Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Trublu asked about the homemade repellent. My sister, Meri, gave the recipe to me over the phone. I've made it twice- once with the recipe and once without because I can't find where I wrote it down. It's probably a good idea to have it written down somewhere, though, so I can find it so next time I want it. So, here it is off the top of my head. Mer, if I got it wrong, leave a comment and let everyone know!

Insect Repellent (for plants, unless "salsa" is your fragrance of choice and you like a little tingle in your day!)

1 small onion
1 jalapeno pepper
2 cloves of garlic (I think, last time I made it I put in 4)
1 tsp. Murphy's Oil Soap
1 tsp. vegetable oil

Pulse the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in the blender. You don't want to liquify it, just make it into a pulp. Pour the pulp into a quart jar and fill with hot water. Let steep at least 2 hours. Mix the liquid from the pulp and water in a 3:1 ratio (water:pulp liquid). (I bought a spray bottle at Wal-Mart that has the amounts marked on the side.) Add the oil soap and oil. Shake and mist your plants several times a week.

Lessons from my massive one week of experience:

1) The first time I made it, I kept the pulp, adding fresh water every day, for a week. The potency lessened over the week, so I up-ed the concentration to 2:1 towards the end.

2) I did not keep it in the fridge, no real good reason why.

3) I spray every morning, except Sunday.

4) One spray bottle will do my entire garden- heavy misting on the zucchini and pumpkins, medium on the tomatoes, light on the corn, whatever's left on the strawberries and raspberry plant.

5) I do the tops and bottoms of each leaf of the zucchini and pumpkin, just the tops pf everything else.

5) At a 3:1 ratio, I can get at least 2, and pretty close to 3 spray bottles of mixture. At a 2:1 I get 2.

6) Doesn't seem to bother snails (drat!) outright but insects will take off if you mist them. Though, maybe they just don't like getting wet.

7) It's a great child repellent, at least at our house. The kids do NOT like the smell and complain and move away whenever I open the jar. (If that helps you have a quiet moment on any given boring summer afternoon!)

As I said before, I don't know if it really works or not, but I don't see the miniscule red bugs on the zucchini and pumpkin plants any more and they are growing new leaves that are pretty much chew-free. The corn hasn't had a bug problem at all and neither have the tomatoes that I know of, but I spray everything at least a little when I'm outside. Hope this helps!


kyleandbeth said...

So you'll have to let us know if all the food from your garden comes up premarinaded in salsa.

The Streiffs said...

You got it just about right. It is 4 cloves of garlic. Still, thats a pretty good memory. I'm glad its helping (hopefully).