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Hi everyone thought it might be good to start a thread about all our top tips to keeping our plants and veg aphid and disease etc free.. the non chemical way

i will start off with some of my grandads old tips i found written down in one of my gardening books he gave me.. found it last week.. when looking through.


mix washing soda (sodium carbonate) with water.. weak mix and spray over plants.. leaves a non toxic residue to stop it.


1/2 cup of buttermilk, 4 cups wheat flour mixed well and add to 5 gallons of water... this destroys them and their eggs.


as we all know washing liquid with water is good one

For keeping your plants disease free.

a mix of one part skimmed milk with nine parts water is good against most of them.. it is particularly good for your tomatoes.

So please add your tips and advice on keeping the bugs off and the plants healthy. i look forward in reading them all and learning new ways.



i have just found another one..

Hot peppers and garlic crushed and mixed with water.. then seived.. makes a very potent spray that stops mose bugs in their tracks.. giving them dose of heartburn! loved my grandad bless him


sorry do not know why some of my words are underlined.. and adds come up.. didnt do it honestly sir


With my new greenhouse, I am terrified of getting red spider mite, so I spray the interior with water a lot and pour water on the floor as I have heard that they don't like humidity. GardeningF, how do you apply the above mix against spider mites?


@artjak.. sorry didnt add that bit.. my grandad used to put it in a heavy (not mist) sprayer and spray round the green house.. making sure it got into all nooks and crannies and corners.. if you have shelving maybe take them out and wash them down with it also to make sure all eggs have been sprayed..

if plants were badly effected he would clean the leaves and stems by hand with a cloth which had been soaked in the mixture.. nowadays i think kitchen would be just as good.. and he would (if i remmeber rightly) spray the green house twice a week.

he said it was good way of keeping them out.. and he always grew for shows etc.. and he never liked using chemicals at all in the garden.. must be where i have taken my stance from on that also.. as he taught me what i know today..


Hi G F

Your grandad had the right idea,

but we have so many poisons today, one for every creature in the garden!

no wonder we have so few birds, all their food is poisoned!!

                 I dont use them, but i only grow flowers.



I keep an eye on my rose buds & if I notice any aphids, I just rub them off with my fingers!

Plants grown without too many fertilisers......artificial fertilisers tend to,produce lots of growth at the expense of strength so  organic ones....and grown in well cultivated soil will be more resistant to pests and diseases so that's my tip

Grow plants meant for your soil and comditions.....they are then less likely to suffer disease and pest attack.  

Companion planting.....carrots and onions, tomatoes and tagetes, marigolds amongst your veg, etc.....helps too.

In dry hot weather spraying with water controls red spider mites in  greenhouses and mites on conifers like picea albertiana conica (highly susceptible to picea mites).  

Check out and understand what you grow.....what is prone to mildew, rust, etc and that you can prepare and anticipate problems and deal with them ASAP.


I just use a spray bottle of water, checking plants daily, has worked for me. Saying that, I have a container/balcony garden. I have had black fly on my dhalias but,

no longer, buds and flowers still looking stunning


keeping the greenhouse dmap is fine for red spider mites..  but he dampness then brings in other problems..

plants can be effected by any problems regardless of where or how you grow them.. some are effected by hot weather then wet weather.. scabious for instance.. this causes the mildew..

i have never had rust in my garden as i do the skimmed milk watering system for my plants.. so keeps it at bay.

Gardening fantic

Im a skimmed milk sprayer too.  For tomatoes anyway.  You are right of course.....nature is constantly throwing up surprises.  I think if we can grow plants as naturally as possible trying not to force them with over rich applications of fertiliser they will cope better with diseases and pests.  And to learn what plants your garden is compatible with is good policy too



you are right.. when i moved here to sandy free draining soil with strong sea salt winds...from heavy wet clay then baked dry in summer.. no sea air... i  had to totally change my plants habits.. couldnt have some of my favourties likes acers.. they just got destroyed..

so i walked around looking at other gardens to see what they were growing.. and i found hebe and small leaved plants did well and those with shiny leaves.. not my favs plants at all.. but now i have managed to bring in other plants.. and of course my tulips do very well here.. never did at old house had to plant in pots only... so it may have it downsides to other house.. but it has infact got more upsides to it.

it is the way of gardening as you say to find out what is best for your little patch.. and to grow them as normal as poss.. i never force my plants on.. i do admit to at times being little impatient waiting for them.. but leave them be

i just wanted to set up thread where little tips gathered by us gardeners over the years can all be in one place to find..

It's a good thread....I'm hoping to.pick up some tips too.


Know your allies.

Learn how to identify all the good bugs in your garden. Ladybirds and larvae, lacewings and larvae, hoverflies and larvae, predatory wasps and midges and larvae....always take the time to learn what the larvae look like because some look like little caterpillars and can easily be mistaken for enemies.....spiders, birds, the little red spiders you see racing round when its hot...they eat spider mite.  Soldier bug, syrphid fly.

Slow worms, frogs, toads hedgehogs,newts, ground beetles, ...ok I know don't eat aphids.... 

There are so many good guys out there and they will come when needed  unless you start using the poisons!


And as Verdun said...learn about the best plants for the conditions you have. So pointless trying to grow something where it doesn't want to be. If push comes to shove and you just have to have it....stick it in a pot!

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