Sunday, June 3, 2018

All Natural Garden Spray for Aphids

Our garden is struggling this year, not sure why, but it could be the strange weather we had going on in early Spring. Anywho, most recently the tomato plants were showing signs of deterioration in a few spots and on closer inspection, my honey decided we had what he called "lice". I'd never heard of plants having lice, but he grew up gardening (for a living) and that's what they called it. I went to Google to see what the "lice" were. Turns out, they are Aphids, and Aphids really like tomato and pepper plants!
This is what the Red Beef Steak looked like when we first planted it back on April 22.  It was a bit distressed because our goofy weather couldn't make up its mind if it was going to be freezing cold or warm, so it took us a while after purchase to get it into the ground.
Here it is today (May).  It's finally growing, getting blooms and producing fruit.  We've gotten two whole tomatoes so far! lol!

Click right here to see how we use 99.9% pure water to hydrate our garden, trees and other plants.
This sad little stem is the first thing we noticed while watering the garden one evening.
And even more sad little stems on the other side.  These little bugs work fast don't they?
I went to Pinterest to find a natural or organic solution.  After all, we are going to be eating these tomatoes soon and we don't want to spray some type of chemical on them.

You will need a spray bottle, water, castile soap and garlic.  Its that simple!  The soap kills the aphids and the garlic will hopefully detour any new aphids coming to the plant party!

NOTE: Please use a pure liquid soap, such as Castile, or all-natural soap. The active ingredient in this insecticidal soap comes from the fatty acids in animal fat or vegetable (coconut) oil, so it’s important to use the real thing. Please don’t use detergents (which aren’t actually soaps), like dish soaps, or any products with degreasers, skin moisturizers, or synthetic chemicals, these are NOT GOOD for your food products!
Fill your spray bottle 3/4 of the way full with warm to hot water and add one to two cloves of minced garlicNOTE: I used filtered water and heated it for about 1 minute in the microwave so that the soap would dissolve easier.
The liquid castile soap would be much easier to use, but our local Walmart didn't have anything except the bars, so that's what we got.  It was a three pack for $3.28.
I grabbed my little hand held grater and shredded off a good four (4) tablespoons of soap.
Add the soap shreds to your water and garlic mixture.  Put the sprayer back on your bottle and gently shake to mix it all together.  Let it sit over night for a good concentration of each ingredient.  I periodically shook the bottle to mix throughout the day just for good measure.
This next detail is VERY important!  ONLY in THE EARLY MORNING or LATE EVENING, spray your plants on all the infested sides, including the bottoms of the leaves (that's where the aphids live).  You do not want to spray a liquid on your plants in direct full sun because the water will act like a magnifying glass and burn your plant up and that is worse than having bugs on them!

Snip or pinch off any dead or dying stems and discard them away from your plants.  We added our snippings to our natural compost bin to recycle them.
Since we normally get our spray bottles from Walmart (.97 cents) and they all look alike, I like to use a sharpie marker and mark on the bottle what it holds.  I wouldn't want to accidentally spray my plants with something I shouldn't!  Eeeek!

It's only been a few days since we sprayed the plants, so I'll check back in soon and let you know how its working for us.

If you want to read all about the original step by step process of our garden, click below.

Raised Bed Garden (Part 1)
Raised Bed Garden (Part 2) 
Raised Bed Garden (Part 3)
How to Make a Small Garden
Making Your Own Organic Compost

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)

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