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How to Make Your Own DIY Homemade Garden Sprays

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In Permaculture we like to do things naturally, and we like to exercise our initiative to make use of the resources at hand to achieve our ends.

What better way to do this than to brew up your own DIY garden natural pesticides, fungicides, plant tonics and other such useful concoctions!

I’ve managed to gather a few recipes on my journeys, so I’ve gathered them here to share, so here they are. Enjoy, and safe brewing!!!

Organic White Oil

White Oil is an easy and inexpensive pesticide to prepare. It is used to control scale, aphids, mealy bug, citrus leaf miner, mites and caterpillars on roses, ornamentals, citrus and other fruit trees.

The commercial white oil insecticides sold in garden stores are petroleum based, making them quite expensive, and also the kind of thing you don’t really want to be spraying around your garden.

Traditional white oil is vegetable oil based and has been in use for around two centuries. If it worked all that time, it still works now!

How to Make Organic Horticultural Oil

You will need:

To make this spray:

Pour the vegetable oil and liquid soap into a bottle or jar and shake until the mixture turns white. This is concentrated white oil and to use it, it needs to be diluted with water.

To use, add 10ml per litre or water (two teaspoons per litre of water), put in a spray bottle, shake well. Now you can spray your plants or trees.

Store in a cool, dry place, shelf life is approximately three months from the day it’s made.

Note – use during mild weather, if you use it when the temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius or higher, it will damage your plants as the oil will clog the pores in the leaves. Morning or late evenings are a a good time. Also, don’t use it on plants that have hairy or soft leaves, as it will burn their leaves. Spray on both sides of the leaves, branches and bark to target pests wherever they may be hiding.

How Does Horticultural Oil Work?

Horticultural oil, also known as ‘white oil’ works by coating the insects in oil, blocking their breathing pores, which suffocates them. Because it works through physical suffocation, and not through a chemical action, insects cannot develop resistance to it, ever!

Slug and Snail Spray

You can make a simple spray very cheaply that dissolves slugs and snails without affecting your plants.

This spray simply consists of 1 part ammonia to 4 parts water in a spray bottle, with a dash of liquid soap to make it stick better on the pests. One or two squirts and they dissolve into a foaming green sludge. The slugs are gone instantly because they don’t have a shell to protect themselves, the snails might need a second squirt to coat them well in the spray. Set the nozzle of the spray bottle to a narrow jet so you can target them precisely and give them a good dose of the stuff.

You will need:

I use a 500ml spray bottle with measurements on the side, which makes the process really easy. Pour 100ml of Cloudy Ammonia into the spray bottle, add 400ml of water, then add a dash of liquid soap to make the mixture stick better to pests. Shake bottle lightly, and you’re ready to hunt these nasty garden molluscs!

Best time to hunt these critters is just when it gets dark, or after it has just rained, which is when they crawl out for a feed. Grab a torch/flashlight, and look for them, if you see them, spray them. Do this over several nights and it puts a serious dent in their population.

Pyrethrum Daisy and Feverfew General Pesticide

This pesticide is natural Pyrethrum insecticide, which comes from the Pyrethrum Daisy (Tanacetum cinerariaefolium), a common companion plant in organic gardens, and Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), also of the daisy family, a herbal remedy for headaches, also with pest repellent/insecticidal properties. These flat composite flowers also attract beneficial predator insects such as hover flies which prey on aphids and other pest insects.

You will need:

To make this spray:

  1. Chop flowers.
  2. Cover with mineral oil.
  3. Soak overnight in a dark place.
  4. Strain liquid.
  5. Dilute one part liquid in six parts water.
  6. Add sesame oil and spray.

You can increase the effectiveness of the spray by adding additional ingredients to make it stick better to its intended target by using either a wetting agent or a spreader sticker, as described below.

Wetting Agent – Pure soap flakes used at 10g per litre of spray, or liquid soap at 10ml per litre of spray is an effective wetting agent for the above spray.

Spreader Sticker – Coconut oil used at 5ml per litre of spray is an effective spreading agent for the above spray.

Chilli and Wormwood Spray

This is a multi-purpose spray that can be used to:

You will need:

To make this spray:

  1. Blend chillies and wormwood with 1 cup of water.
  2. Add 5 cups of water and bring to the boil.
  3. Allow to stand for one hour.
  4. Strain and spray.

Do not allow to come in contact with eyes or skin!

You can increase the effectiveness of the spray by adding additional ingredients to make it stick better to its intended target by using either a wetting agent or a spreader sticker, as described below.

Wetting Agent – Pure soap flakes used at 10g per litre of spray, or liquid soap at 10ml per litre of spray is an effective wetting agent for the above spray.

Spreader Sticker – Coconut oil used at 5ml per litre of spray is an effective spreading agent for the above spray.

Coriander (Cilantro) Pesticide Spray

This spray is effective against spider mites and aphids

You will need:

To make this spray:

  1. Boil coriander and water for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain and spray.

You can increase the effectiveness of the spray by adding additional ingredients to make it stick better to its intended target by using either a wetting agent or a spreader sticker, as described below.

Wetting AgentPure soap flakes used at 10g per litre of spray, or liquid soap at 10ml per litre of spray is an effective wetting agent for the above spray.

Spreader StickerCoconut oil used at 5ml per litre of spray is an effective spreading agent for the above spray.

Pennyroyal Ant Repellent Oil

To use this ant repellent, simply paint Pennyroyal oil on ant tracks and nests.

You will need:

To make this oil:

  1. Combine Pennyroyal and oil in a blender.
  2. Bottle and cap.

Leave this mixture for a day in a warm spot, and then it is ready to use.

Chamomile, Chives, Elder, Horseradish and Casuarina General Fungicide

This fungicide is good for treating mildew, black spot, damping off and rust

You will need a selection of:

To make this spray:

  1. Cover the leaves and flowers with water.
  2. Bring to the boil.
  3. Let stand 30 minutes.

Spray is now ready to use.

You can increase the effectiveness of the spray by adding additional ingredients to make it stick better to its intended target by using either a wetting agent or a spreader sticker, as described below.

Wetting AgentPure soap flakes used at 10g per litre of spray, or liquid soap at 10ml per litre of spray is an effective wetting agent for the above spray.

Spreader StickerCoconut oil used at 5ml per litre of spray is an effective spreading agent for the above spray.

Elderberry General Pesticide and Fungicide

This spray is especially good for aphids, caterpillars, thrips and black spot.

You will need:

To make this spray:

  1. Simmer leaves in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Replace water lost as steam.
  3. Strain and spray.

You can increase the effectiveness of the spray by adding additional ingredients to make it stick better to its intended target by using either a wetting agent or a spreader sticker, as described below.

Wetting AgentPure soap flakes used at 10g per litre of spray, or liquid soap at 10ml per litre of spray is an effective wetting agent for the above spray.

Spreader StickerCoconut oil used at 5ml per litre of spray is an effective spreading agent for the above spray.

This selection of homebrew pest control measures should get your garden out of trouble and deal with most problems you’ll come against. Best of all, they’re fairly natural, cheap and easy to make!

Happy brewing!!!

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