Like humans, with their complement of microbes that aid in everything from immune responses to nutrition, plants rely on a vast array of bacteria and fungi for health and defense. Over the last decade, research has revealed many new functional aspects of the crosstalk between human-associated microbes and human cells, but plant biologists are only beginning to scratch the surface of the often surprising ways that soil microbiota impact plants, from underground fungus-wired alarm systems to soil bacteria that can trigger defensive plant behavior or even act as a sort of vaccine. But despite these benefits, microbes are still primarily thought of as harbingers of disease……
Archive for the ‘Pests’ Category
Organic Solutions for Garden & Plant Pests
By Clifford Woods
There is a balance in nature that can be tapped into if you want to keep your garden and plants at their best. And when you want to cultivate and maintain an organic garden and naturally healthy plants it is much easier to work with Mother Nature than against her.
Many organic solutions for garden and plant pests are available. Simple, easy to make remedies you can try making yourself and try them out.
Here is a list of some combination and single mixtures to help in the fight against pests.
- Diatomaceous Earth and Chile pepper: Grind up two handfuls of dry chilies into a very fine powder then mix this with 1 cup of Diatomaceous earth. Add to 2 liters of water and let set overnight. Shake well before using.
- Chrysanthemum Flower Tea: These flowers hold a powerful plant chemical component called Pyrethrum. This substance invades the nervous system of insects rendering them immobile. You can make your own spray by boiling 100 grams of dried flowers into 1 liter of water. Boil the dried flowers in water for twenty minutes. Strain, cool and place in a spray bottle. This mixture can be stored for up to two months.
- Tobacco: Take one cup of organic tobacco (preferably a tobacco that is natural) and mix it in one gallon of water. Leave overnight and after 24-hours it should have a light brown color. Add more water if it too dark. You can use this on most plants, except those belonging to the nightshade family of plants such potato, tomato, eggplant etc.
- Salt Spray: This is used on plants that have spider mites. You can mix 2 tablespoons of Himalayan Crystal Salt into one gallon of warm water and spray on infected areas.
- Orange Citrus Oil, Water and Soap: Mix together 3 tablespoons of liquid Organic Castile soap with 1 ounce of Orange oil to one gallon of water. Shake well. This is an especially efficient treatment against slugs and can be sprayed directly on ants and roaches also.
- Eucalyptus oil: A natural pesticide for flies, bees and wasps. Simply sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus oil where the insects are found.
- Cayenne Pepper Mix or Citrus Oil: This is another excellent organic pesticide that controls ants. Mix 10 drops of citrus essential oil with one tsp. of cayenne pepper and 1 cup of warm water. Shake well and spray.
- Mineral oil: This organic pesticide works well for dehydrating insects and their eggs. Mix 10-30 ml of high-grade oil with one liter of water. Stir and add to spray bottle.
- Onion and Garlic Spray: Mince one organic clove of garlic and one medium sized organic onion. Add to 1 quart of water. Wait one hour and then add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and one tablespoon of liquid soap to the mix. This organic spray will hold its potency for one week if stored in the refrigerator.
- Neem: A very powerful & natural pesticide and you can make your own Neem oil spray. Simply add 1/2 an ounce of organic Neem oil and ½ teaspoon of a mild organic liquid soap to 2 quarts of warm water. Slowly stir it up and then pour it into a spray bottle and use right away.
- Garlic Tea: Make your own garlic spray by boiling a pint of water, throw in roughly chopped garlic cloves and steep until the water is cool. Remove any garlic bits with cheesecloth and then pour into a spray bottle and use.
- Basil Tea: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add 1-cup fresh basil. Remove from heat, cover and let cool. Then mix in 1 tsp. of liquid dish detergent. Pour into a spray bottle and use. Basil Tea is good for combating aphids.
Simple-Simple – for both garden and house plants: Mix 1 cup Sunlight dish soap and 1 tbs. of vegetable oil together and then store the liquid in a plastic air tight container. When you need to use it, take 2 teaspoons of this liquid and mix it with 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray top and under the plants leaves and any new shoots and buds. When it is hot, repeat every third day – 3 applications over 7 days. In the cooler weather you only need to use it once a week for 3 weeks.
Employing organic solutions for garden and plant pest control would go hand in hand with the soil being organic as well. If you have been using store bought chemical fertilizers and are trying to transition out of this method, be patient. Soil goes through both many changes with the transition from a chemical to organic fertilizer is made. It can take the soil quite a while to adjust. Plants can often go through a few stages of poor yields before producing at peak performance.
An easy transition and sure fire method is adding some Beneficial Microorganisms as they are naturally already in the soil. It is just a matter of populating the soil with these beneficial
microbes – they will do the rest.
Clifford Woods is the CEO of Effective Environmental Services and Organic Environmental Technology.
We brew Beneficial Microorganisms that eat toxins and offer Environmentally Friendly Products.