Published on November 12th, 2015 | by Janet Kurasz


Old Fashioned Garden Remedies

Expensive “new & improved” products come out every year promising to help gardeners grow bigger, better plants and eradicate destructive bugs. Even the eco-friendly and natural lines can be pricey. Homemade products are inexpensive, easy to make and can be just as effective as the commercial products. Home gardeners have embraced these old fashioned remedies. The ingredients can be found in your kitchen and garden; they are earth-friendly and natural.

Garlic Tea Make your own garlic insecticidal spray by boiling a pint of water, throw in roughly chopped garlic cloves and steep until the water cools. Remove garlic bits and pour into a clean plastic spray bottle and apply to plants.

Garlic, Peppers & Onion Insecticide 2 hot peppers, 1 large onion, 1 whole bulb of garlic, 1/4 cup water. Toss in the food processor and add water, blend until a mash is made. Cover mash with 1 gallon of hot (not boiling) water and let stand 24 hours. Strain. Spray on roses, azaleas, vegetables to kill bug infestations. Bury mash in ground where bugs are heaviest. Good for thrips, aphids, grasshoppers, chewing and sucking insects.

Tomato Leaves Mix Crush leaves from a tomato plant and soak in water for a couple days. Strain then spray. Good for grasshopper and white fly control. Tomato leaves are poisonous, take care when preparing and handling. Do not use on food bearing plants.

Controlling Powdery Mildew Mix into one gallon of warm water, 4 tablespoons of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of oil soap. Mix well and spray on plants susceptible to this disease.

Non-Select Weed Killer Mix together in a large container, 2 cups table salt, 1 gallon white vinegar (5% acidity), and 8 drops of liquid dishwashing soap (use plain soap without antibacterial or other ingredients). Transfer some of the mixture into a spray bottle and spray the offending weed or vegetation, preferably on a hot day. Do not apply if you expect to get rain within 24 hours.

Japanese Beetle Bait Trap 2 cups water, 1 mashed banana, ½ cup sugar, ½ cup wine, ½ tsp yeast. Mix ingredients together and put in an old margarine container, cover with lid and set container out in the hot sun for a day. The next day, remove lid and set in garden where the beetles have been spotted (use a shallow container).

Mild Fertilizer for House Plants (always unsalted) After boiling vegetables, allow the water to cool then pour it on soil around your plants. Save vegetable peelings in a small bucket, cover with boiling water and allow to steep overnight (up to 2 days). Strain and use to water your plants.

Mosquito Repelling Plants Citronella, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Marigolds, Basil, Lavender, Garlic, Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, Mint, Wormwood, Lemon Scented Geranium.

Janet KuraszSlug Trap The scent from fermenting yeast attracts slugs. Mix 2 cups of water with 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. Mix well and pour into a shallow jar or plastic margarine tub. Bury container into the soil, level with the ground. Use 1 container for every square metre.

Janet Kurasz,

About the Author

Janet Kurasz

Interpretive Horticulturist. A lifelong gardener and student of nature, Janet returned to school in 1997 aspiring to become a professional gardener. After completing her studies in Horticulture at the University of Guelph, Janet founded the Garden Decorator (2000 – 2009), a Horticultural company providing garden maintenance, landscape design and consultation services throughout Southern Georgian Bay. She developed a diverse clientele which included the Scenic Caves Nature Adventures, the Municipality of Meaford and the Town of Blue Mountains, along with a number of notable private gardens in Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Thornbury, Clarksburg, Lora Bay and Meaford. Janet is now focused on design and consultation, offering her services in Brant and Norfolk Counties. Always learning, Janet continues to take courses in horticulture and studies naturalized environments. Her years of experience gardening in some of the toughest areas in South-Western Ontario, has taught her how to combine ornamentals and native plant material to ensure diversity and greater success. She refers to this style of gardening as the “Georgian Bay Style”. One of the original contributing writers to Women with VisionTM, Janet offers motivational talks on following your dreams, entrepreneurship, and gardening therapy.

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