The goal of an organic gardener is to create a little ecosystem that is free of chemicals that can harm the soil, the water table, animals and insects and perhaps even contaminate the fruits and vegetables grown in the garden. Consequently, organic gardeners prefer homemade pesticides that use inexpensive, nontoxic, natural ingredients to control insects, fungi and plant diseases.
To get rid of mites and mealybugs, mix 1 tbsp. of canola oil and a few drops of liquid Ivory soap into 1 qt. of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray both the top and the underside of all the leaves on your fruit tree.
Mix 2 tbsp. of baking soda with 1 qt. of water. Using a spray bottle, spray the affected areas of your fruit trees. Reapply the spray every few days until the fungus disappears.
Another home remedy calls for 1 tbsp. of cooking oil, 2 tbsp. of baking soda and a few drops of liquid Ivory soap mixed in 1 qt. of water. Spray directly on the fungus and repeat every few days until the problem clears up.
Chop up six cloves of garlic, mince one onion, add 1 tbsp. of hot pepper flakes and 1 tsp. of liquid soap. Steep in 1 gallon of hot water for one to two days. Strain, then spray the liquid directly onto the aphids.
After the harvesting season, when your fruit trees are dormant, mix 1 cup vegetable oil with 2 tbsp. liquid soap. Add the mixture to 1 gallon of water. Pour into a spray bottle and apply to the dormant trees, shaking the bottle often to keep the ingredients well-mixed. The oil and soap will suffocate any insect eggs on your fruit trees, reducing the risk of infestation in the spring.
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