When you put so much hard work into your organic garden, one of the biggest challenges is how to keep pests away. The best solution is to plan ahead and design a biodiverse garden which includes pest-controlling plants, many of which will not only deter “bad insects” but will also attract pollinators and beneficial insects.
However, some pest infestations may start to get out of control or be concentrated only in certain areas. In these cases you can try to make a home made, organic and all-natural pest control spray. Unlike chemical pesticides, this spray will not kill any insects outright and it's safe outdoor activity to do with the kids because no harmful ingredients will be used to make the spray.
First, you need to gather a variety leaves from pest-repelling nature plants. The more diverse the ingredients in your spray, the more varieties of pests it will repel. What's a natural pest-repelling plant? Here are some you may find in the wild or in your garden:
In addition, you will also need plant that produces a sticky sap like Hibiscus, Aloe Vera, or Soap Tree Nut.
If you can't find these types of plants growing wild, you may grow your own in your garden or in outdoor pots so they can already start repelling pests even while growing.
To make the spray, gather all of the leaves and pound them to release their oils. There are now two different methods you may try:
1. Cold Press
Put all of the crushed leaves into an organic eco-friendly bag and place them into a bucket with filtered water. Squeeze the bag as many times as needed so that as much of the oil transfers into the water as possible. The water should turn green.
Remove the bag of leaves from the water. You may discard them into your compost which has the added benefit of keeping pests away from your diy compost too!
This type of spray must be used immediately while all the ingredients are still fresh.
Place all of the leaves into a pan with water and place on a fire. Bring it to a boil until the leaves start to brown but be careful not to overcook. Strain to remove the leaves and allow to cool.
This method will allow you to store the liquid for 1-2 months.
The best way to use these spray is to only target areas of your garden where pests are a problem. Pest-control should always start with planting with enough biodiversity that mimics nature so everything balances out itself. Externally applied pest-control sprays, even natural ones, should only be used as a last resort.
Written by Jan
About the Author
Jan is a travelling yoga teacher and writer who advocates spiritual growth while leading a conscious, earth-centered lifestyle, as close to nature as possible. She currently lives on an island in the Philippines surrounded by tropical jungles and white sand beaches. She and her partner conduct sound meditations and journeys while advocating sustainable and organic gardening practices.