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Uuug! I have never had this much trouble with nasty little insects devouring my garden! At first I thought it was due to my deep straw mulch. My husband warned me before I put the straw in the garden that it would create the perfect environment for earwigs. He was absolutely correct! The little buggers love to hide in the dark, moist straw during the day and then come out and graze on my veggie plants all night!! But I can’t blame the whole problem on the mulch. We have earwigs and ants EVERYWHERE this year. It’s just simply a bad year for bugs. (Darn it!) It’s so frustrating to watch all your hard work slowly disappearing!
They seemed to like the squash, cabbage and kale the best! I think most of the damage was done by earwigs, but I have also seen aphids and grasshoppers.
I got on-line and looked up MANY different natural and organic bug sprays. I came up with my own simple spray that REALLY works! My plants are looking MUCH better!
This is an early morning picture and has lots of shadows, but I hope you can see the very bug eaten leaves and then the new growth in the center after I sprayed them! I still lost some of the little plants that were just to far gone by the time I sprayed them but the bigger plants are recovering nicely.
To make this spray I used garlic, an onion, cayenne pepper, peppermint castile soap, peppermint oil and water.
Start by chopping the cloves from one head of garlic and 1 onion into tiny pieces. You can use a food processor if you have one. When you have them all chopped up put them in a pot with 6 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder. Bring your concoction to a boil then remove it from the heat and let it cool completely. Strain the liquid into a squirt bottle and add 2 tablespoons of peppermint castile soap and 5 drops of peppermint oil. Shake it up and you’re ready to spray those nasty pests away.
Spray early in the morning before the hot sun is out or just before dark. Be sure to shake well before each use and spray the top and bottom of each leaf. If you have any left over, store it in the fridge for up to a week.
- 1 whole head of garlic, peeled and cloves removed
- 1 good sized onion, peeled
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 cups of water
- 2 tablespoons peppermint castile soap
- 5 drops peppermint oil
- Chop up all the garlic cloves and onion into small pieces.
- Put the cayenne pepper, water, chopped onions and garlic into a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool completely.(over night is good)
- Strain cooled liquid into a squirt bottle and add the castile soap and peppermint oil.
- Shake well.
I’ve only had to spray my garden twice, but we only had rain once and we don’t water with sprinklers, so you may have to spray more often if the leaves are getting washed off. Try to avoid spraying directly on the part of the plant you are going to eat.
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