Organic Non-toxic Garden Bug Spray

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As a person who tries her best to leave a smaller footprint on the earth, I am not interested in using products on my plants which use unfamiliar ingredients. Certainly, I could spend hours doing research into each chemical and its origins and impact on the earth and then buy a product packaged in plastic to use on my organic garden, but it seems counter intuitive to me.

In an ideal world I wouldn’t feel the need to use anything on the plants I grow. However, my garden can be a bug-infested oasis. I like it, cats like it, plant eating bugs like it, even weeds like it.

My precious carrot leaves were eaten away overnight, something has gobbled my clematis, and my potato plants are more holes than green in places.

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I needed to take action. I needed a simple, effective, low-cost solution. The good news is this spray meets all those requirements and I love it! I made it last year as well and stored it in an old vinegar bottle, but when I went to retrieve it, the glass had broken. Time to make some new bug spray!

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Ingredients needed:

1 onion

A few cloves of garlic

1 Tbs cayenne powder

1 tsp – 1 Tbs soap

To make:

Blend the onion and garlic until they are nice and mushy.

Place the mush in a saucepan or pot with about 4 cups of water and 1 heaping tablespoon of cayenne powder, then turn to a simmer. Let the mixture simmer for a good 30 minutes.

Let that cool.

Use cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer to squeeze out the liquid and compost the remaining material.

Pour into a spray bottle with a teaspoon to a tablespoon of liquid soap. I use Sal Suds because of how effective it is and because it is extremely concentrated and biodegradable.

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Spray on any bug-eaten plants directly and reapply if it rains or if much overhand watering has occurred. You don’t need to worry about this spray when it is time to harvest because it is made out of mostly food and a safe soap. Obviously rinsing is a good idea, but don’t worry about health problems later on in your life or depleting soils of microbes.

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My potato plants already look much better and whatever was eating my carrot tops has stopped their destructive ways.

Do you have any favorite gardening tips?

Peace and love,

Kristan

Garden Plans

My plan was to not purchase any plants, but rather start them all from seed. I started the seeds in my metal seed starter tray and placed them into a heat mat near a south-facing window. Some of the little buggers grew, but not very fast and they are still quite tiny. I could possibly still plant seeds, but we don’t have the longest growing season here. I’m technically zone 7a, most of the areas around me are 6a or 6b.

I went to Cliff’s Country Market to get hella vegetables because that’s all I’m craving in this heat wave, and they had these beautiful organic starts for sale. I’m not an expert grower, so I suppose I just need to keep trying or putting more effort into my seed starts.

For now though, I’ll be ok that I purchased some plastic pots and more plastic labels in order to have my vegetable garden growing beautifully. Also, I realize I could get veggies at the farmer’s markets but it’s in my genes to grow plants.

My boxes would be sad without an abundance of vegetables. Yes, they are in the front yard because we have an unusually wide “hellstrip” due to our narrow street.

I already have garlic growing and some volunteer mustard greens and arugula. I made a yummy dish using mustard greens and spinach from the garden! I’ll put that up soon.

In my back yard I have smaller boxes where I have planted more cooler season vegetables and I’m planting potatoes as well. This is Idaho after all!

Anyone else starting a garden? Already started? Do you have any seed starting tips?

Peace and love,

Kristan

Thanksgiving Flower Harvest

Calendula is prolific in my garden. This is something I can view as a blessing due to the many benefits for which this herb is known.

I am grateful for my garden and all it has to offer and to teach me.

I am opting outside today and choosing to not buy anything.

I am grateful for my health which allows me to garden and harvest with ease.

I am grateful to spend another Thanksgiving with my family and see them maintaining their health and vibrancy.

I collected these the day before Thanksgiving and will dry them to add to tea. I still have calendula infused olive oil on hand from a year before.

The tiny native bees love them!

Peace and love,

Kristan