PlantTherapy: Natural Pest Control

I think Regina and I are on the same wavelength. I noticed these three recipes from the June/July 2008 Organic Gardening issue and wanted to pass them along to readers. Great for a small patio or backyard garden - and hot peppers are a big part of them.

Yes, the recipes are stinky - and you will have to put aside some time to prepare and make them. But a little time investment now and you could make a spray that can be used all season, keeps the bugs/pests away and is not harmful to your health...

Natural insect spray recipes from Organic Gardening Magazine:

  • Recipe 1:
    Ingredients:1 garlic bulb, 1 small onion, 1tsp powdered cayenne, 1 qt. water, 1 tbsp liquid dish soap How-to: Chop, steep in water for an hour, strain and add dish soap and mix well. Store remainder in the fridge in a jar. Good for: Works especially well on slugs and Japanese beetles.

  • Recipe 2:
    Ingredients:1/2 cup hot peppers 2 cups water How-to: Puree the peppers and water and strain. Good for: Repels insects and cats/dogs, apply every 5-7 days.

  • Recipe 3:
    Ingredients: 1-2 cups tomato leaves (from bottom of stems of plants to not interfere with tomato production), 4 cups water How-to: mash/chop leaves and let leaves steep overnight in 2 cups water. Strain leaves and add another 2 cups water. Good for: alkaloids found in tomato leaves are toxic to soft-bodies insects like aphids


The author advises to test the spray first on a leaf to make sure it is not too strong for the plant. If the leaf looks fine after a day then it's safe to spray away. I used a version of the first one last year and it worked like a charm to keep bugs off the plants, just had to make sure to keep it off my own hands.

These recipes are adapted by OG Magazine from The Frugal Gardener: How to Have More Garden for Less Money, by Catrinoe Tudor Erler.

OG Online also has a directory of pests with helpful information to rid them from your plants right here.

matt at apartment therapy dot com