Collated by Jo McKee, Christchurch Polytechnic organic course student.
Pests are best managed by allowing or recreating a holistic environment in your garden or on your farm. In an organic system, healthy soil, encouragement of beneficial insects and other measures which support nature's own checks and balances are valued. Use these milder, non synthetic sprays in acute situations and after sundown to avoid killing bees. Be aware that whenever you kill pests, you may also be killing a beneficial organism - which is integral to the life and health of your land.
1. Soak 75g chopped garlic bulbs in 2tsp mineral oil for 24 hours. Add 1 pint water mixed with 7g soft soap. Stir well and strain in non-metallic container and store. To use: dilute 1 part of mixture to 20 parts water.
2. Boil 10 cloves garlic, 4-5 very hot chillies, 2-3 onions for 5-10 mins. Stand overnight. Add liquid soap or milk. Store in glass bottle. To use: 1 small cup mixture to 7 litres water.
Grind dry flowers or extract with kerosene. Remains toxic for 12 hours. Non toxic to mammals, but this will kill bees, ladybirds and other beneficial predators. Spray in evening when bees etc, are less active.
For caterpillars, red sider mite and leather jackets:
50g common salt to 3.7 litres water.
For caterpillars, red spider mite and leather jackets:
Use soft soap (made with potassium carbonate and not caustic soda). Dissolve 50g in 4.5 litres hot water. Apply when cool.
Bordeaux mixture (copper sulphate spray):
100g copper sulphate dissolved in 1 litre of hot water. Add mixture to 150g hydrated lime in 1 litre water. Stir well. To use: Dilute with 10 litres water. For spring use, dilute further 1 part mixture to 10 parts water. Use within 24 hours of making up. Use at 2-3 weekly intervals.