Saturday, February 25, 2012

garlic tea for the garden

I recently noticed some little bugs attacking my house plants and indoor citrus trees, so I whipped up a batch of garlic tea to help me combat the problem. I forget where I first learned about this, but I've been using it for years now to help with pest control on plants both inside and out. It's best used as a preventative measure or when you catch an infestation in the early stages, but it's a simple and organic way to keep plants from being bad bug dinner.


How to make Garlic Tea:

1. Blend up 3 or 4 garlic cloves (leave the paper skins on) with about 1/2 Cup of water
 

2. Strain the concentrated liquid through a coffee filter. I squeeze it gently to speed up the process.


3. Add the concentrated liquid to a gallon jug, and fill with water


4. Keeps in the refrigerator for about a week, or can be frozen in ice cube trays for later use
 
5. For small jobs, put the tea in a spray bottle and spray down plant leaves. For big jobs, such as in the garden, I use one of those tank sprayers (the ones for staining fences).

A few notes for garden use:

-I spray once a week in spring when I first plant, and then just every so often throughout summer or when I notice a problem

-I spray early or late in the day, but I try not to spray when the bees are out and about

-The spray doesn't seem to keep away the beneficial insects - I've still seen ladybugs in the garden after using it. (Although you know what they say; if you've got ladybugs it means you have aphids!)

-Although this spray has worked very well for me, I've had limited success with keeping cabbage butterflies away with garlic tea, but planting herbs like oregano around the cabbage helps, as does removing any larvae you see under the leaves. 

Do you use natural pest control in the garden, too?

14 comments:

  1. What a wonderful remedy. I wonder if this would work on bugs that get on my flowers during the summer as well. I have several pests that I would like to get rid of :)

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  2. We have had good success using Neem oil on cucumber beetles in the garden. It takes a couple of applications but it really works. I need to try it on the aphids because I have had NO luck with my homemeade soap/garlic/hot pepper spray solution. :(

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    Replies
    1. Neem oil! What a great idea. Thanks for sharing that, Candy! I've found the garlic tea to be most effective in deterring pests, but once there's already an infestation, more drastic measures are needed for sure!

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  3. What a good idea, Jaime! I wonder if it works on potato bugs? Might have to give it a try.

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    1. I start spraying potatoes with the garlic tea as soon as the shoots come up. Not sure if it would get rid of the bugs if they're already there, though, since the potato bugs are dormant in the soil....

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  4. I use Neem Oil as well. I had a huge aphid problem on my cabbage and broccoli two years ago. Like Candy C said, it takes a couple of applications, but it does work.

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    Replies
    1. That's great!! Thanks for sharing that tip, too, Jen!

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  5. This sounds great. I've heard of it but never think to use it, I reckon because I bought a bunch of organic pesticides from .... someplace. Would rather DIY though.

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  6. hello jaime,
    i have never heard before,.......thanks for giving the tips.
    have a nice week,
    love regina

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  7. Great tip, Jaime--thanks!
    I'm making a mental note of the neem oil, too. Love finding little remedies that really work.
    Mia

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  8. Thanks for sharing! I've never heard of this.

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  9. I had a big issue of fruit flies in my house. I used apple cinder vinegar and that helped get rid of them.

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