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I am a first time gardener. The leaves of my basil, kale, and pepper plants are being chewed by something. I have been researching insecticidal soaps. There are many recipes for making homemade soaps but I thought I would come here to ask your opinions before spraying the plants. Is there a recipe that works well without damaging leaves? What about Safer Spray? Is that good? I'm trying not to use anything unnatural so I thought using a homemade recipe would be best, but maybe Safer is okay?
 

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I use pure Neem oil. It is 100% organic and it helps get rid of white flies, aphids, and other pests, but does not harm the beneficial insects like the lady bugs. I have been using it for years on my herbs, veggies, and flowers and it works really well.
 

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Thanks Gardening Momma. I like the idea of Neem oil. I did not make the insecticidal soap. I would like to try the Neem oil as that seems right. Can you give me some direction. Do you use a certain brand of neem oil? Do I dilute the neem oil? Do I spray the whole plant or just the underside? Do I spray at a certain time of day? Do I spray with a regular hand spritz bottle. Thank you sooo much.
 

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Hi Rocket. I use a one gallon sprayer that you have to pump a few times, and then you just spray it on. Right now I am using a brand called Dyna-Grow and it can be found in most hydroponics stores. Make sure it is 100% Neem oil. Lowe's and Home Depot do carry Neem oil, but some of their brands are not 100%. It makes a big difference. The directions are pretty much on the back of the bottle, and you also do need to add a little bit of dish soap to the water and Neem oil mixture. I usually spray early morning or early evening when it is not too hot, and just make sure your plants are well watered. And yes, spray the entire plant, as well as the underside. I hope this helps. Good luck! :)
 

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Thank you Garden Momma! This is super helpful. I looked up the Dyna-Grow and intend to purchase it. Thank you so much for the help and the clear explanation. I am keeping everything very natural so this is perfect.
 
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