Whether you're planting the seeds for a fragrant rose bush or you're trying to grow enough vegetables to feed your family, one of the main issues that gardeners often run into is keeping pests away so crops can thrive. Insects like aphids, hornworms, grasshoppers and leaf footed bugs can cause so much damage to plants that even the most seasoned gardeners can get frustrated when they find evidence of their arrival. While there are a variety of products available that certainly do the job at keeping these annoying bugs at bay, these chemicals are also causing a tremendous amount of damage to the environment.
What's so bad about chemical pesticides?
According to Planet Natural, the use of pesticides has increased by 50% over the last 30 years with 2.5 millions tons of commercial pesticides being applied to crops annually. Although chemical pesticides are often effective at removing the pesky bugs like aphids, thrips, spider mites and white flies, these products aren't selective and actually kill the good insects, too. In fact, less than 1% of the world insects are considered pests and the other 99% are crucial members of the natural food chain. To make matters worse, chemical pesticides cause even more trouble because they're the cause of domestic animal deaths, honeybee and pollination losses, groundwater contamination, bird losses and fishery losses.
To help you create a naturally healthy garden that's free of harmful chemicals, we're sharing 5 eco-friendly pesticide recipes from Tip Nut that are easy to make right at home. With simple but effective ingredients like onions, basil, garlic and tomato leaves, these recipes will help keep your flower and vegetable gardens thriving in a natural way and should be applied as soon as you spot an insect infestation. We encourage you to share this information with friends and family to spread the word about the dangers of chemical pesticides!
1) Rhubarb Leaf Mix
This recipe is excellent at removing aphids, june beetles, spider mites and thrips!
1 cup rhubarb leaves
6.5 cups water
1/4 cup liquid dish detergent or soap flakes
NOTE: Choose an eco-friendly dish soap like Green Works.
Cover rhubarb leaves with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 20 minutes then remove from heat and cool. Strain then add 1/4 cup liquid dish detergent.
NOTE: Rhubarb leaves are poisonous so take caution when handling and don't use on edible crops.
2) Garlic, Peppers and Onion Mix
This recipe is excellent at removing thrips, aphids and grasshoppers!
2 hot peppers
1 large onion
1 whole garlic bulb
1/4 cup of water
Toss in the food processor and add water, blend until a mash is made. Cover mash with 1 gallon hot (not boiling) water and let stand 24 hours. Strain then spray on plants.
3) Tomato Leaves Mix
This recipe is excellent at removing grasshoppers and flies!
2 cups of water
Crush leaves from a tomato plant and soak in water for a couple days. Strain the water and spray on plants.
NOTE: Tomato leaves are poisonous so take caution when handling and don't use on edible crops.
4) Basil Leaves Mix
This recipe is excellent at removing aphids!
4 cups of water
1 cup of fresh basil (or 2 tbs of dried)
1 tsp of liquid dish detergent
Bring water to a boil then add basil. Remove from heat, cover and steep until cool. Strain. Mix in the liquid detergent then apply to plants.
5) Peppermint Mix
This recipe is excellent at removing ants!
1 tbs peppermint essential oil
1 quart of water
Mix together and use spray on plants.
Want an even GREENER garden?
Here are 5 tips to make completely eco-friendly!
- Plant sunflowers, marigolds and candytuft to attract ladybugs and lacewings, which eat aphids.
- Attract lots of bug-eating birds to your garden with lots of bird feeders.
- Practice companion plants like planting roses next to garlic to help deter pests from your pretty petals.
- Compost biodegradable items like vegetables, fruits, coffee grounds, egg shells and tea leaves whenever possible. Avoid meat and fish as they will attract unwanted pests.
- Always reduce, reuse and recycle whenever possible.
MORE gardening resources:
If you love gardening, you'll love eco-friendly seed paper! Created with biodegradable materials, this eco paper is embedded with NON-GMO seeds that grow wildflowers, herbs or vegetables when planted in a pot or garden. Perfect for a variety of events and purposes including crafting, weddings, memorials, promotional products, recipients will love growing their own bounty of fresh flowers, basil, parsley, dill, carrots, lettuce or tomatoes with a simple piece of compostable paper.