1) Insects: Common diseases / descriptions / solutions
2) List of Homemade Organic Recipes for small scale insect control
Garlic Tea concentrate:
Liquefy two bulbs of garlic
1-1/2 cups of water
Mix to create concentrated garlic tea, a good all-purpose insecticide that makes crops undesirable to pests. Strain any solids out of the mixture and add enough water to make a gallon. Use this concentrate right away, or freeze in 1/4-cup muffin tins to use later.
Garlic tea can be brewed in combination with a seaweed fertilizer:
4 Tbsp. seaweed
1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 frozen garlic-tea cube
Mix in a gallon sprayer. You can apply this application weekly in the spring and once every two to three weeks in the summer months. Habanero peppers also make a good contact insecticide when blended with water. It too can be frozen in concentrate form. It can be added to the seaweed-garlic mixture but should be applied only where an active pest problem is observed.
For curing black spot, mildew or brown patch make an effective fungicide:
4 Tbsp. baking soda
1 tsp. gentle soap
1 gallon water
Mix in a sprayer or watering canner. Use this mixture sparingly and keep it off the soil as it affects soil pH.
Tomato Tips: A few other items in your kitchen can help tomato plants. Aluminum foil can be wrapped around the lower 2 inches of the stems of the tomato plants and kept above grade at planting deters cutworms. You could also use paper towel or toilet paper rolls, and tomato sauce cans, with no top or bottom. Broken eggshells can be put in the hole with the tomato plants providing calcium to help prevent blossom end rot.
Homemade Horticultural Oil spray recipe
1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil and 1 teaspoon of NON-DEGREASING liquid dishwashing detergent per gallon of water
Potassium bicarbonate Fungicide
Mix 4 teaspoons (about 1 rounded tablespoon) of potassium bicarbonate into one gallon of water. Spray lightly on foliage of plants afflicted with black spot, powdery mildew, brown patch and other fungal diseases. Potassium bicarbonate is a good substitute for baking soda. There are commercial EPA registered as well as generic products available.
Baking Soda Fungicide
Mix 4 teaspoons (about 1 rounded tablespoon) of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of horticultural oil into one gallon of water. Spray lightly on foliage of plants afflicted with black spot, powdery mildew, brown patch and other fungal diseases. Avoid over-using or pouring on the soil. Potassium bicarbonate is a good substitute for baking soda. Citrus oil and molasses can be used instead of horticultural oil.
Mix 3 tablespoons of natural apple cider vinegar in one gallon of water. Spray during the cool part of the day for black spot on roses and other fungal diseases. Adding molasses at 1 tablespoon per gallon will again help.
Manure compost tea is effective on many pests because of certain microorganisms that exist in it naturally. Here’s how to make compost tea at home. Use any container but a plastic bucket is easy for the homeowner. Fill the 5-15 gallon bucket half full of compost and finish filling with water. Let the mix sit for 10-14 days and then dilute and spray on the foliage of any and all plants including fruit trees, perennials, annuals, vegetables and roses, and other plants, especially those that are regularly attacked by insects or fungal pests. It’s very effective for example on black spot on roses and early blight on tomatoes. How to dilute the dark compost tea before using depends on the compost used. A rule of thumb is to dilute the leachate down to one part compost liquid to four to ten parts water. It should look like iced tea. Be sure to strain the solids out with old pantyhose, cheese cloth, or row cover material. Add two tablespoons of molasses to each gallon of spray for more power. Add citrus oil for even greater pest killing power.
Cornmeal Juice is a natural fungal control for use in any kind of sprayer. Make by soaking horticultural cornmeal in water at one cup per gallon of water. Put the cornmeal a nylon stocking bag to hold in the larger particles. The milky juice of the cornmeal will permeate the water and this mix should be sprayed without further diluting. Cornmeal Juice can be mixed with compost tea, Garrett Juice or any other natural foliar feeding spray.
Garlic Pepper Tea
To make garlic/pepper tea, liquefy 2 bulbs of garlic and 2 hot peppers in a blender 1/2 to 2/3 full of water. Strain the solids and add enough water to the garlic/pepper juice to make 1 gallon of concentrate. Use 1/4 cup of concentrate per gallon of spray. To make garlic tea, simply omit the pepper and add another bulb of garlic. Add two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses for more control.
Garrett Juice (ready to spray)
Mix the following ingredients in a gallon of water (about 3.5 ltrs).
1 cup manure based compost tea
1 ounce molasses
1 ounce natural apple cider vinegar
1 ounce liquid seaweed
For more fertilizer value, add 2 oz (about 60 ml). liquid fish.
For disease and insect control add:
¼ cup garlic tea or
¼ cup garlic/pepper tea
or 1 ounce (about 30 gms) of orange oil
For homemade fire ant killer add:
2 ounces (about 60 gm) of citrus oil per gallon of Garrett Juice
Garrett Juice Concentrate
The ready-to-use solution should not have more than 2 ounces of orange oil per gallon.
1 gallon Compost Tea
1 pint (about 2 cups) Cider Vinegar
1 pint Liquefied Seaweed
1 pint Blackstrap Molasses
Mix all ingredients together. For spraying, use 1 ½ cups of concentrate per 1 gallon of water.
*1 pint = 2 cups = 16 ounces
A compost pile can be started in sun or shade at any time of the year. Good ingredients include leaves, hay, grass clippings, tree trimmings, food scraps, bark, sawdust, rice hulls, weeds, nut hulls and animal manure. Mix the ingredients together in a container of wood, hay bales, hog wire, concrete blocks or simply pile the material on the ground. The best mixture is 75-80% vegetative matter and 20-25% animal waste, although any mix will compost. The ingredients should be a mix of coarse and fine-textured material. Avoid having all the pieces of material the same size since the variety of sizes will help air to move through the pile. Oxygen is a critical ingredient. Turn the pile at least once a month; more often speeds up the process. Keep the pile moist, roughly the moisture of a squeezed-out sponge, to help the living microorganisms thrive and work their magic. Compost is ready to use when the ingredients are no longer identifiable. The color will be dark brown, the texture soft and crumbly and the aroma that of a forest floor. Use compost in all bed preparation and as a high quality mulch around annuals and perennials.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
What has been reported to me by a listener is to put ½” of cornmeal in a flat pan that’s large enough to get your feet in. Add enough warm water to cover the feet and soak over an hour. The Alliance Pond Cleaner cornmeal product might be the best choice because of its fine texture. Soak feet for over an hour. More than one treatment may be needed. See Cornmeal for additional information.
Tree Trunk Goop
Mix 1/3 of each in water and paint on trunks: diatomaceous earth, soft rock phosphate, manure compost. Paint onto cuts, borer holes or other injuries on trunks or limbs. Reapply if washed off by rain or irrigation.