Here are a few recipes for reasonably effective herbal sprays to help control garden pests. To get the spray to stick to the plants use a wetting agent or a spreader sticker.
Pure soap used one teaspoon per quart of spray to make an effective wetting agent as a base for the sprays.
Coconut oil added at one tablespoon per quart will help your spray stick to the plants.
mildew, blackspot, damping off, rust
Mix equal portions of:
Casuarina leaves (see note)
Cover with water and bring to a boil for a few minutes.
Let cool, strain and use spray as required.
Any of the chiefly Australian trees that make up the genus Casuarina (family Casuarinaceae), which have whorls of scalelike leaves and jointed stems resembling horsetails. Several species, especially C. equisetifolia, are valued for their hard, dense, yellowish- to reddish-brown wood, which is strong and reputed to be resistant to termite attack. Beefwood and ironwood are common names that reflect the wood's color and hardness.
1. Paint Pennyroyal oil on ant tracks and nests.
2. Make your own Pennyroyal oil.
Gather ½ cup of Pennyroyal leaves and mix with 1 cup of Safflower oil in a blender.
Blend well, bottle and cap.
Leave for a day in a warm spot (not in the sun).
Paint ant trails and nest areas.
aphids, caterpillars, thrips, blackspot
Pick about a pound (454g) of Elderberry leaves
Add to 4 quarts of water and simmer elder leaves for 30 minutes.
Maintain water level as water is lost from steaming
Allow to cool
Strain and apply spray as needed.
Store excess in refrigerator.
spider, mites, aphids
Use equal portions of Coriander (whole plant) and water.
Boil the mixture for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool and then strain and use spray as required.
Spray directly on infested plants.
Spray this on and around plants to repel a wide variety of critters, including:
o'possums, rabbits, snails, slugs, deer, dogs
This spray also will kill:
aphids, bean fly, white fly
Blend with 1 cup of water
1 cup of Chillies (use hottest peppers you can get)
1 cup of Wormwood leaves
After blending, Add 5 cups of water and bring to boil for a few minutes (no more than 5).
Allow to cool for about an hour.
Carefully Strain and spray as required.
Do not allow to come in contact with eyes or skin!
Store excess in refrigerator and reblend when needed.
2 parts Feverfew flowers
1 part Pyrethrum flowers
Chop all the flowers thoroughly.
Just cover with kerosene or mineral oil.
Allow to soak overnight in a dark place.
Carefully strain the liquid.
Dilute one part liquid in six parts water, then add two drops sesame oil to each dilution and spray as required.
Store excess fire-proof dark area.
Ashes are great for insect control. While not quite an insecticide, sprinkling wood ashes around your garden plants will assist in controlling cutworms, slugs, borers of all kinds, various beetles such as bean beatles. The formula for this is:
1/2 cup lime
1/2 cup wood ashes (sifted fine first is best)
1 gallon of water.
Mix well and strain well.
Strain very well if you are using a sprayer.
Apply with a sprayer or splash on with cheesecloth.
To use the cheesecloth splash, get a wad of cheesecloth (or other rag), dip it in the water/ash/lime mix. Then, while squeezing the cheesecloth, throw the fluid at the plants, being sure to get the undersides of the leaves also. Wear rubber gloves for this because the lime can cause your hands to burn or irritate the skin.
To control spider mites and aphids, use dry wood ashes in the same way as the cheesecloth splash, dusting the plants with the DRY wood ash. This works best if the plants are already wet so the dry dust gets coated well (either while wet from dew in the morning or after you have wet them yourself but dew is best as it covers very completely).
To control maggots in root crops such as beets, carrots, onions, parsnips, etc., sprinkle wood ashes along side the plants several times during the growing season.