Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Herbal Pest Control

I have always had trouble growing roses. They just require a little more attention than I like to give. None the less, I purchased two Don Juan climbing roses several years ago. After the second year, the aphids found them. The leaves fell off, leaving bare limbs with a few dark red, bug bitten roses. I cut them down to the ground throughout the summer. This spring, I decided to give them another chance and try some natural pest control since I wanted to use the petals in my bath teas. A couple of things caught my attention and I plan to try them this year.

Garlic spray: Blend 1 garlic clove and 2 cups hot water for 1-2 minutes on high speed. Allow to sit for one day. Strain and mix with 1/2 gallon water. Fill a sprayer and spray the top and bottom of the leaves. Add a few drops of vegetable oil or dish soap to help it stick to the leaves.

Catnip: According to April issue of Organic gardening, catnip has been shown to contain a substance with matches the chemical structure of the male lacewings Pheromone. Plant catnip in your beds and both male and female lacewings will be attracted. Lacewing larva eat hundreds of aphids and mites. Other herbs that have shown the ability to attract lacewings include angelica, dill, and cilantro.

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