Whether it is some pesky bug or fungus, there are always issues to tend to in the garden. It seems that gardeners have always been on the cutting edge of natural solutions for common problems in the vegetable garden and the home. There are several reasons for using natural remedies in the vegetable garden:

  • The ingredients are readily available
  • The ingredients are usually very inexpensive
  • These rememdies are very environment-friendly
  • The remedies are very simple to make
  • The remedies will not harm your vegetables

Here are twelve recipes for dealing with common problems in the garden:

Soap Spray Insecticide

  • 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
  • 1 gallon of water

Mix ingedients in a sprayer and apply to both sides of plant leaves to get rid of aphids, spider mites, and whiteflies. Reapply after rain or as needed.

Garlic Spray Insecticide

For aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites

  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 gallon of water

Combine in blender the entire garlic bulb and two cups water, and blend on high speed until garlic is finely pureed. Put in storage container and set aside for a day. Strain out pulp, and then mix liquid with one gallon water in sprayer. Spray tops and bottoms of leaves thoroughly. Apply about once a week, and after a rain.

Baking Soda Spray

Treats powdery mildew and other fungus

  • 1 gallon of water
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid
Mix all the ingredients in a sprayer and apply to leaves of affected. It is best to remove leaves that are seriously infested if possible. Treat every one or two weeks.

Milk Spray

Treats powdery mildew and other fungus

  • 1 quart of milk
  • 1 quart of water
Mix milk and water in a sprayer and treat infected plants. Three separate treatments a week apart should control the disease.

Garlic & Pepper Spray

Gets rid of cabbageworms, catepillars, hornworms, aphids, flea beetles, and other insects

  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp dried hot pepper
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 tsp liquid soap
  • 1 gallon of hot water

Blend all ingredients and let sit for one to two days. Strain and use as spray. Ground cayenne or red hot pepper can also be sprinkled on the leaves of plants (apply when leaves are slightly damp) to repel chewing insects or added to the planting hole with bone meal or fertilizer to keep squirrels, chipmunks, dogs and other mammals away from your gardens. Be sure to reapply after rain.

Snail & Slug Trap

Place a small, shallow saucer full of stale beer to get rid of snails and slugs. The snails and slugs are drawn to the beer, but then drown once they climb in the saucer.

Sowbug (Pillbug) Traps

  • 1 small plastic container (tupperware bowl)
  • 2 tbsp of cornmeal
Cut a small hole at the base of the container, large enough and close enough to the bottom to allow sowbugs to climb in. Place cornmeal in container. Place container into area infested with sowbugs. The sowbugs will feed on cornmeal which will cause ingestion issues and kill the sowbugs. Replace cornmeal frequently.

Another natural remedy for sowbugs and other crawling insects is using Diatomaceous Earth

Sticky Traps

For whiteflies and fungus gnats

  • 1-2 Tbsp. Vaseline or preferably, non-petroleum Jelly
  • 4"x8" plastic cards or cardboard
  • Waterproof yellow paint
Apply paint onto both sides of the card and let it dry. Once the paint is dry, apply
non-petroleum jelly liberally over both sides of the card. Place the card just above the plant canopy.

Ant Traps

For unwanted ants in the vegetable garden
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of borax

Mix the sugar and borax, then sprinkle around any hills and travel paths. The ant will think it is all sugar and take the borax back to the nest. The borax is poisonous to ants.

Critter Spray

For getting rid of rabbits, deer, dogs and other four-legged critters

  • 4 tsp dry mustard
  • 3 tsp cayanne pepper
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
  • 2 quarts of warm water
Mix all the ingredients in a sprayer and apply around the border of your garden. Those pesky deer or rabbits won't dare enter your garden.

Deter Earworms

To get rid of earworms in corn, apply one drop of mineral oil to the tip of each ear of corn when silks begin to brown. Reapply every 5 to 6 days for 3 applications per season.

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