Natural Garden Recipes
You might be thinking this post is going to be all about cooking your vegetables. Instead, this post is about using natural ingredients in your garden for such things as fertilizer and pest control. This explains the title of natural garden recipes. You can purchase natural ingredients online or at your local farm supply store that can be mixed together to create natural versions of expensive store bought fertilizers and insecticides. These versions don’t contain the chemicals present in their store bought versions. They are also complete and since they contain natural ingredients they break down in the environment without pollution. They can even enhance your soil in the case of natural fertilizers. This list includes natural fertilizer and insecticides.
Natural Organic Fertilizer
The first natural garden recipe is for an organic fertilizer. You can use a 5 gallon bucket to stir up this recipe. Get a bucket with a lid and you can use only the amount you need and store the rest. Be sure and get a bucket with an airtight lid. These dry ingredients can attract moisture. Measure each ingredient by volume, not by weight. You can buy in quantity online or from a local farm supply house. Seed meals are used to feed livestock, and different parts of the country may have different seed meals readily available. You can incorporate this fertilizer into the soil before planting and also add during the planting season.
4 parts seed meal
1/4 part ordinary agricultural lime, best finely ground
1/4 part gypsum (or double the agricultural lime)
1/2 part dolomitic lime
1 part bone meal, rock phosphate or manure
1/2 to 1 part kelp meal (or 1 part basalt dust)
Garlic Pest Control Spray
Combining garlic with mineral oil and soap creates an effective pest control product. Note that when applying this as an insecticide it is not selective and can kill beneficial insects as well. . It can be used to control cabbage worm, leaf hoppers, squash bugs and white fly.
To make this spray do the following:
3 ounces finely chopped garlic
2 tsp mineral oil
1 pint water
¼ ounce liquid dish soap
Allow the garlic to soak in the mineral oil for 24 hours. Add water and liquid dish soap. Stir well and strain into a glass jar for storage. This is your concentrate.
To use: Combine 1-2 tablespoons of concentrate in 1 pint of water to make the spray. Do be careful not to make the solution too strong. While garlic is safe for humans, when combined with oil & soap, the mixture can cause leaf injury on sensitive plants. Always test the lower leaves of plants first to make sure they aren’t affected.
Oil To Control Dormant Insects
An oil spray is used to suffocate over wintering pests, such as aphids and mites. Most commercial products are made of kerosene or other petroleum oil. A much less toxic and more sustainable approach is to use a renewable resource such as vegetable oil.
To make this spray do the following:
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp liquid soap
1 gallon water
Combine the soap and oil and stir to blend thoroughly. Add the water a bit at a time, stirring as you go (water and oil don’t really emulsify; soap helps the process). Pour the mixture into a clean garden spray container. Spray a coat of the mixture over the entire plant. Shake the container
frequently as you are spraying. This recipe makes 1 gallon.
Homemade Insecticide Soap
Soap has been used for centuries as an all-purpose pesticide. It disrupts insects’ cell membranes, and kills pests by dehydration. The key is not to use too much soap, or you’ll also kill vegetation. Follow the proportions of soap to water in this Soap Spray recipe and your vegetation should be fine.
1 to 2 tablespoons liquid soap (not detergent)
1 quart water
Combine ingredients, mix, then transfer to a spray bottle. Treat as needed.
All Purpose Pesticide Soap Spray
Strong smelling roots and spices such as garlic, onions, horseradish, ginger, rhubarb leaves, cayenne and other hot peppers, are all known to repel insects.
Take a handful of one or a combination of these roots and spices and add boiling water. Add enough water to cover the roots or spices.
Soap Spray (recipe, above)
Add the roots and spices to the bottom of a mason jar. Cover with the boiling water, screw on the top, and let sit overnight. Strain, and add to the Soap Spray. Note that this will rot, so use it all up or freeze leftovers for another time. Place into a spray bottle and apply to the plants to control pests.
Now you have recipes to naturally fertilize your garden and protect it from an invasion of pests. You may share your recipes in the comments section below.