How to: make an organic all-purpose pesticide

If it’s not slugs, it’s aphids, apparently. The little buggers have arrived and are determined to shrivel up all the new growth on my Clematis jackmanii. It being in its third year (third year leap – check!) there is a lot of new growth at stake.

I’ve always used a two-pronged approach to deal with aphids. I plant nasturtiums as a decoy (I call them sacrificial nasturtiums) because aphids go for them and leave my basil and other tender morsels alone. Second, I use a dishwashing liquid-and-water solution to deal with the aphids that do go after my prized plants (never had enough of a problem to buy lady bugs). It seems to work alright, but I came across this recipe in the Farmer’s Almanac and I think I’ll give it a try:

Organic all-purpose pesticide
In a jar, combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake vigorously. In an empty spray bottle, combine 2 teaspoons of this mixture and 1 cup water. Use at ten-day intervals (or more often if needed) to rid plants of whiteflies, mites, aphids, scales, and other pests.

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