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Organic Pesticides

October 3rd, 2011 Gardening

There's nothing worse than realizing your plants are succumbing to annoying pests or diseases - whether they're inside or outside. Before you go out looking for expensive chemical treatments to get rid of them, try using these eco-friendly DIY solutions, suggested by MarthaStewart.com and Tarheel Nursery.

Pest deterrents
Spray this baking soda solution on the leaves and soil of your plants to protect them from bugs.
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of castile soap
1 pint of water.

Directions: Mix ingredients in a spray bottle and use on your plants once a week.

You could also try mixing a half cup of hot peppers and a half cup of onions or garlic cloves with two cups of water. Let it steep for 24 hours, then strain it and spray the liquid onto your plants. Bugs will not be attracted to the smell or taste of the strong ingredients.

If slugs are a problem in your moist, shady garden, put a shallow plate full of beer in the middle - it doesn't matter what kind. Slugs will be attracted to it and will drown in the liquid. You may also benefit from frequently raking your garden free of any leaves or debris so slugs won't have as many places to hide and lay eggs.

Fungicide
To protect your garden from disease, fill a spray bottle with half milk and half water. Shake it up then spray all over your plants every few days as necessary.

Anti-mildew treatment
Spray apple cider vinegar on the leaves and soil of your plants to balance the pH and get rid of any mold or mildew that may be growing. Your plants will be healthier in no time.