Monday, May 9, 2011

Organic Pesticide--Easier to Make Than You May Think! (pics will post later)

Last week I posted pics of my garden. As you may have noticed, my arugula looked pitiful. The bugs seemed especially attracted to it for some reason. I was loathe to use commercial pesticides since they are notorious for killing all bugs, both bothersome and beneficial to plant's ecosystems.

Since I was making several salsas for Cinco de Mayo, I was privy to the seeds and membranes of several hot pepper varieties. I wasn't using anything overly aggressive, just standard jalapeños, serranos, and poblanos. But to keep from killing all the taste buds of the party goers mouths I reserved most of the hottest components from the peppers from the salsas.

I have read over the years that most pests will avoid anything overly fragrant or spicy/hot, much like the human. Kinda funny, huh? They want what we want. With this in mind I decided to use the membranes and seeds from all my peppers to make a pesticide for my ailing arugula.

What I did:

I pureed all the parts of the peppers I'd saved. I threw in about 4 cloves of fresh garlic (I didn't bother peeling it.) I also added in some dried hot red chiles, about 6 whole. All into the blender it went with a little water and olive oil (since it's also very fragrant and it would stick to their legs making it harder for them to climb onto the leaves of the plants).

Once I had my puree of peppers, I smelled it. WHOA. Talk about opening up those sinuses! My eyes watered a bit and my nose started running, lol.

I poured it into a bowl, and armed with a spoon set out to spread this concoction on and around my plants.

I put it around the stems where they met the earth, and around the perimeter of their row.

The results? EXCELLENT!!! The bugs immediately backed off and my arugula was able to grow uninhibited. I had a few bugs eating some cucumber plants also and spread some there and equally impressive results.

Pics will come soon!

So, this garden experimebnt was totally worth it as I used things (other than the olive oil) that I would normally have just thrown away or composted. I was also able to keep from using overly caustiic commercial pesticide on my garden, keeping with an organic method of growing, and being totally frugal all the while!

Pardon me while I pat myself on the back. :)

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