Izzy Wright must have known what was on our minds as he stopped by yesterday, just as the fried chicken was being taken out of the skillet.

It was mentioned that we are getting ready to plant garden, and Hubby had sprayed the fruit trees in an attempt to get the emerging web worms under control before they could attack the new foliage and fruit.  Of course, Izzy had to ask what spray we used, nodding in approval at the cooking oil and soap mix. He says that birds and predatory wasps will also help keep the damage down, and our spray ingrediaents will not harm them.

Helping himself to a big plate of chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and home canned green beans, he waxed eloquent on the properties of homemade  garden pest repellants.

According to Izzy, these easy to come by and simple to concoct natural ways will help keep the garden pest free (or at least reduce the damage).  I have put them down the best I can for measurements. Izzy might say a couple of this or a handful or that…

1) Combine one teaspoon of hot pepper or tabasco sauce, 4 cloves of garlic and a quart of water. Blend well in a blender and strain, with cheesecloth or nylon mesh before placing in your sprayer. This will repel many insects including whiteflies, aphids, spider mites and caterpillars.

2) Mix 1/8-1/4 cup of hydrated lime with one quart of water. This creates an effective spray against many insects, especially spider mites. Add a drop of non-detergent soap to act as a sticking agent and insecticide. Lime can cause serious harm to plants if you use too much, so always spray a test plant first and watch it for a few days, to check for any adverse effects on plants.

3) Take one ounce of tomato leaves and add to one quart of water and blend thoroughly. Strain the resulting liquid and use to repel insects. This works well on white cabbage butterflies too.

4) Everyone is familiar with the negative health effects of cigarettes, but the nicotine in tobacco is poisonous to all kinds of insects as well. Gather enough cigarette butts to harvest ¼ cup of tobacco leaves. Place these in a sock, and soak them in a quart of water overnight. Avoid using this homemade insect spray on eggplant and tomato plants, as tobacco can harbor the mosaic virus

5) Crushed eggshells are great for getting rid of soft-bodied insects including snails and slugs. Snails and slugs want to avoid the sharp jagged edges of eggshells, so sprinkle crushed eggshells liberally on top of the soil around garden plants

6) Sweet corn worms can be eliminated by mixing 2 tbsp dish soap with a cup of cooking or mineral oil and  spraying the ears as the silks emerge.

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