Giving nature a helping hand….

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I’ve never quite discovered the pest prevention holy grail on our plot…. I’m not sure anyone ever does. What I definitely do know though, is that I never want to be given a nickname such as “Chemical Frank” the plot holder a few plots down from us!

In general I think we’re pretty good at attracting beneficial insects into our little space but I’ve come to realise that building a healthy eco system takes time and sometimes nature needs a little helping hand so I decided to make my own organic soft soap insecticide solution.

With the looming infestation of both blackfly which completely wiped out our broad beans last year and whitefly which have prevented us from eating home grown Brussel Sprout tops for the past two years I set about the task at the weekend with gusto!

Here’s how I made my soft soap solution….

Ingredients

  • 1 garden spray bottle
  • Pure Castile liquid Soap
  • Water
  • Garlic
  • Oil

Method

Step 1 – Mix 1 garlic clove with 2 tablespoons of oil such as olive oil and leave for a few hours or overnight if you wish.

Step 2 – Mix 2-5 tablespoons of the liquid soap per 5 litres of water depending how strong you want it. I use less for seedlings and more for established plants such as broad beans. The important thing is not to spray in the hottest part of the day and be vigilant for scorch marks on leaves. If in doubt, use less first.

I use a bio-degradable soap with natural organic ingredients. A detergent such as Fairy Liquid or other household products really aren’t the same thing as they don’t contain the same fatty acids and won’t be as effective.

Step 3 – Combine both solutions and spay!

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