How to Make Non-Toxic Garden Solutions

by Karen Schweitzer on December 8, 2011 · 0 comments

in Gardening Tips

Shop bought weedkillers

Shop bought weedkillers

Growing a garden is a rewarding way to provide fresh produce for your family. It definitely takes time and effort, but the outcome is almost always worth your trouble. If you have ever done any gardening, you know that weeds and pests can pose quite the risk to your plants. Many products that target these risks exist on the market today. The problem is most of these garden solutions contain toxic chemicals that can do more harm than good. These chemicals can be very dangerous to us and our pets. For this reason, many folks opt not to use these products. It is easy to become discouraged because garden problems persist and are not easy to manage without help. You may not realize that you can create non-toxic garden solutions at home, often with products you have on hand.

Weed Killer

Weeds are one of the biggest concerns when it comes to gardening. They can quickly overtake your crops and stop them from growing. Weeds seem to pop up overnight, and are not easy to control. Hand-pulling gets old really quick, and it is just about impossible to buy a weed killer without nasty chemicals in it.

An easy, homemade weed killer can be created with just a few household products, and chances are you will have them right in your own kitchen. Just mix one gallon of white vinegar, one cup of table salt, and one tablespoon of liquid dish soap in a bucket until the salt is completely dissolved. You can then transfer the solution to spray bottles, or a bigger sprayer that can be purchased at any garden centre. Spray the solution directly on any weeds that need to be killed. You must use caution and avoid your crops, because this mixture will kill any vegetation it comes in contact with. Also be careful to avoid the soil surrounding your plants, as this homemade weed killer can be easily absorbed into the roots. If you have a small garden, you may opt to wipe the solution on the leaves of weeds. This obviously takes much longer, but will prevent any weed killer from touching your precious plants.

Pest Repellants

Pests can also pose many risks to your garden. Whether insects or rodents, munching away on your crops is what they do best. It is best to prevent them from ever showing up. Shop-bought repellants do this with toxic chemicals, but you can make your own repellants at home using ordinary, safe, household products.

For a quick, non-toxic pest repellant, just combine a couple teaspoons of hot pepper sauce, 4 cloves of garlic, and one quart of water. Blend together in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain the mixture in a mesh strainer over a bowl to remove any larger particles. Pour the mixture in a sprayer and spray sparingly on your crops to prevent pests from showing up. The strong smells will deter any possible intruders.

You can also create a homemade pest repellant from ground cloves and water. Just mix 3-4 tablespoons of ground cloves with a quart of water and spray on any crops that you are worried about. Pests do not like the smell of cloves and will keep their distance. Be sure to reapply after rain or watering.

Insecticides

If insects do make their way into your garden and begin harming your plants, insecticides work by killing them. It has long been thought that insecticides had to contain harsh chemicals, but in reality, many products that are non-toxic to humans and animals can be toxic to insects.

A homemade insecticide can easily be made with soap and water. Be sure to use a soft soap, like Ivory dish soap or liquid castile soap. Just mix three capfuls with a quart of water and spray on affected plants. This insecticide is biodegradable and will need to be reapplied after watering your garden, or if it rains. The soap and water mixture kills insects by clogging their membranes, while keeping you and your family safe from chemicals.

Fungicides

If you’ve ever dealt with fungus on your crops, you know it is not an easy problem to fix. It can destroy plants and be a big nuisance. Many forms of fungus exist, and some types of crops are more susceptible to the issue than others.

You can create an easy, effective fungicide at home using common household items. Just combine 1 gallon of water, 1 tablespoon baking soda, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Mix well and pour the solution into a spray bottle or garden sprayer. Spray on affected plants, concentrating on the tops and bottoms of leaves. You will need to reapply this fungicide at least once per week, and after heavy watering or rain. It is also helpful to apply this solution in the early morning or evening when the sun isn’t as strong. This will help prevent leaf burn. If you have had fungus problems in the past, it won’t hurt to spray this solution on your plants as a preventative measure either.

Another simple mixture for a natural fungicide is milk and water. Just combine equal parts of each and spray on affected plants up to 3 times a week. The potassium phosphate present in milk is thought to prevent the growth and spread of fungus on plants. If you find the mixture is not working well, you can experiment with the amount of milk or water in the solution.

Once you give these non-toxic garden solutions a try, you will see how simple it is to fight garden problems naturally. You will not only save money, but have great peace of mind as well. Knowing that chemicals aren’t being used on your produce should make you a happy gardener.

About The Author

Karen Schweitzer is a freelance writer, who amongst others, contributes to the Free Homeowners Insurance Guide and Area Rugs, who sell brand name area rugs and related supplies

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