There are lots of products on the market to deal with garden pests but these days more and more people are turning to home-made recipes to deal with them, without compromising their health and that of their soil and garden environment.
1 Mildew, rust and othe fungal infestations
These affect your plants, and ultimately your harvest, and can be dealt with by making up a garlic spray.
You will need • 4 to 5 cloves of garlic • 1 litre boiling water • 1 bottle with a spray pump.
Method: Mash or finely chop your garlic cloves and steep them in the boiled water. Once it has cooled, strain the mixture to ensure it does not block the nozzle of your spray. Now you are ready to go and do battle with the mildew and rust.
2 Caterpillars, maggots and soft-bodied insects
These munch their way through your patch but can also be sent packing, using a mixture straight from nature.
You will need: • 4 hot chillies • 1 onion • A few cloves of garlic • 2 litres water • 1 spray bottle
Method: Chop up garlic and boil in 2 litres of water. Add the other ingredients. Strain the mixture once it has cooled. Using a spray bottle, you can immediately go into battle.
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Keeping monkeys away
Monkeys can be a menace in some areas but there are ways to deal with them without hurting them. Remember, this was their territory before humans arrived, so foraging and helping themselves to your produce comes naturally.
Here are four ways to keep monkeys at bay
1 Enclose the vegetable garden with wire mesh or shade cloth.
2 Plant lots of chillies among your vegetables.
3 Hang up shiny and reflective materials such as old CDs or pieces of mirror.
4 Use an alarm system that switches the sprinklers on when monkeys set it off.
Experts say whatever you do, remain consistent with your approach until the troop is discouraged. And don’t feed the monkeys, since this will only encourage them back to your vegetable patch.
It is a good idea to put a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid into these two mixtures because it serves as a wetting agent, helping the mixture stick to the surface of the leaves.
If your patch is exposed to the elements, don’t spray if it looks like it is going to rain and don’t spray when the sun is beating down on the plants because this might burn them. Ask your nurseryman about eco-friendly products which you can use to deal with any specific invasion that stands between you and a healthy harvest.