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Green Fingered Mikey
I was wanting to know everyone's opinion on homemade bug and pest sprays the type I have heard of are made from adding chilli powder garlic and liquid soap, does this work ? and can it cause harm to plants or soil, I have a very limited budget so buying spays from garden centre's etc.. is a bit to costly for me so any way I can save by making my own organic sprays would be great thanks

I'd love to hear of anything too. 

 im thinking about Nematoads for the poly tunnel. 

I use water with a small amount of washing up liquid in it. One or two applications get rid of green fly and white fly and it is reasonably inoffensive and pleasant to use both inside and out. I prefer organic sprays anyway, as it doesn't harm anything else.

I have heard that garlic and water is good as well but haven't used it myself.


In the past I've found that dilute washing up liquid sprayed on works well against aphids.  I use Ecover so it should be pretty harmless to the plants - I've never noticed any ill effects.  

In this garden the bluetits seem to deal with the aphids for me. 



It took six years of (fails and disappointments) but since going completely organic the garden now has toads, frogs and umpteen species of birds that do most pest control. I used nematodes for two seasons but then the frogs arrived. I used garlic spray on foliage, then birds took over (but had to feed them seeds all winter and spring!). For mildew I use 30% milk spray and for Lily Beetle I go on night safaris and dawn raids.

this is Francoise

Just one of my gardening friends

Frogs!!! Where did they come from?

sorry, bit dim.

Anything to do with the nematodes???


Frogs deal with the slugs Heather, cheaper than nematodes.  

The gist of Marineliliums post is that if you stop poisoning things the natural predators take over. It works OK for me

Green Fingered Mikey
Marinelilium I love it and hope to go organic like you, I have always been against chemicals and refuse to use them even though I might benefit from them, great picture to

I'm trying to keep up. Lots to learn.


I' was trying to keep up as well Heather but I think the world outside my garden has moved on without me


Organic solutions are not always the instant fix we are used to, compared with the chemicals that are still available for gardens. It took years to get a balance here.

 Knowing the 'enemy' and it's life cycle 'arms' you. eg chucking out early apple windfalls as they can be hosts to codlin moths and that's why the fruit fell. So in JUNE tie paper and sacks around the tree trunk when the grubs are climbing down Traps them for you to deal with Then in OCTOBER sticky grease bands around the trunk will catch the adult invaders on their way back up the trunk. More work than a spray but no chemicals in the fruit or soil. 

 To deal with sawflies  hang sunflower hearts in feeders as blue tits just love sawfly.

To stop flea beetles ( and sparrows) nibbling buds, soot from log burners, lightly dusted on plants makes them distasteful and is safe as long as the wood burnt is not chemically treated.- oh dear, sorry GFM, this has become a missive.



Green Fingered Mikey
Lol thats ok I find it fascinating & very interesting plus its all a learning curve which I hope one day I will be able to pass on

I read recently somewhere when I was looking for info on rhubarb (Which I grow in old black paper recycling containers) two plants standing next to each other one is fine the other looks like it has crown rot anyhoo! It turns out that if you keep a pot of rainwater next to your rhubarb and put in any leaves that you discard stir it occasionally and add a little dish washing up water to a spray gun and use it to keep bugs off any plants food or not. Sadly it doesn't work on slugs and snails but I'm trying a new idea of a frame that surrounds the leaves fastened to the edge of the container to make it easier and more attractive if they use it as a perch and like snails or slugs I get two for one I love a bargain  

flowering rose

garlic is a good one ,made by putting a clove into a bottle of water and leave for a day before use. It helps but you need other protection as well or soapy water is another,its on going battle.


I went a bit mad and mixed up all the advice I could find online last year. I ended up with a spray which was something like this (ingredients according to seasonal availability):

1) Boil up a mix of elderflower, tomato and rhubarb leaves

2) Add some finely chopped garlic and leave overnight

3) Strain

4) Add a dash of washing up liquid and a dash of cooking oil

5) Use liberally as a spray

Not sure which bit works, but it kills aphids at forty paces and also the weird spidery thing that had infested my olive tree. Probably not at all good to rely on something like that as it must kill beneficial insects too, but not bad for an emergency and doesn't seem to bother the plants at all.

This year, I have planned to have a lot more flowers around to attract beneficial insects. Hopefully I will need less of my spray.


i used a spray of fairy liquid ( a tiny squirt ) in a pint of warm water yesterday on a young  plant covered in greenfly and aphids it killed them all,i checked the plant with a loupe just to see how  effective it was the plant seems ok and im happy to say no bugs were moving at all ,i then washed the plant off its good 

I do not use chemicals from shops, just washing up liquid in spray bottle with water for greenfly and like others have wildlife in my garden, the rest takes care of itself, pick off anything that is big enough.

Re: Marinelilliam's post please don't stop that's all really interesting info and very useful which means there's probably a lot more in there? btw I don't have a wood burner is there another way to get soot a friend suggested I crush up bbq charcoal would that work do you think?