One of my absolute favourite groups on Facebook is the NZ Vege Gardeners page. There are so many innovative gardening ideas, fantastic recipes, advice, tips, pictures of homegrown crops and awesome Kiwi gardens, and every time I have a look it brings a big smile to my face.
Some time ago there was a recipe for a natural bug spray for the garden; I’d seen this recipe before in an old gardening magazine but forgot all about it. This spray can be used as a prevention for aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies or it can be used when you have an infestation.
Apply spray anywhere bugs are most likely to congregate, under the leaves and on the stalk is the most likely location. Do this in the evening as the sun can cause the spray to burn.
If you have a serious infestation you’ll need to apply it a few times leaving a few days in between.
DIY Garden Bug Spray Concentrate
10 drops of cinnamon leaf, vetiver, or eucalyptus essential oil
10 large cloves of garlic
5 hot chilli peppers, dried or fresh
1 cup cold water and 2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon Green Goddess Unscented Liquid Castile Soap
There’s no need to peel the garlic for this recipe. Place the garlic, chiles, and one cup of cold water into the blender, blend until pureed. Pour into a glass jug and pour over the two cups of boiling water then let stand overnight, or at least 5 hours.
The liquid should now have separated and left the pulp in the bottom of the jug. Pour the liquid through a stainer or some cheese cloth to ensure all the particles have been removed – you don’t want them to block your spray nozzle.
Pour the remaining clear pinkish coloured concentrate into a jar with a plastic lid (not metal), add the soap and the essential oils, close the lid and shake to combine. Store in a dark cupboard, should keep for 4 -5 months.
This recipe makes around three cups of concentrate. To use put 1 tablespoon of concentrate into a 500ml spray bottle and fill with water.