Keep gar­den bugs at bay

Pilbara News - - Pilbara Lifestyle - Robyn Gul­liver

The old adage “preven­tion is bet­ter than cure” is not just rel­e­vant for your own health, but also for that of your gar­den.

At this time of the year bugs are look­ing for a comfy home wher­ever they can find it, and that might just be on your let­tuce or your ripe and de­li­cious toma­toes.

A cou­ple of pests and dis­eases in par­tic­u­lar have been mov­ing into the Kar­ratha Com­mu­nity Gar­den.

Leaf curl, Har­le­quin bugs and aphids have all found suc­cu­lent homes, and once es­tab­lished, they can take over quickly.

The gar­den team has been try­ing out some home reme­dies to keep bugs and dis­eases away from the crops flour­ish­ing around the gar­den, and has found a cou­ple that take the cake.

A good dose of hor­ti­cul­tural soap can con­vince many bugs to dis­em­bark and find homes away from the veg­etable patch.

The beauty of hor­ti­cul­tural soap is it is sim­ple to make at home.

It re­quires only two in­gre­di­ents: a cup of veg­etable oil and a ta­ble­spoon of dish­wash­ing liq­uid or pure soap.

Us­ing grey­wa­ter-safe dish­wash­ing liq­uid will also en­sure the plants are not dam­aged through the ap­pli­ca­tion process.

Once th­ese two in­gre­di­ents are com­bined, a mix of two ta­ble­spoons of the liq­uid with one cup of wa­ter sprayed onto the leaves will en­sure those bugs quickly get a shock and take off for more pleas­ant pas­tures.

An­other nat­u­ral spray that is easy and quick to make is a broad spec­trum in­sec­ti­cide, use­ful for aphids, white­fly, cater­pil­lars and the like.

Crush­ing a whole bulb of gar­lic and leav­ing it in a bowl cov­ered with veg­etable oil overnight will cre­ate a po­tent mix good for both bugs and the vam­pires that might be pop­ping up be­lat­edly in the night af­ter Hal­loween.

Use the spray by strain­ing the oil off and adding two drops of dish­wash­ing liq­uid again, mix­ing 1ml of oil to a litre of wa­ter.

To make an es­pe­cially po­tent mix, add some onions and hot chill­ies and let sit overnight with pure soap.

It is re­mark­able how much bugs, an­i­mals and some hu­mans will run from this so­lu­tion.

With healthy har­vests con­tin­u­ing af­ter this dose of preven­tion, the crew are look­ing for­ward to fin­ish­ing up for the year.

Come down to the last few busy bees to check out the site or help with the cy­clone clean-up, on each Satur­day from 4pm-6pm.

Email kar­ratha­gar­den@gmail. com for more in­for­ma­tion.

Pic­ture: Robyn Gul­liver

Kylie Walsh and Sa­rina Grant pro­tect their plants.

Pic­ture: SAFE Kar­ratha

Best friends Woody and Toby.

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