My dad is a master gardener! Okay..maybe not master…but he is to me ( I can’t even keep potted herbs alive..but I’m working on it). As long as I can remember, my dad’s garden has produced a beautiful bounty of fresh vegetables every summer. When I was little I would walk through the garden and pick peas and eat them straight out of the pods. They never tasted so delicious. To this day, simple summer meals of fresh corn on the cob, string beans and juicy tomatoes out of the garden are my favorite meals. Always will be.
My dad always works SO HARD on his garden. Every evening after working all day he comes home and puts in a few more hours of hard work in his awesome garden! Unfortunately, there are some nasty bugs that attempt to completely derail all of his hard work!
Now not all bugs are created equal when it comes to your garden. In fact, some are even beneficial! I think we have all heard by now that we need to save the bees! Bees are incredibly beneficial to your garden and essential for pollination. Ladybugs are also considered beneficial, as they feast on parasite bugs that kill your plants!
But there are loads of other insects that can wreak major havoc on your garden. One of the main offenders are aphids (pictured below). These buggers feed on almost all fruit and vegetable plants, flowers and shade trees. And here’s the kicker with aphids: they reproduce like crazy. The females can even reproduce without mating. Awesome.
There are some great natural ways to help control the aphid population in your garden.
1. A good strong watering or rainstorm will help kill the aphids.
2. Companion plants, such as marigolds can be very effective in keeping harmful insects such as beetles and aphids off of your plants! As you can see, my dad’s beautiful garden is FULL of marigolds!
3. Garlic! Garlic, onions and their relatives do a great job of repelling aphids! You can either plant garlic in your garden, or you can make a garlic spray! And that’s just what my dad does to help keep the pests off of his precious plants! Here is his recipe!
Homemade Garlic Spray: A Non-Toxic Insecticide
- 1 quart water
- 2 tbsp fresh minced garlic
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp liquid castille soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s)
- Mix the water, garlic, cayenne pepper and castille soap in a glass container (unlike the plastic container in the picture..I’m still working on getting the plastic out of his life..one step at a time).
- Let the mixture sit in the sun for a few hours to concentrate.
- Combine the concentrate with water in a ratio of 1 part concentrate to 4 parts water.
- Store in a glass spray bottle and apply to plants every 2 to 3 days, as needed.
Then enjoy the bounty of all of your hard work!
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