spray gun and away you go!

Organic pesticide 2 – bicarbonate spray

Works well for powdery mildew although I’ve recently learnt that the milk spray works just as well if not better. To make the bicarbonate spray, add about 20g of bicarbonate of soda to a bucket full of water with enoughsoap flakes dissolved in it to make a rich lather. Use the spray on BOTH sides of leaves – some gardeners only spray the tops and wonder why it doesn’t work!

Organic pesticide 3 – milk spray

Wonderful new addition to the array of organic sprays – milk works wonders against powdery mildew! Use a mixture of 1 part milk to 9 parts water – reports of a 90% reduction in severity of powdery mildew has been reported! More is not better apparently. If you increase the concentration of milk to 30% it will in fact result in some other fungal growth so keep to the 1 part milk to 9 parts water mixture for the best results.

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