Homemade remedies to repel common garden pests such as aphids are effective for many home gardeners. Using simple, non-chemical ingredients such as garlic, you can create sprays to keep your vegetables safe from aphids and maintain a chemical-free and organic garden.
Aphids are a common garden pest, regardless of what you're growing. Aphids are found in vegetable gardens in moist and warm environments, according to the University of Minnesota. Where you find aphids, you can also find ants, because ants manage the aphids for the honeydew they create. Aphids proliferate quickly and suck the sap out of your vegetable's leaves, buds, flowers and branches.
Homemade garlic spray is commonly used by backyard gardeners to kill a large number of vegetable garden pests including aphids, grasshoppers, whiteflies, squash bugs and leafhoppers, just to name a few, according to Golden Harvest Organics. The sulphur contained in garlic serves as an anti-fungal and antibacterial spray.
Garlic Spray Ingredients
Home gardeners use a number of garlic spray recipes, which may vary slightly. One example is to mix 85.1gr. of fresh minced garlic cloves with 29.6ml. mineral oil. Allow the garlic to soak in the oil for one day. The following day, strain the oil and discard the garlic. Then, mix together 454gr. water with 1 tsp fish emulsion. Add 1 tbsp of the strained garlic-oil liquid to the fish emulsion mixture. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, shake and spray vegetables and leaves as necessary.
The Western Australia Department of Agriculture and Food suggests a simple mixture of pure garlic concentrate, available in the spice and flavouring section of your local food market, with water in a spray bottle. Start with 1 tbsp pure garlic powder to 1 cup water. Spray the infested plant. You may also add a teaspoon of vegetable oil, which will serve to suffocate the pests.
Shake your garlic spray mixture well before using. Thoroughly cover the infected part or leaves of the vegetable with the spray. Spraying in the morning after you water your garden will allow the mixture to remain on the leaves in its concentrated form without danger of being washed away by routine watering. You may also spray the infested plant in the late afternoon if you water your vegetables twice a day. However, the Online Information Service for Non-Chemical Pest Management in the Tropics does not recommend using garlic spray against aphids, because they state that the mixture also kills other insects, including ones that kill aphids. Talk to your local nursery about efficacy of garlic sprays in your garden before using.