Green Goddess: Buggy bug spray

Long Lunch 24/07/2018
Photo credit: iStock.

Collect a good handful of the insect pests that are causing damage. I use an old Agee jar with a piece of paper spread over the top, and stab a hole in the paper just big enough to pop the bugs through. Put the insects in a kitchen blender with about 2 cups water and blend at high speed until the insects are reduced to a pulp.

Strain through a piece of cloth, then dilute 1:4 with water. You may need to spray a few times before you get rid of them.

Alternatively, you can simply crush a few insects to death and leave them lying around as a deterrent.

Rhubarb general bug spray

500 g chopped rhubarb leaves
1 litre water

This is another excellent insect and mildew treatment that uses rhubarb leaves. I struggle to get enough leaves because for some reason my hens love them, even though the leaves are highly toxic to humans. Do be aware that this will kill bees and has a minimum withholding period of 2 days for anything you are going to eat.

In a glass or enamel container, simmer the leaves in the water for 20–30 minutes, then cool and strain.

Dilute at 1:10 with water, and spray.

Aphid spray

1 tbsp baking soda
hot water
1 tbsp dishwashing liquid
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp liquid plant food
5 litres water

Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and then add the dishwashing liquid, vegetable oil and liquid plant food. Add this mixture to the water and spray every 2 days for a week, then every 2 weeks as a maintenance.

Weed killer

white vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp dishwashing liquid

Fill a 1-litre spray bottle with white vinegar, then add the baking soda and dishwashing liquid. Spray this mixture on the weeds and let dry.

Repeat if necessary.

Baking soda fungus spray

1 tsp baking soda
1 litre warm water
1 tsp dishwashing liquid

Dissolve the baking soda in the warm water and add the dishwashing liquid. Spray infected plants thoroughly, making sure you cover the underside of the leaves.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.