Today I'm super-excited to bring you some tips to keep your garden bug-free, from Amanda who blogs at Cooker and a Looker, down the road from me. I don't know whether to make this stuff or just invite her over to do it for me! I have such an issue with caterpillars and spiders so this is invaluable.
In my experience, the easiest way to do pretty much anything is have someone else do it for you – and keeping bad bugs out of your garden is no exception. Birds, lizards and predatory insects all make their livings by feeding on bugs. Encourage them into your garden by providing shelter, flowering shrubs (for birds), and permanent water.
Keep It To Yourself Tip 1: There’s an army of animals out there waiting to do your bidding, so invite them into your garden and get on with your day.
It’s worth trying to encourage more good bugs to make your garden home. You can plant a selection of herbs and flowers to attract good bugs – the Heritage Fruit Society have an extensive list on their website
Even after you’ve tried all of this, chances are you’ll still have a few buggers who decide they deserve your veggies more than you. Here’s an easy, safe spray that you can make with a few household items:
8-10 chillies (fresh or dried)
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons soap flakes
Combine chillies, garlic, soap flakes and about a litre of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, and then allow to cool. Decant mixture into a glass jar and set aside for 24 hours. Sieve and pour into a spray bottle.
A word of warning: although this spray is non-toxic, it’s worth keeping away from children, pets and husbands. I’d also advise not spraying on windy days.
As the weather warms up, powdery mildew will start making an appearance in many gardens. Mine included. A local farmer taught me a really easy method for eradicating mildew in home gardens, and the best part? It’s also cheap!
Initially apply to all areas of the affected plant, and then treat new growth weekly. This milk spray is also effective against black spot.