Onion spray (fungicide, insecticide and insect repellent)
Garlic soap spray (fungal infections)
Recycle an old spray bottle to create a jet of water or soap solution that’ll knock aphids off shoots and buds, or to apply deterrent sprays to your plants.
A grated bar of household soap, dissolved in water, makes an effective spray against aphids.
Be kind to bees
Wasps and dragon flies – ferocious warriors in the war against caterpillars.
Remember natural ways of controlling pests and diseases often require repeated use in the beginning. One-off sprayings will not work.
An Epsom-salts spray helps plants with yellowing leaves after a viral attack, which is often brought on by sucking insects such as aphids. Dissolve 50g Epsom salts in four litres of water and use as a foliar and root feed.
Nettles make an excellent spray for snails and downy mildew. Pack whole nettle plants into a bucket. Cover with water and leave to stand for two weeks. Dilute one part of the liquid with four parts of water, and spray. This spray is made differently to the nettle fertiliser.
Black jacks make an excellent spray for pests – either by stopping the insects from eating, killing them or simply repelling them. The spray can be used against aphids, ants, beetles, and caterpillars. To make a spray, all parts of the plant can be used, particularly the ripe seeds. Chop the plant parts and cover them and the seeds with water. Boil for ten minutes (or soak for 24 hours), allow to cool and add one litre of water and a teaspoon of soap. Shake well and spray immediately.
For cabbage caterpillar dust, mix two handfuls each of wood ashes and flour with half a cup of salt. Dust the plants to kill the caterpillars.
Wormwood (Artemesia absinthum) tea repels aphids, flea beetles, flies, cabbage white butterflies, and slugs, and can also be used as a bath to chase fleas from domestic pets. Make a tea by pouring one litre of boiling water over a handful of wormwood.