Keep garden bugs at bay
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.
Kylie Walsh and Sarina Grant protect their plants.
Best friends Woody and Toby.